AF Association

Pottypete Atrial Tachycardia ablation report

Hello everyone.

Firstly thank you all so much for all the support and good wishes that have been posted in the past few days. I really appreciate them all.

This may be a rather long post – try to stay awake.

Yes I am still in the land of the living and also currently in Normal Sinus Rhythm.

As many will know I had an ablation last Thursday to address the Atrial Tachycardia that had developed and replaced my AF soon after the last ablation I had for AF in March.

It was a long procedure; I was transferred to the Cath Lab around 09:00 and returned to the ward around 16:45. I was very pleased therefore that I was able to go home that evening and was back home around 20:00. This is the first time this has happened, as I have always had to stay in hospital overnight in the past.

As I have mentioned before I live very near to the hospital and it is only a 15-minute car journey. I am pretty sure they would have kept me in overnight had I not lived so near.

One big issue for me has been my very bad skin allergic reaction to all the adhesive electrode stickers that are necessary as part of the procedure. I was so relieved when the Anesthetist turned out to be the same consultant who managed my anesthetic and my skin problems last September when I had the ablation before last. This time, because she micro-managed my care I have had no allergic reaction at all. The secret would seem to be to ensure that ‘Opsite’ spray is used to isolate my skin from the electrode adhesives. ‘Opsite’ is a Moisture Vapour Permeable Spray Dressing that creates a plastic film.

The problem of my allergies in the past has meant that I have had no chance whatsoever to convalesce due to the acute and debilitating urticaria that occurs due to the allergic reaction, the only respite being to have ice cold showers in the middle of the night - not really conducive to recovering from AF ablations.

As I mentioned above the procedure last Thursday was very long. I will try and summarise my discharge notes now.

The team led by my excellent EP used a relatively new piece of equipment called Orion to map my heart. Orion with the associated software “Rhythmia” creates a detailed 3D map of the heart. The mapping catheter has 8 tines which each have 8 electrodes making a total of 64 electrodes. Reading the advertising brochure on the system I have ascertained that the 3D map is in High definition and they claim to have a far greater resolution than previous systems and of course their competitors.

Using this state of the art equipment my EP and his team were able to identify locations where the Atrial Tachycardia emanated and they terminated the Tachycardia by ablation. They then continued to seek out other spots where AT emanated and ablated them.

Bob often talks about EPs being electricians not plumbers. Well what happened next makes me think they are more like modern motor mechanics.

They then made my heart beat faster and faster using a drug that is used to counteract slow heart rate to see if they could induce any more sustained tachycardia. They were not able to do this nor did any AF occur either. I was then in sinus rhythm and ultimately the procedure concluded.

As you will no doubt appreciate this must be a very truncated report on what really happened seeing that I must have been on the Cath Lab table for over 6 hours.

When I woke from the anaesthetic I did experience a lot of ectopics but since then they have diminished and only occur occasionally.

The only negative thing that came out of all this is that because I have been in AF for so many years – about 26, my atrium is apparently very badly scarred from having AF for so long and there is a note on my discharge letter stating that I am likely to have a poor prognosis because of this scarring and the multiple Atrial Tachycardias. I now take each day as it comes. Prognosis in itself is only a guess as it is impossible to predict the future.

I can only thank all the doctors and nurses for all the efforts and hard work on my behalf.

I am feeling very relaxed now and will be resting in accordance with the Bob mantra "rest, rest and more rest" for as long as I can to give my poor old heart as much help to recuperate after all the trauma of the past 26 years and particularly the past 12 months.

Once again thank you all for your support.

Pete

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Thank you for that interesting report, Pete and for the good news about your allergy to adhesives - that must be an equal relief.

It sounds like your EP has gone all out to get the AT and that is bound to give a more positive view of the future for you. Every day in NSR is a day to be savoured.

Best wishes for your recovery - great news!

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Yes you are right. Conquering the allergic reaction was a major plus for me.

At times on previous occasions the urticaria was so bad I lost the will to live and that is not an exaggeration.

Pete

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All sounds very positive Pete. Well done on the rest..

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So pleased all has gone well for you albeit a long procedure. Here's to a happy healthy nsr future, well done all round. Rest and enjoy your rhythm and freedom from side effects of allergies.

The equipment and medical team sound very special. Be well. X

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Excellent report Pete, thanks for that I defnitely didn't go to sleep reading it! Glad it all went well. Shame about the allergic reactions, seems sort of silly having all that done and allergy to sticky pads is THE problem!

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Hi Pete - Go to sleep reading your post, tutt how can you say that when I've been sat here waiting to hear how your ablation went! It all appears to be looking quite good, so far, and I very much hope you are now cured.

How can AF possibly cause scarring I wonder? I understand that ablations do that but why would a heart beating out of rhythm?

Jean

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Hello Jean

Glad I didn't send you to sleep, I shall try again now 🙂

I had a very long conversation with my EP and this subject last January.

He told me that the scarring from the ablation is therapeutic and organised. The purpose being to interrupt the crazy AF electrical impulses.

On the contrary over a period of time bad and heavy scarring of the atrium is caused by the continual AF rhythm.

It was noted on my discharge letter in March that the scarring in my atrium had significantly progressed since they last mapped my heart in September.

Not ideal for me but I intend to keep positive.

Pete

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Thank you for that very clear a d informative post. Whatever happens next Pete you now that absolutely all tbe stops have been pulled out. You will never have to wonder if you could have done more and that for me would make it easier to accept whatever the next steps may be. However, regardless of the poor prognosis let us for now just celebrate your hopefully continuing NSR. Enjoy your recovery time Pete.x

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Couldn't put it better, so amen 💛

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Sounds as though you were cared for by an amazing team. Make haste slowly now in recovery

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Glad to hear you are taking it easy. Fascinating to hear about the technology. I did not know about the scarring as it has never been mentioned to me. Hopefully you will remain in nsr and there will be no further scarring.

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Well done Pete, and thanks for the detailed account.....boring it wasn't! Seems incredible that you were allowed home so soon after such a long procedure, I can only assume they wanted to kick you out coz you were trubble!!

Your right about dealing with the prognosis, I'm sure that with all that state of the art mapping equipment you are in a much better place than you were before.....take it easy, John

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One of the reasons they wanted to kick me out was because of my allergies caused by hospital heart monitor electrodes. I am pretty sure that otherwise they would have kept me in overnight.

Pete

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I have a problem with them Pete , I go in Thursday for my procedure , I blister terrible under them sticky pads and plasters 😐

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Tell them to spray your skin with 'Opsite' before they stick anything on you Sam. It really works for me and I have acute allergies.

Pete

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Thank you for this Pete, I know what you mean about the allergies. I got burns/ allergic reaction from cardio versions and spent half of the night after my last cardioversion in the shower. Also in the garden wearing very little trying to cool down as much as possible. ( sorry for any gruesome images that may now keep you awake!)

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Pete, I didn't fall asleep either! Thank-you for all the info.. I might add that I just realized this forum is a U.K. group- how wonderful as I was born in Kent to a British Mum and an American Dad. I live in U.S. but so appreciate my British roots!

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I think that maybe there are a majority of members from the UK but it is by no means an exclusively UK forum.

We have regular contributions from members from for example the USA and Australia.

Pete

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Hi Pete,

Well Done!

My Best Wishes To You

Barry

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Oh Pete. I am so sorry to hear what you have been through. I thought your troubles were over when you have your ablation in March. It just shows what a stubborn condition AF is and it won't be beaten without putting up a great resistance. I do hope you will rest, rest and take more rest after all that you have been through. My thoughts are with you. Annel

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Your EP sounds amazing, Pete, and I certainly didn't fall asleep! Wishing you well with your recovery.

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Best wishes for continued NSR

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Best wishes in your recovery x

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I worked in the cath lab in the 70s never thought I would end up on the table ! Amazing the progress in technology i'm so grateful for what they can do now. One year after ablation Ihave now been given flexainide for SVTs which has really helped but still have to rest a lot maybe my age . Take it easy .

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So glad your ok Pete 😊🙏🏼❤️ and there are some fantastic mapping systems out there now . Hope your ok and back to normal again soon my friend x

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Pete great news and very interesting to hear about Orion, I shall be asking my EP about that. Here's hoping NSR for good and plenty of rest.

Tim

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Brilliant news Pete. I really hope things work out for you. So far it all sounds really positive.

Like yourself I developed atrial tachycardia following ablation for AF. I expect Harefield to confirm my ablation date very soon.

Orion sounds most interesting and I will discuss this when I next see my EP. Cheers Nick

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