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AF Association
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Post Ablation Questions

Have suffered from AF and (what I thought was) SVT for 5 years and been in and out of hospital with it.

Last Thursday week I went into SVT and ended up in hospital again. It finally lowered and then I had an angio Friday morning to check for blockages due to some other symptoms.

Friday night I went itno SVT and/or AF 3 times - badly enough for 3 "medalerts" (think crash cart code blue kinda stuff) within 90 minutes. I was drowned in Adenisine twice and was finally cardioverted on the 3rd one.

I guess fortunately all 3 episodes were fully recorded so the medical team could review everything and see exactly what was happening.

My electrophysiologist decided what had been diagnosed as SVT was actually atrial flutter (not that I know the difference) and I had that as well as AF.

Up until then an ablation would have been elective for me which meant my health fund would have covered most but I would have still been several thousand out of pocket. Because this all happened while I was in it was changed to mandatory and because of our health system, would be free for me.

Initially the electrophysiologist said I would have to wait until January but again because of the events in hospital I was moved up the list and had my first of two ablations last Friday. The first was to address the flutter and the second will be to address the AF. That being said he feels that my AF should subside dramatically now the flutter is under control.

He was excellent and I feel very confident with him plus he got glowing reports from the staff which was a plus.

Due to another emergeency he couldn't spend much time with me before I was released so I was wondering if you guys could shed some light. I will be to see him in 2-3 weeks but was curious on the following:

1. I have read I should probably expect some AF/flutter after the ablation. Is this common or uncommon? I feel great at the moment and unlike most days where I can feel my heart kind of murmuring (you know what I mean) it feels strong and and I am not getting any kind of signals to indicate it's unhappy.

2. If AF or flutter afterwards is common is it usually milder than you would usually get? Would this usually start happening straight away or develop over time?

3. I am sleeping better than I have for ages and my energy levels seems to have returned to normal after years of feeling lethargic and "drab" for most of the day. Is this something others have noticed? I have been started on Thyroxin to address a SLIGHT hypothyroid issue so I wonder if thats whats helping my energy levels...

I know I am using terms like "normally" for something that isn't perhaps normal but because many of the stories post ablation are negative ones (understandably people talk more about the bad then the good) I am wondering if a good, solid trouble free result from ablation is common or the exception?

Should I expect problems ongoing?

4 Replies

Don't expect but don't be alarmed if you have the odd hiccup. I had a mild version of what you experienced and had a combined flutter and AF ablation, straight off meds and never looked back. I hope it works out the same for you.

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Hi Dave1961

I experienced quite a lot do fluttering for a while and had 3 full episodes of AF after my ablation the longest being for 6 hours at week,5 post op. However, since that day I have not experienced anything other than the odd ectopic. I am now just over 3 months post op and am off my blood thinners and Beta blockers. So, stay positive and give it time.

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Thanks. I know I am only 4 days post ablation but so far nothing apart from a slight 60 second run of AF on Sunday and am feeling really good. Fingers crossed!


In response to your comment "My electrophysiologist decided what had been diagnosed as SVT was actually atrial flutter (not that I know the difference) and I had that as well as AF."

Wikipedia can be a wealth of information :

Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is an abnormally fast heart rhythm arising from improper electrical activity in the upper part of the heart.[2] There are four main types: atrial fibrillation, paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT), atrial flutter, and Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome.[2] Symptoms may include palpitations, feeling faint, sweating, shortness of breath, or chest pain.[1]

So, AF and Atrial Flutter are types of SVT , with AF having an irregular pattern whereas Atrial Flutter is regular (like sinus but very fast so that it looks saw-toothed on an ECG)

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