AF Association

Waiting for radiofrequency ablation under general anaesthetic

Hi :I am a 73 years young lady with moderate COPD,also have proxysmal atrial fibrillation also flutter ,Sinus node disease,on waiting list for A/F ablation,on the left side,Cardiologist has told me there is 3-4% risk of major complication,particularly phrenic nerve palsy because of the COPD, Im very worried about this,sand dont know if I should go ahead,Has anyone had similar?.

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I had a RF ablation with a GA. I did not have a problem beyond AF but they did discover fibrosis in the left atrium. There are always risks with an invasive procedure and only you can decide what to do BUT what is your alternative?

I couldn't carry on with the uncertainty of AF attacks which made me feel so rotten. Life was hardly worth living. So I had the ablation and I've no regrets. I still have some MILD episodes but I can cope using flecainide as a pill-in-the-pocket.

Best wishes

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jennydog,thank you for your reply,I have to go ahead as there is no enjoyment in life ,as im always waiting for the next one ,and I have had to stop doing so many things,

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I forgot to tell you why I had a GA. I did ask the EP why. He said it was because he wanted the Anaethetist to look after me whilst he concentrated on the ablation. So it's a safety strategy.

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Hi, I'm 45 and have paroxysmal AF, I had an ablation on Sept 1 but the cryo bag instead of RF, I have been in A&E five times this year because of my AF.

I had my ablation under GA and was pretty anxious as well, the cardiologist gave me quite a few different stats of the things that could happen but at the end of the day they have to that's why you sign for it, it's just procedure so don't worry about it, they carry out these every day.

I feel at ease now I've had it done and couldn't go on with AF, although don't expect to wake up all fixed though, you'll still have to wait a few months for the scar tissue to form and you will get the odd palpatation but only very mild, but it's part of the healing process.

If AF is making your daily routine poor then do it or it will only get worse, don't read into what could happen.

Good luck and I hope you beat it.

Ant.

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After having yet another nasty A/F attack,I have decided to go ahead,just waiting for the date,thank you for your advice, wishing you well.

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Good morning

My view is that if your AF is affecting your quality of life then having an ablation, if offered, is worth taking the relatively low range of risks that are associated.

However whilst I can speak from experience of ablation with GA I do not suffer from COPD.

This condition probably does add to the risk of anaesthetic but I know from a recent occasion, when an ablation planned for me was cancelled because of an allergy, anaesthetists do not take chances with your life when you are in their care.

We are all different therefore I recommend you ask lots of questions.

By the way for clarification ablation for AF is always carried out in the left atrium and ablation for Atrial Flutter is carried out in the right atrium.

Pete

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Thank you for your views,I had an ablation done on the right side it did not work,I have both A/F and flutter ,they are going to do mapping on the right side,i will be going ahead ,just waiting for the date,

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Hello

They ablate the right for flutter and left for AF. I too had an ablation on the right the first time 9 years ago for flutter despite the fact that I knew I had AF. They did this because the ECG had shown flutter as well as AF and the Consultant, an eminent Professor, thought that they would try that first as it was less risky.

I went into AF whilst they were trying to ablate for flutter in the right chamber.

They then had to next do another ablation on the left for AF a year later.

There followed two more ablations for AF and then one ablation for AF and Flutter.

6 months later I had another ablation, in March this year, for just AF and then most recently - 3 weeks ago, I had an ablation for Atrial Tachycardia as this rhythm had developed after the last AF ablation - 120+bpm at rest.

This time I am feeling better than I have ever before after a procedure and I am actually feeling positive despite being only too aware how quickly things change. I know that the most important thing is to avoid stress.

You might be interested to know that the image at the top of my post is a 3D mapping image of a heart using the mapping equipment they used on my 3 weeks ago.

Technology is moving on a pace and we AF suffers can only benefit.

Best wishes

Pete

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I admire you for your perseverance,and wish you well.

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A little reassurance from me. I have asthma/copd and had my ablation 18 months ago. In fact spent my 82nd birthday in hospital recovering. Only two tiny AFs since then. My lungs are more of a problem than my heart at the moment. Hope this makes you feel less apprehensive about making a decision.

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Thank you for your reassurance,after a bad attack of A/F with all the side effects that come with it,I am going ahead with the ablation,I find( Bisoperal ) I take 7'5ml daily makes my COPD worse,You certainly have had a lot to cope with,I wish you a speedy recovery.

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If you do a search on here (little magnifying glass top right) you should find posts from people who have had phrenic nerve damage, if you think that will help you decide. I am about your age and had asthma and the rest plus a fused spine so I was very nervous but my alternative was a pacemaker so I decided to take the risk and I'm glad I did.

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Thank you ,for your advice,I have just had a reminder of why I need an ablation,just had quite a severe A/f attack that lasted 16 hours,so completely washed out,So will go ahead.

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Had a cryo ablation on the 9th September, conscious to start with, but can't remember anything after they started to freeze until I was back on the ward. Some minor breathing issues (to be expected) but not as bad as I thought it would be. I feel a bit "hearty", but far better than I did before. My wife was amazed at how good my colour was afterwards, I had lost the grey colour from AF that I'd had for the previous couple of weeks. I'm 58, so really didn't want to be on meds for the next 30+ years.

I know the risks look worrying, but you stand more chance of being run over - how many people believe they are going to win the lottery, and the odds of that are 14.3 million to one against! You can only do what feels right for you, but I have had no regrets so far

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Thank you for your reassurance ,Im glad it has gone well for you.

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