AF Association
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First ablation in left hand side. Petrified

Hi all, I'm new here and after advice please.

2 years ago I had ablation RHS for SVT. It worked so well until 6 months ago when I started to feel faint regularly and have sudden terribly strong palpitations

They put me on sotalol and advised another ablation but this time it's the LHS I need done.

I'd love some reassurance from people who have had the LHS done. I'm so so worried because I know it's more risky

I'm 41, with 2 v young kids. I consider myself healthy but since this started 6 months ago I'm a mess! I'm even started to get anxiety because of my heart problems.

On one hand I can't wait to have the ablation over and done with but in the other I'm petrified as it sounds so much more risky

Someone please reassure me 😊

Cat X

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Just get a skilled EP who does many ablations a year. I think that is harder to do in UK as less choices than here in US. But others will point you in the right direction with more knowledge.

The risks are basically the same for.both sides. Just they have to puncture through to get there.

Nothing is risk free but choosing your EP and hospital wisely lowers the risks.

Heck one medicine I was on once as last choice had risks galore.

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I had ablation for atrial flutter a couple of years ago. All was fine initially but before long I developed atrial fibrillation. Apparently that happens in about 1/2 of the Atrial Flutter cases. Tried like to control it with Sotalol but after several episodes and 3 electric reversions I knew I had to take the next step. My heart specialist was amazing. We talked through all the options, then waited for a few months until I made the final decision. For me it was the best decision by far. Since my 2nd ablation in November I have felt great and had no complications or afib re-occurrences so far. My life is back to pre afib normal. I still take apixaban as well as ramipril, but this is just added protection as my heart is fine. I am 64 and am very thankful for how good I feel, because with constantly repeating afib I did not feel good at all and was constantly aware that it could strike at any time. Everyone makes their own decision, but for me, the 2nd ablation was definitely the right call.

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You are not the first person to post on this forum because you are scared of having an AF ablation which is performed on the Left Atrium.

As azriverrat stated early no procedure is free of risk but as medical procedures go ablation is considered to be very routine and safe.

You will be given either sedation or an anaesthetic both of which will mean that you should know little about it at the time.

For you it should really be no different to the RH side ablation you had before.

Statistically an AF ablation is successful for circa 70-80% of patients the first time.

Just try and think of other things between now and when you have it done.

After you have returned home rest as much as you are able for a couple of weeks at least as this too will help a speedy recovery.

Pete

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I am a devout coward but had three ablations for AF . Nothing is risk free but you will never have the chance of being AF free like me if you don't go ahead. Just remember that in these litigious days most of the risks they explain are merely so you can't sue them.

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I've had ablation for AF with no problems at all, and it worked. I'll have another if and when offered.

Have a good one.

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Me too. Was terrified- contemplated doing a runner from the waiting room. However I went ahead in November 2013 and still af free. So just tell yourself you can change your mind at any time (don't!!) and hold steady.

Be aware of possible bumps and arrhythmias for some time after. It took 5 months for mine to settle down.

Good luck 🍀

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Thank u , yep I've contemplated backing out too ha ha! Wondered if I can just put up with a lifetime of meds /days off work etc ...I know I won't tho, I'll man up ( woman up) and get it done

Glad u are feeling well now, that's great x

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Wow 5 months !! Reading this makes me feel a lot better as I'm 4 weeks in to my 3rd ablation and I feel terrible at different times in the day .... I sure hope everything settles down soon and I can either get off the meds or at least lower them

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Thanks for the reassurance everyone.

I didn't find my first ablation too bad and def wouldn't worry about another on the RHS. It's just, as with anything new, you worry more Or at least I do!The though of someone making a hole in my heart while I'm awake fills me with dread ( you can tell I've lived a life free of medical procedures so far ha ha! )

I'll definitely do it though as , like so many if you have said, you feel so good when it's fine and it works.

Is it normal to still have ectopic beats etc while on regular beta blockers?

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Not that it's all that reassuring, but the medications you have to take long-term if you DON'T do the ablation are probably a bigger risk. Many many many of us have had both sides worked on, and the fabulous feeling of NSR is worth it. Can't you ask for anesthesia to knock you out for it?

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I agree, was thinking about that this weekend when my meds were changed yet again. They always have some side effects.

Being drug free again wud b amazing!!

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You may still need an anticoagulant, depending on a lot of factors, but they don't seem to have the noticeable side effects the others for heart rhythm do (if you don't count unsightly purple bruising at the slightest scratch!)

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That's what I was worried about, the hole in heart whilst being awake. I was waiting for it and dreading it, watching what they were doing on the monitor. I think I felt something but I wasn't really sure as it was so slight......then I realised they'd done it !!! I can only assume you have no pain receptors in there, or the drugs just work very well.

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Ooh glad u said that, that's so good to know!

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I had an ablation almost two years ago. They had to go into the right side after doing extensive work in the left. I was forewarned but didn't know until I woke up in the recovery room that they actually did the transeptual puncture and worked in the right as well. The procedure was upwards of eight hours so I think I took a good beating. I remember having visual "floaters" that were attributed to the puncture. Other than that, I did fine.

My quality of life has improved enormously

I have no regrets!! Good luck with your procedure

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Is it a general anaesthetic for the LHS then because of the puncture? Are u in the UK?

I just assumed I'd b awake as I was for the RHS

ur post has really helped me thank U x

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I'm in the states. I had my ablation done at Stanford and I was absolutely petrified before going into it. I had friends begging me not to do it, but my condition was unbearable to me. I went from a very active, fit 56 year young to being almost bedridden and unable to perform daily activities. I was fast tracked because I was so symptomatic... even with high doses of rate and rhythm control meds I was miserable

The ablation truly give me back my life. It took a few months to regain my energy. I was tired but felt so much better right after. I am so glad I was offered the procedure

I'm almost back to myself now, I had a different heart condition last year (left brunch block, low ejection fraction and borderline heart failure) and was put back on medication. We are still figuring out treatments but I'm back to the gym, and doing yoga, walking and meditation . My tachycardia and arrhythmia are well controlled and I get check ups every few months I feel blessed.

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Wow !! You totally inspire me !!!

I need to be thankful that I'm not in afib daily , I haven't had really anything other than a couple of pacs daily ..... I'm on meds tho and 4 weeks post 3rd ablation

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Wow!!! That is an inspirational story and will def spur me on on my road to recovery

So glad u have come out the other side and are enjoying life again

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I think it would have been the other way round as they enter the heart via the right atrium and make the transcepual puncture to access the left atrium for an AF ablation.

Pete

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Indeed, don't worry too much. I had my ablation 3 month ago and they did both, right and left atrium. As I also have sleep apnea, they put me under GA so I did not feel anything and woke up 2 1/2 hours later.

My cardiologist talked me through the procedure weeks before and then hooked me up with one of the world leading EP.

After the ablation the EP explained that first they did the right atrium where they induced atrial flutter and in the left atrium they got Afib going. After both areas were ablated, they were unable to induce a-flutter or Afib again.

After 3 month its going better and better. Still some extra or missed beats, PAC or PVC and 1 to 2 min afib when I am very stressed, nervouse or run up the stairs too fast but never went into full blown Afib like before.

Get a top EP, be confident and dont forget, you are not the first one having ablation in the LA.

All the best and cheers mate

T

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How are you doing know it say you posted 10 months ago so it's been over a year are you feeling pretty good

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I've had it done about 2 years ago. I would do it again if I needed to anytime. Don't worry the surgeons are very skilled and know exactly what they are doing.

You will be fine!

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I'm in the UK and have just had my ablation under GA for LHS. Early days .....still having some little flutters but it's only been 2 weeks but I am glad I've had it done and would make the same decision again. Following everyone's advice has really helped, the mantra rest rest rest from Bob has worked a treat . Try not to worry, easier said that done I know. Good luck

T

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Thanks so much, it's all appreciated and encouraging . How come u had a GA if u don't mind me asking?

I didn't even ask what I'd have as I just assumed it wud b sedation. I'm due in about October for my op so I guess I'll find out soon X

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I was just told it would be under GA. I assumed all were done that way until reading other people's experiences. I did have my operation privately as me and my husband are in his company's medical scheme...that maybe the difference but I don't know if that is the case.

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Like you, my first ablation for SVT was in the right hand side but it was discovered during this procedure that my SVT was in the left side. So 10 months later I had another ablation. Yes, like you I felt very worried beforehand but it was fine. I was under sedation and knew very little about the whole procedure. I remember entering the Cath. lab and waking up at the end after about 3 hours. Follow Bob's advice and rest as much as possible afterwards. Unfortunately for me I am still experiencing occasional sessions of SVT and am still taking Bisoporol, although a much reduced dose. Do I want a 3rd attempt? Maybe! Good luck with yours.

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I'm kind of the same. This current arythmia was discovered during my last ablation but it was bothering me at the time day to day. But now it's worse than my first problem

Thanks do much for ur response, it's really helped . I hope it's 3rd time lucky for you, good luck

Cat

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Thanks so much for the ongoing comments. I'm feeling calmer just from reading them all

I Hav a great surgeon and I'm due my op in a few months.

I'll take everyone's advise an rest...My husband will b in for a crazy few weeks afterwards looking after a 3 and 4 year old on his own while I relax ha ha

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Thank you to all of you who have shared their personal experiences. I'm a 70 year old woman who needs ablation and am very frightened as I've never been in the hospital for anything but to have babies. I now have low heart rate from time to time and usually controlled blood pressure, but today it was very high. Also use a cpap for apnea. I really want to feel well again and you have given me hope that I can

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Catcam35 ..... I totally understand how you feel as I have had 3 ablations .... first one was no problem .... 15 months later had 2 more within 4 months of each other ..... I have anxiety because of this and I'm not feeling great , 4 weeks in and I know it's early , 51 years old with a 14 year old son and a supportive husband .... I have lots of life in me and having this afib is awful .... but they say the earlier you catch it the better so I would do the ablation ..... just make sure you have a good experienced EP .... i hope your well soon !! I know it's hard on family !!

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I am a 62yo Aussie and this is my first post. Like many of you my AF showed up after my atrial flutter ablation. Tried to control it with beta blockers and Flecinide, meditation, Heartmath, essential oils and natural supplements which have all been supportive but the AF progressively got worse so opted for an ablation which I had 3 weeks ago. Rested up for 2 weeks and all was good until last week I went into continuous AF. I have a great EP who I have the utmost confidence in and he has been trying to control this recalcitrant AF with higher doses of Flecinide and Anpec (beta blocker) but if I don't go back into NSR in the next few days he will give me a cardioversion. Thanks to the posts I have been reading in this forum I feel very reassured that what I am going through is just part of the AF ablation journey and I would definitely have another ablation or two if the cardioversion doesn't work.

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