Is a pacemaker the next step?

Hi people I follow these posts as find them helpful when trying to get advice for my dad.

He has had 3 ablation and 5 cardioversions and back in AF again. He can’t take betablokers as they make him ill. I feel like he is getting fobbed off as they keep saying he doesn’t need a pacemaker and an ablation is needed but nothing has worked long term.

The last ablation lasted 3-4 weeks and is back in AF for the last 3 weeks. We have a consultant meeting tomorrow and not sure if to push for a pacemaker. He is only 67 and no no quality of life at the moment.

Thank you.

19 Replies

  • A pacemaker will not stop AF. All it will do is maybe improve his QOL by maintaining a better ventricular rate leaving the atrium to carry on doing it's mamba or whatever Dave Brubeck beat it fancies. He will may feel better but still be aware of the fibrillation. Even Pace and ablate would do this of course leaving him PM dependent.

  • It just seems so final getting a pacemaker but he is so low I don’t think he will want to go through an ablation again for it not to work again.

    Does a pacemaker stop the breathlessness do you know?

    Thank you for your reply BobD 😊

  • If they can program it to maintain a good ventricular rate it may help but it is not guaranteed.

  • After ablation which failed miserably and made me worse than I was before I have had a Pacemaker now for going on 3 years due to breathlessness and low heart rate and it has greatly improved my quality of life, I still take heart drugs however namely Bisoporal and Disopyramide and an anticoagulant so for me a pacemaker has been a God send

  • It’s so confusing what the best thing to do is. Thank you for your reply it’s reassuring to hear your life has improved 😊

  • I just knew I couldn't keep going because I was so breathless and felt so wretched most of the time and now I am so pleased that I took my cardio's advice, he has been my cardio for 17years so knows me well and my question always to him was 'what would you advise if I was your Mother' and after weighing up all the pros and cons I went for the Pacemaker. I am 73 years old so grateful for each extra year lol

  • I so understand what he is going through. And you as his daughter. I had my Ablation on Sept. 12th and after about a week I was back in AF. Such a bummer and disappointed. My doctors nurse when i called did not seemed concerned as she told me the first 3 month there can be changes and irregular heart things going on. Was also told i had PNI and that is what was causing my shortness of breath. I had the shortness of breath before the Ablation and it seems worse now. It has not let up and when my insurance nurse that comes each year to do follow up said I was in AF. I see my electrician doctor on the 18th and am anxiously waiting for an update. I wish your Dad the best of luck.

  • I personally do not favour pace and ablate which is generally the last resort for AF. It does and has worked for some though.

    Regarding ablations each procedure adds to the previous work and each ablation if not successful should not be necessarily be considered a failure.

    I have had 7 of the former and more than 20 of the latter. 7 weeks ago today I had my last ablation probably in both senses of the description.

    So far I have been AF free since and I feel better than I have for a long time.

    I know it is early days but I am feeling more confident every day.

    I am 70 so it is never too late.

    I think your dad should not dismiss a further ablation if offered.


  • Thanks Pete I’ve not really thought of it like that how each procedure adds to the precious work. My thoughts have been how can you have so many ablation!! Obviously 7 are still safe, my thoughts now going in to the consultants appointment has changed a little now hearing you favour ablations so much. I will put my thought over and see what they say. Thanks again. Michelle.

  • Thanks for the reply Michelle

    My explanation was to highlight that multiple ablations should not be dismissed.

    However every patient has differing conditions. For this reason I believe the important thing is to get a good EP Consultant and then discuss fully all the benefits and limitations of each procedure that is suggested.

    I hope the consultation is successful.


  • Thank you Pete. He has a great cardiologist in Newcastle upon Tyne so hopefully we will get some answers and much needed advice.

  • Is the cardiologist an EP, electrophysiologist, as they are the specialists in arrhythmias

  • I’m not sure to be honest. What does an EP do compared to a cardiologist?

  • Bob defines it as the cardiologist is the plumber and the EP is the electrician - extra training in the electrics of the heart.

  • Oh I don’t know I’ll have to check that out. I’ve seen EP written all over here but just thought it was another name for cardiologist! I guess he’s an EP as he actually does the ablation so he would know about the electrics of it all I would think..?

  • Yes, sounds like it!

  • 😊

  • Hi im 52 and been in af for many years. Ive.had 5 ablatioms

    And was given pace and ablate in jan this year. Ungortunately.although adjusted it hasnt.worked. but offered another.pacemaker which will incorparate.two wires going to either heart. Been a hard decision and ive.reasearched and seeked second.opions. as going through another.op wasnt the ideal answer.

    my next surgery is mid november. And im trying to stay positive. That this time ill have a better outcome. Bur ive been warned it may not work as my condition is quite bad. Im just taking each day as it comes. So i guess there is no guarantee a pacemaker will work for everyone. For some its changed their lfe . ....

  • Hi everyone - following yesterday’s appointment I think the outcome was that a pacemaker will help the pump function as it’s this that is severely damaged. The appointment was just with the local hospital so will wait until we see the consultant in Newcastle upon Tyne to confirm this is going ahead.

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