AF Association
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Complications from left atrial ablation

Hi all. Im new. I had an ablation for a ligament of marshall this past Thursday. I have suffered from tachycardia and exercise intolerance for over a year. This was suppose to fix my problem. I know its only been a few days, my tachycardia seems worse and ive been experiencing left sided numbness in face, leg and toes. I am worried there has been a complication from the procedure and my biggest fear is AEF/atrial esophageal fistula. has anyone experienced anything like this? How likely could AEF be.

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Hi Ianie - you seem quite worried about major complications from the procedure which I think may only be answered by a doctor. Have you seen one? Please contact the team who performed the procedure.

The only think I think we could answer is that it would not be unusual to experience tachycardia after atria ablation for AF or AFl for some weeks but as I am not familiar with the procedure you have had I would not like to comment.

AF is characterized by an irregular not a fast heart beat, although it may also be fast. If your heart beat is regular, than it is unlikely to be AF but it could be Atrial Flutter but you would need an ECG to be read by a cardiologist to confirm a diagnosis.

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Thank you for your response :) They said it wasn't Af, but it was an atrial ablation. Ligament of marshall is something we all have in utero, but is supposed to close after birth. Its similar to an AF ablation. One of the complications from any type of atrial ablation is AEF. Very scary complication. I must stay off google. But thank you for reassuring me about the tachycardia. I have been so frustrated and scared the last year, and was incredibly hopeful the ablation would give me my life back. So when the tachycardia was still there, i thought maybe the ablation was unsuccessful. Hearing its normal has made me feel better, so thank you :) as the AEF is concerned, i have mentioned it to my EP. He wasnt concerned. As an anxiety sufferer as well, it didnt ease my mind

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It will take quite a long time for your heart to heal so do take it very slowly getting back into normal, busy life style. We say the first week doing nothing, the second doing not much more and then gradually increasing your exercise.

Stress and worry will also increase your heart rate and you will feel the symptoms more so whilst you are recovering would be a really good time to use google to learn some relaxation and meditation techniques which in turn will ease your anxiety.

Very best wishes for your recovery CD

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Thank you. Thats a very good idea. It would be much better for me to use Google for positive sites on meditation rather than medical sites that only increase my anxiety. It has only been 4 days. Ive been taking it very easy. I tried to clean the kitchen tonight. Im a single mother of 4. My hr went into the 150s just wiping my counters, so i wont be doing that again.

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That must be very hard and stressful for you, being a single Mum. I do hope you have some family support because this is a time you need it. x

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Its been very stressful. Unfortunately I have no family left. Ive lost my parents and have no siblings, grandparents etc...your conversation with me has already made me feel better. Im very lucky to have found this group 😊

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So sorry for that and pleased if our chat has helped. Your response has made me quite tearful, holding you in mind.

This forum has been a fantastic source of help and support for me. x

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I agree with your suggestion re: tapping into some meditation techniques. I did that and found it very helpful. I was amazed to discover that I can actually bring my blood pressure down by meditating for 5-10 mins. To Ianie2721 I definitely sympathize with your situation and wish you to be feeling better soon.

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Your replys have made me misty as well. Its nice to have someone to talk with that actually understands what im going through. Again i thank you for the comfort and support. It means the world to me. Hope all is well with you. When did you have your ablation? Was is successful? How long was your recovery time?

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My first ablation was 2013 - made things worse but probably because I overdid things too soon - but second 12 weeks later worked and I was without AF for nearly 3 years. Unfortunately AF episodes returned 12 months ago, although not nearly as frequently or as severe and symptomatic.

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Im sorry to hear that. Having a misbehaved heart is no fun. I wish you all the best. 💖😊

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If you have any suspicions about AEF, have them checked out as it could be a nagging worry otherwise. Although it might happen only rarely, it would be best to be sure your fears are unfounded.

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I called me Ep today and told him of my concern. He said is was highly doubtful and left it at that 😔 im sure its just my anxiety getting the best of me. When the numbness started, i worried more. Thank you for your advice. If anything gets worse, ill put another call in.

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Hi Lanie and welcome :-) you are understandably worried about post operative symptoms and it is easy for me when I am not in that position to say 'stop worrying' but that is what you must try to do . By all means discuss your fears with your doctor but it is such early days yet to make any assumptions .

When you are stressed you body releases hormones and they are not helpful to you at this time. Think of an army trying to fight two battles at once, much better for you body to concentrate all its energy on one battle that of healing.

Do you know any relaxation techniques, use them and anything else to distract you from thinking too much about complications .

Wishing you well very soon...:-)

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Thank you. I know a few breathing technics and I try to distact with solitare or other solo games. Im going to YouTube some meditation guides, hoping that will help. You're absolutely right! Dwelling on maybes and unlikely complications is not productive for the healing my body needs.

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"techniques"

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Lanie I would advise you to get any numbness checked out medically immediately. Migraines are common after ablations and numbness can be a symptom of migraine as has been in my case in the past. But numbness can also be due to other things and you need full medical assessment to determine this. It could just be anxiety causing you to go numb but I think you should get checked for peace of mind. It is very early days since your ablation so keep your hope that it will improve things for you. Sending you a cyber hug from one mum to another xx

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Thank you ((hugs)) back. I went to the ER earlier tonight and was dismissed of my concerns and was sent home. They see my chart and history of anxiety and i don't feel they take me seriously. I called the Ep last morning and he also didnt seem concerned. Now im just trying to relax my mind and am very grateful to have found this group.

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That's good you have been checked out. Rest plenty and be around people you love for support and distraction xx

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Thats the thing, they didnt check me. They took my vitals and dismissed me without an actual exam. I dont know what to think. I am going to try and rest. Thank you 😊

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Well I don't encourage feeding anxiety but if you have persistent doubts and believe deep down beyond anxiety that this needs checked then be persistent. Sometimes you have to just advocate for yourself. Get someone to go with you to speak up for you if you find it difficult. Take care and keep us posted. You are not alone xx

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My biggest fear when I had an ablation was AEF! However my anaesthetist was aware I suffer from GORD and gave me medication during the procedure and after to prevent acid reflux. You don't mention any symptoms that suggest you have that problem - pain, difficulty swallowing etc so I think you're ok and you just have to trust your EP. Your vitals would show if you have infection or inflammation and if the numbness is caused by some sort of complication from the procedure it's been and gone, if you see what I mean, and should improve.

I really feel for you, being responsible for children with no backup when you are ill causes great anxiety anyway (been there). I can only send you love and best wishes for a speedy recovery, after which your household germs better tremble! 💖

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AEF is a scary thought! My EP called me back today and was very reassuring that it should not be anything I should concern myself with. The area he ablatied was not close enough to cause concern for AEF. That was a huge anxiety weight lifted. They do have me on protonix for GERD as I also suffer from that. I feel much better today. This support group has also helped very much ❤ 😊

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Don't stress yourself cleaning anything! A little dirt/mess won't kill anyone and you must look after yourself so you can look after others - prioritise you for once

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Im not going to clean, or any of those things. I just want the tachys to stop. Im at 130 just walking to the bathroom. 😔

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