This post is written knowing the old phrase “one swallow does not mean it is spring”.
Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and read on.
There are regular posts on this forum asking, before and after, the question - “how successful is an ablation”. For this reason I thought I would give you all an update on my progress. Please forgive me if I repeat some of what I have said before.
As many will recall I am somewhat of an exception and I have now had 7 ablations for a combination of Atrial Fibrillation, Atrial Flutter and Atrial Tachycardia.
I have often had comments alluding to the fact that the first 6 must have been failures. However, the truth is that it is not always possible to identify all the paths on the first or even subsequent attempts.
It must be realised that under a microscope the inner walls of the heart must look like the surface of the moon and that coupled with the EP working on a beating heart makes the ablation process all the more remarkable. It is without doubt a procedure that should only be carried out by the highly skilled Cardiac Electrophysiologists.
I had my 6th Ablation in March 2017 which was aimed at Atrial Fibrillation and Flutter. After that, for the first time, I then developed Atrial Tachycardia and all Summer 2017 my heart was beating at >125bpm resting. On August 24th I had my 7th ablation when my remarkable EP addressed the Tachycardia, this procedure took around 6 ½ hours.
I have been a PAF sufferer for 26+ years that was occurring on a very regular basis. However, in the past year I have only had one short bout of AF and have been in NSR (apart from that blip) for longer than I ever have in all the years I have suffered this awful condition.
Over the past 2 years my ECG results have been non too encouraging and my EP has said to me that because of my poor conductivity I would most likely need to have a pace and ablate procedure sooner or later. Because I have multiple allergies I have resisted this option.
The good news is that I had my four months follow up yesterday with my EP and he says that my ECG was significantly better than he had seen it for over 2 years and that had I been anyone without my history he would have discharged me back to the ‘care’ of my GP. In my case, he has promised to keep me monitored and to see me every 6 months.
Despite the fact that I have been having ablations almost annually since 2009 I would still recommend this procedure should anyone with AF be offered this. My only caveat is that wherever possible you ensure that the EP has the necessary experience and success rate to ensure that you have the best possible chance of success.
My quality of life has improved immensely, and I am now feeling that I can approach my impending Hernia operation without having something else to worry about.
There is no such thing as a cure for AF but it is possible to improve your quality of life immensely.