Post ablation woes... can't believe this

I was diagnosed last year in the hospital after emergency room stay. I had EKG and electrocardiogram that was "read" the next day by a visiting EP who became my EP until a few weeks ago when I underwent cardioversion by the same EP. Before performing it he read my EKG, scratched his head and said that I have Atrial Flutter (not Fibrilation) and that I need ablation. He also performed TEE after which my esophagus was "never" well. Then another episode a month later when he urged ablation the next day?! He said cryoablation is out because I have both AFib and Af. I was scared of his rushing

I was lucky to quickly get the spot in a major NY hospital where they reviewed all my hospital records (from the state I live).

They couldn't see any of the real paper EKGs - just written interpretations and diagnosis of them. They assumed that everything was correct there and after performing CT scan the next day I was on ablation table (3 weeks ago). My esophagus didn't do well after it but after a few days was ok. However, I started to experience fatigue and chest pain into the third week while the heart has been very calm. Pericarditis was a suspect and EP asked me to see Cardiologist in my state. Today I visited Cardiologist in the same hospital where I was originally diagnosed.

He could not see any fluids on echo cardiogram and x ray. My heart was in sinus and everything looked good. Now watch this...

He is computer connected with all my records and said: "Let me look at all your "real" EKGs on the screen especially the first one from the ER and hospital stay when you were diagnosed with Afib". He looks and looks and starts scratching his before whispering: "You never had Afib. You "only" had AF every time. You could "probably" just have had simpler cryo ablation. My jaw dropped. I underwent 6 hour "total" (both atrium) RF ablation. I felt like shooting that nonchalant EP who diagnosed me with Afib.

Tomorrow I will call my NY EP to tell him "great" news from Cardiologist.

8 Replies

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  • To clarify. It was the first ER room EKG which was wrongly diagnosed it as Afib. I lived under assumption of having Afib until cardioversion and EKG in late January when he said that this time it was AF. Sorry for not being clear above.

  • I think AF is short for atrial fibrillation afib

  • I think you may be using AF as an abbreviation for Atrial Flutter as Mazza23 is right in saying AF and Afib are the same thing. If so it seems there has been some confusion. I hope the ablation will still do the trick and please don't worry too much about how you feel right now as it can take 3 months or more for the heart to settle after the procedure

  • I feel there is still some confusion here. AF is atrial fibrillation Afl is atrial flutter . They are in different sides of the heart. Cryo ablation is for AF not Afl as it isolates the four pulmonary veins in the left atrium. Since it is necessary to enter the heart in the right atrium (where flutter ablation is done) before punching through the septum into the left atrium for the PVI the route is the same for either and many EPs will process both atria whilst "in there".

    I suggest that you go to AF Association main website and read the booklet about ablation in all forms so that you understand the procedure and can speak with some confidence about your experience.

  • Thank you all for enlightening. Now I learned the abbreviations. I was really mad at my original EP who diagnost fibrilation on the first ekg although cardiologost couldn't see it yesterday nor on any subsequent ekg.

    My NY EP who performed ablation calmed me down last when he said that it was OK what they ablated because they search, test and intentionally trigger fibrillation and then ablate. Thank you all for confirming what EP said. I was not "tortured" in vain during those 6 hours. Feel so much better. Thie forum replies confirm the value and knowledge of its members. Thank you all again

  • They would be doing the study during the ablation to see what is needed. So the EP doing the ablation should see the afib before doing the PVI ablation for it.

    My last EP sort of knew what I had. But still said when he gets in there he will work with what he sees on the table.

    Because I thought before any cryo or rf they first map what is present on the table and can be induced and go from there.

    So basically my EP said he sort of knew what to expect plus had records from the previous EPs ablation. But said what he finds going in is what he works with. Until he is hands on in the heart probing nothing is the final conclusion.

    So was the EP that did the ablation the one who diagnosed. What did the EP that did the ablation find hands on in the operating room.

  • I was first told I had AF from an ECG reading I had with my GP I then went to see an EP who told me that I did not have AF so I decided on a second opinion with a different EP and was diagnosed with AF. My husband had also had an ECG with a different EP as he had been having a fast heartbeat and he had same problem only in reverse he was told he had AF and to start taken Warfarin and Flecainide. But due to my experience he used my alive core sent the readings back to the consultant who then asked him back for a stress test and another ECG and echo.He was then told it was SVT and not AF. Thankfully he didn't start taken any of the meds.I don't know if its the ECG machines that are unreliable or it could be down to the interpretation of the results. I have also had someone wire me up who didn't appear to know what they were doing. so I now use the alive core now for peace of mind.

  • From a lecture that I saw for doctors on how to read EKG's, it takes lots of experience and skill to read them accurately. It seems there is art as well as science involved. An EKG is only one piece of the puzzle.

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