Cancelled surgery due to AF

Bit of a setback this week. I was supposed to be having my gall bladder removed last Friday. At the pre-assessment I told them about my PAF, and that I get it about every week or 10 days and it lasts 24 hours. I also explained it caused my knee replacement surgery to be cancelled a year ago when it was first discovered. After extensive tests showing my heat to be okay this went ahead with no issues. (Spinal + sedation to sleep). On arrival my AF came on, probably due to anxiety. I told the anaesthetist and surgeon and they weren't concerned. Then with the ECG attached and about to be wheeled into theatre they decided it was too risky as my bpm were 150 and irregular. I think it was lack of control that worried them. They said I didn't want to have a cardiac arrest in theatre! Fair enough.

I'm on Apixaban and nothing else as my AF is really usually just an uneven not that fast rhythm thing and doesn't really affect me. I'm sure they were right and they are going to talk to a specialised cardiac anaesthetist. Don't know where I go from here really? Anyone else had this happen?

13 Replies

  • When I had prostate surgery AFTER successful ablation they did say that they would probably not have countenanced the surgery had I still had AF since they had other options. Fortunately for me the surgery went ahead and they found other areas needing removal which radiotherapy would have missed. Because of this I am still here.

  • Hi that happend to me as I was having my icd fitted my bpm was 140 n irregular so they cardioverted me than did op

  • looks as if you'll have to have another go when in NSR- perhaps some relaxation practice when you get the next appt??

  • Yes Rosy, I have tried that but you can't tell that part of your nervous system to relax. It won't be fooled! The problem is I get it through all sorts of possible triggers and sometimes when I am completely relaxed.

  • When I had my bowel tumour removed their attitude was "AF? So what?".

  • Like with almost every aspect of AF - there is little consistency from the medical profession, as illustrated throughout this forum. This isn't a criticism by the way. They are working on it but there is a lot they don't understand yet.

  • Dave I know what you mean- I had my first eye injection at Moorfieldo two weeks ago and was so scared I couldn't relax- sitting doing deep breathing etc and not working, When I went into the treatment room, they had some music on- the type I imagine might be used for hypnosis. I had to shut my eye after the first lot of drops went in and I felt myself relaxing- almost against my will !!

    Injection was fine and I won't be scared next time but I mentioned how good the music was- they had it deliberately to help relaxation. I will ask about it when I go in a couple of weeks and try and post it for you !!

  • I was scheduled for a massive back operation and the Cardiologist said I was bound to go into AF, which I did afterwards, but he was not concerned about it. I suppose it is different starting the op with AF.

  • I developed AF just as I had the pre op for shoulder surgery and am still waiting as they will not operate until my heart is sorted. This is the second year on from that. They offered me an alternative of a nerve block in January this year but I would have to come off my warfarin and if I do that my heart ablation would not go ahead so I was between a rock and a hard place. I decided to put the surgery on hold as they advised me to do as my heart comes first. Hope this helps.

  • I had AF during pregnancy and the cardiologist said he was "not jumping up and down" about it and that if I went into AF during labour it would be OK. I had a c section and went into bigeminy during it as the anaesthetist told me. It didn't seem a big issue to be honest although the maternity unit did demand that cardiologist put it in writing that he had no concerns.

  • I took with me the letter from the cardiologist saying I was suitable for a general anaesthetic but this must this must have been too extreme for them. Better safe than sorry. I suspect if they told me the AF wouldn't matter I would be ok but it's too late on the psychology front now they have said "you don't want a cardiac arrest in theatre" !

  • Was it a junior doctor that said that to you? I think that sounds a very extreme thing to say. Not that I am an expert but I have noticed that sometimes junior doctors have made comments to me about my heart and they have not known the full facts. Eg. A few weeks ago a junior doctor also said she was concerned I would have a cardiac arrest because of ghe frequency and length of my pauses. I knew deep down that this was incorrect but it still scared me. The consultant said a totally different thing to me. Much more reassuring and the EP was even more confident still. I don't mean disrespect to junior doctors but that has been my experience.

  • I am in permanent AF and had a general anaesthetic a few weeks ago - discussed AF at my pre op assessment but have never thought of discussing with cardiologist.

You may also like...