How much is too much?

Just reading a post by a follower who is having his 7th ablation. Is there a point where ablations are just not going to work or the heart has been so scarred up from the freezing/burning that it is detrimental to our health.? Not only are the ablations costly but are they really the fix? I am having issues again after a year or so being symptom free. Just wore a monitor for a couple of weeks and awaiting the results. Thought I was one and done. Evidently not. Feeling depressed and anxious about what the future holds.

8 Replies

  • Yes there is a point where further ablations would not provide a gain.

    In my case, If you read my posts, you will see that my next ablation is NOT to treat AF it is to treat the condition I now have Atrial Tachycardia - a totally different rhythm.

    I was indeed told that my last ablation would be my last due to the scarring burden in my atrium.

    I have total trust in my EP.

    Regarding the cost issue I just hope that we never have an inspector checking that our doctors are doing too much for us patients.

    Sorry to hear you are depressed I truly understand how you must be feeling.


  • Up to number five myself. If EP just touches up any healed lines or burns any missed gaps should not be over burned. Or sometimes new arythmias appear. I went from afib to atypical flutter. EP could spend lots of time mapping the heart and figuring out where to burn. Then do minimal burning.

  • I too have gone from afib to aflutter. Don't know what the results will be from the monitor but I hope it is treatable. I have been trying to repeat to myself I ought to be grateful for what I have . Some people out there have it a lot worse than me

  • Flutter is much easier and quicker to treat than AF so do not be downhearted.

  • "7" ablations sounds far too many to me. The question that I would ask is, "What has changed since the sixth (fifth, fourth, etc.) to make a sensible, logical case that 'this' ablation will help?"

  • Unfortunately, our hearts do change as AF develops. I feel there can be quite a variation in what gets done in an ablation. I've had three, each lasting a fairly short time. Other people seem to have had much longer ones, so the question to ask is not how many does one have but how much work has been done. Perhaps some EPs do as much as they can and others hold back with a view to touching up later if needed.

  • Hello notkidding

    If you take bare facts as you read them then you can easily get the wrong impression.

    Be assured that few doctors do more than they should (recent case in the press relating to breast cancer excluded) and only do what is medically necessary.

    In my case my ablations have been:

    2 for flutter

    4 for atrial fibrillation

    1 planned for atrial tachycardia

    Of the 4 for atrial fibrillation all the subsequent ablations after the first were designed to 'tidy up' and close other gaps in the runs of the burns. It is recognised that this is often necessary but this does mean that for the vast majority of patients (some say 80%+)the first time is successful.

    AF affects 800,000+ people in the UK alone and of those patients that seek medical help few join a forum such as ours because their problem has been solved.

    Who would want to stay around in a forum such as ours (philanthropic treasures such as Bob and Beancounter excluded).

    I hope this helps you understand more about this very complex subject.


  • Thanks Pete

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