Ablation with 50% chance of success

Hi just back from Glasgow Royal where I saw an EP cardiologist, my usual cardiologist referred me and had suggested an AV node ablation. The EP said today that AV ablation wasn't an option due to my hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and my only option was Pulmonary ablation but due to the cardiomyopathy it would only have a 50% success rate. I am currently on Amiodarone and it is not helping the AF been in constant AF for last 3weeks, I have a pacemaker in situ, they carried out some readings this morning. The EP has asked me to have a think about the ablation as my only other option is coming off the Amiodarone as it isn't making any difference and living with my symptoms, extreme breathlessness. The EP explained the risks and I am now having to think it over......do I go for it with a 50% success rate or just be medicine free apart from my Apixaban and hope that the symptoms don't get any worse??? Need to let her know in next couple of days as I have only a small window of opportunity as she is pretty sure I will go into permanent AF sooner rather than later.... Thanks

8 Replies

  • Amiodarone did nothing for my AF either, but Flecainide has really helped. Is there a reason you can't try Flecainide?


  • Hi Jean, I was on flecainide for 20+ years and it became ineffective.......I mentioned to the EP yesterday about flecainide and she said I definitely can't have it now as my left ventricle is enlarged due to the cardiomyopathy. Going to go for the pulmonary ablation I have nothing to lose and a 50% chance of a gain!! Thanks s

  • Yes, I think I'd go for the ablation in that case. Good luck.

  • Thanks Jean

  • Only you can make this decision! Read up on the AFA site.

    Amiodarone is not a happy drug to be on, and drugs will still be there if you need them after the ablation. Which ones have you tried?

    Ablation is usually more successful if it is done earlier rather than later, so better now, when it is being offered, than later. They wouldn't offer it (an expensive procedure) if they didn't think it was worth it. Many people have more than one, so the first attempt isn't necessarily the end of the story. Read people's stories on this forum (search using the box in the top righthand corner of the screen)

    What else have you tried? Supplements such as magnesium can help (again research on here for details).

    You may find 'The Sinatra Solution - Metabolic Cardiology' by Stephen T Sinatra of interest. He is an American cardiologist who developed the use of supplements to treat heart problems of varying kinds. (He mentions cardiomyopathy - but not hypertrophic . . .) I have found some of his suggestions very helpful (for AF), but, of course, always start with a minimum dose, and check with your doctor first . . .

    I hope these thoughts help - and perhaps inspire someone else to add theirs!

  • I am in a similar position to yourself. I'm 57, male, with HCM, Arterial flutter and Fibrillation.

    Currently in NSR and controlled (kind of) with Bisop.

    I have been told I have a 40% chance of success but I am going for it. Even if iot means reducing rather than eliminating my dependencies on drugs.

  • Personally I am sitting on the fence. I've been offered a fourth ablation but have not said yes.

    However nothing ventured, as they say, nothing gained. I knew someone who, in his early nineties, was having little blackouts which were getting ever more frequent and was told to put up with them because surgery (on his carotid artery) was too risky. How risky? He wanted to know the facts. It had only a 20 - 30% chance of not being fatal. Book me in, he said. The surgeon was none too keen and tried to dissuade, not wanting to operate with such a high likelihood of losing his patient, but in the end he agreed. Difficult for all the family, who were against the idea, but they went ahead and it was a complete success and he lived on for about five good years. This was in Vancouver and I remember him coming over to the UK a couple of years later, travelling on his own, frail but determined.

  • Many thanks for all your interesting comments you have given me a lot of food for thought. S

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