AF Association
14,264 members17,254 posts

Advised to have an ablation

Saw my cardiologist today and went through the recent deterioration in my health, not all of which is af related. However, my sessions of af have been increasing and last much longer than they used to. As a consequence I am feeling tired and unwell a lot of the time. We went through my medication and he ruled out flecanide, and after much musing came up with amioderone, which he said would be OK in the short term. However his recommendation was for me to have an ablation. I was totally unprepared for this as in the past he has been against the procedure. So really he has removed my options somewhat and taken the wind right out of my sails. I'm feeling a bit shell shocked but am going to see an EP privately to talk it through. In the meantime cardio has ordered another echocardiogram. Have to say I am terrified by the thought of ablation and that 5% risk seems very large in this context.

14 Replies
oldestnewest

I had three with no problems as have many people. Theoretical risk percentages seldom match reality and to be honest 5% sounds much higher than I remember being told. In my case as my condition deteriorated I was faced with a decreasing worry and as one person said to me, "If you are standing on a river bank with a ferocious lion approaching and the river has crocodiles in it, there comes a point when the crocs look the best bet."

Go to AF Association main website and read the booklet on ablation as knowledge is power to dispel fear.

4 likes
Reply

As we cannot provide you with medical advice, please follow the advice of your doctors. It seems to me they offer you the ablation instead of drugs based on risk and benefit analysis. Amiodarone can cause very bad side effects for some people even in a short run.

1 like
Reply

Hi I am very similar my af started getting a worse at the end of last year and I had problems with medication is was advised to have an ablation so am going ahead in April my EP was very reassuring and described it as a "procedure" with only a 1% risk. The medication side effects are awful so am going for it.

3 likes
Reply

Hi lucillear. In total agreement re positives associated with being able to go "A-fib drug free'". Meds are a great option for many but for me the daily side effects I was living with were becoming unacceptable. For me, the best part of my 'pace and ablate' was eliminating the need for-for me-those harsh cardiac meds. To be fair re meds as a choice, ever since I can remember I have had more side effects in general than others I've known or seen in my patients. I don't know why this is but maybe it's a genetic thing. I don't know why this is but at this point in my life I always try a drug-free route to med treatments when possible. Maybe I was born with a "side-effect gene!!(LOL)

Reply

Me too if there's a side effect I get it and I am also the allergy queen

1 like
Reply

Thank you for your replies. I think I will go ahead too. It just came as a bit of a shock and wasn't on my radar. I agree, ameoderone is not a drug to be recommended.

2 likes
Reply

I had an RF ablation 6 weeks ago and it's been a much easier recovery than I could have imagined. Things went along without a hitch and I really didn't have any of the troubles that you may read about on this website. I'm very happy I did it becaus heart is so much calmer now that I almost feel "normal" again! Best of luck!

2 likes
Reply

Thank you Jomama, good luck with your continuing recovery.

Reply

Hi Peddling. I know the quandry about 'to ablate or not,' I can't tell you what you should do but I think talking with your EP and getting more info is a good start andI believe will help you make the right decision. I finally agreed to an AV node ablation with pacemaker in 2016and it has turned out well for me. I feel better that I ever have, I was able to stop my cardiac meds and their (for me) difficult side effects. (I am 73) and I'm happy I had the procedures. My diagnosis BTW was tachycardia-bradycardia syndrome. Good luck and take care. Burma (irina1975)

1 like
Reply

Hi Irena,

You have been trawling through the past. In fact I turned down an ablation in November. I consulted an alternative practitioner and went down the healthy lifestyle and supplements route. I wanted to allow enough time to check it’s merits and thus far have been feeling much better. It is stress that brings on my af and there is no way any of us can wipe that out completely. My EP was amazed that I turned down the procedure, but my cardiologist was supportive if a little bemused by my confessing to consulting a ‘snake oil salesman.’ I may still opt to ablate but for the moment am happy to manage my condition with meds etc.

I am 73 next month and am a bit fearful of possibly submitting to endless procedures. I’ll sit on the fence a while longer and keep my fingers crossed.

Thank you for your interest. Berni

1 like
Reply

Hi Berni. After reading more replies I realized I was 'a day late and a dollar short.' Even though you opted for an alternative I say good for you for taking charge of your health decisions and 'bucking the majority' with a snake oil salesman. Often they may be the way to go. And snake oil salesman is just a term coined, in my opinion, by a mainstream person whose recommendations were ignored!. I believe there are many good alternatives out there for many medical problems. I have often felt like going to an alternative medical practitioner ( read their recommendations frequently) but so far in the US at least they are very expensive as insurance won't cover their care/workups/labs/etc. If that ever changes I will be one of their first customers. Take care, Berni irina1975

Reply

I think a good use of the term " snake oil salesman" would be in reference to people selling treatments for which there is no evidence of effectiveness.

1 like
Reply

Hi fnurd, Good point. Just a thought on my part. It would be interesting to look back on how many currently valid and effective medical treatments started out as just someone's theory with no proof of their effectiveness. Take care. irina1975

Reply

True, but in the dark ages nobody tested anything properly. It was only relatively recently that us medical statisticians managed to convince the medics that treatments needed to be properly tested using Randomised trials. A number of older treatments have now been abandoned once regulators required evidence of efficacy and safety, eg tonsil removal for most children, blood letting, mercury treatments, trepanation.

1 like
Reply

You may also like...