AF Association

First visit to the cardiologist

First visit to the cardiologist

I wasn't in there long. The summary of my consultation as follows:

He recommends ablation, given that I have a low resting HR and wish to return to sport. I am being referred to an EP to take this further. (I don't relish heart surgery at age 38, but, I feel content that they are going straight for the "solution" rather than wasting time trying alternatives.

Potassium / Magnesium supplementation is not advised. He didn't go into details, but said that a deficiency is not the cause in my case.

I can participate in exercise as long as I am in NSR. (Whilst I suspect that exercise is my trigger, I have yet to fully confirm this. I plan to experiment further, within sensible limits).

I am to stay on Anticoagulation even though I have only been in AF for 24 hours out of the last month. I was surprised at this decision but I will go with it for now.

He was most impressed with my Heal Force ECG scans, and made a note of the model. I said that it had been of great use and reassurance to me to be able to see my heart behaviour at any time of the day. I said that everyone with a heart condition should have one. He disagreed and said it would lead to many unnecessary visits to the hospital!

I have periods where I have PACs (most of the time), periods when I have PVCs (less frequent) and periods when I have both. I feel that these periods lead into AF, but I am not 100% sure. The cardiologist was not concerned and said there is not necessarily any connection.

So, my journey towards treatment begins. Not to say there won't be a few more curveballs, but for now, i feel that we are on a road to somewhere at last.

14 Replies
oldestnewest

Great outcome methinks MeJulie.....just minor point, and ablation is not really surgery as no scalpels are used!! Best wishes for a successful journey, please keep us informed of progress.....John

1 like
Reply

Thanks John.

Reply

Sounds like you've had a really useful meeting.

Can you tell me if your Heal Force Prince ECG device differs from the Kardia one. It looks like it performs similarly.

Sandra

Reply

Sandra, does look similar. With the Heal Force you can connect chest electrodes which gives a really clear ECG plot. Pretty much as good as a proper ECG. Does the Kardia have that option?

Reply

No it doesn't have chest electrodes....just the two electrodes for fingers on each hand. Gives a really clear reading though and can be emailed easily to cardio etc if necessary or to Kardia for an analysis if wanted.

I've found mine really useful and reassuring.

Sandra

2 likes
Reply

Glad you have a treatment plan, always good to have a clear way forward. Best wishes.

2 likes
Reply

Hi Julian

I had my ablation 3 days ago (about 3 months since the AF was confirmed by my consultant) and am now on anticoagulants for 3 months. They weren't proposed for me prior to that due to the lack of other risk factors.

If you're surprised about that recommendation (presumably because it wasn't explained and/or you don't have other risk factors) then I'd query it. It may simply be that the general cardiac consultant is playing safe, in which case the EP may revise the prescription.

I was in AF more often than you, sometimes several times in a day, some days not at all. I was lucky to be asymptomatic, other than the impact it had on my running. I don't have an ECG machine to know exactly what I was experiencing and how often - I used my Polar HRM to confirm the fast AF (without it I couldn't be sure if it was AF or ectopics - but I had plenty of both).

As for PACs and PVCs, I've heard of them, but I wouldn't know how to distinguish them from ectopics or whether it's useful to do so. And I'm rather hoping that from here on I won't need to.

Steve

1 like
Reply

Hi Steve, I only know about the PAC’s and PVCs because they show up on my ECG as different shapes and at different places, and I was interested to find out what they were. I always seem to feel lightheaded when they are about, but as with most thing associated with my heart, I can’t confirm any associations 100%. Perhaps in months to come I will be more certain about things. Great news about your ablation. I hope you make a swift and full recovery. 3 months sounds like a short wait – was this through the NHS?

Reply

Fortunately I have Bupa membership through my job so was able to go privately. Not entirely cost free, because of the excesses and limits, but obviously much quicker.

Does your monitor also show ectopics or are they just a more general name for all abnormal beats?

And does your monitor actually identify the PACs and PVCs, or do you do that by interpreting what it displays?

Reply

I have attached a photo to my original post which shows my ECG when I’m having both PACs and PVCs. The PACs are the normal looking beat which happens very quickly after a normal beat. The PVCs are those weird looking beats. Both very easy to identify when you know what you are looking for.

Interesting to hear that you went through BUPA. I am not currently with BUPA, but my work can get me covered and they don’t exclude pre-existing conditions. My concern is that their policy says “no chronic conditions”, and I believe that AF is a chronic condition (but perhaps not on their list!)

Reply

Sounds like a very positive result! Which part of the country are you in? I'm on the waiting list for one of those too, not overly keen, but trying to get my head round it... We sound similar with normally low resting heart rate and wanting to get back to sport. Are you, by chance, thinking of going to the AF Patients day on October 1st in Birmingham? Cheers, Andy

Reply

Hi Andy, I'm in the northeast of England, near Newcastle. I hadn't heard of the AF Patients day but will look it up. How long is your waiting list - do they give you any idea?

Reply

Hi Julian,

The waiting list here (Oxford) is "about 4 months". I've just gone on it, so I'm "hoping" they might be able to squeeze me in before Christmas? The Patients Day look interesting (the agenda of talks is on this website, I believe there are two or three sessions in parallel and you can move between them). I am going to try and go, as Birmingham isn't too far away. Unfortunately, it's a long way for you to come for a day. But if you do, let me know, it would be good to say "hello"!

Cheers, Andy

Reply

Sounds great! Good to hear your proactive approach has yielded such a quick response. I may have to get myself one of those Healforce devices.

Reply

You may also like...