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Esophogeal Mapping for Clots Prior to Ablation

I am scheduled for an ablation on June 18, but the doc says if I am in afib when I come in that day I'll have to have an esophageal procedure to check for clots which is very invasive and unpleasant. Basically putting something down my throat (camera?). Has anyone had one, and how bad is it?

I ask because stressful thoughts keep putting me in afib and I'm trying to counter them, but I wanted to be ready and know what to expect if it comes to this.

Thanks all.

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A fairly common procedure generally known as TOE which most people have prior to their ablation and often a cardioversion too. Whether you are having sedation or a general anaesthetic, you should not experience too much discomfort during the procedure but it's not uncommon for the throat to be tender for a few days after and something like Lansoprazole is normally prescribed to ease any soreness. Most people see it more as an irritation so try not to worry too much because the problems caused by worrying about it will be significantly greater than the reality.....best of luck for the 18th!!

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Thank you Flapjack, I feel better already! I think this will help ease my stress. The LAYERS of stress we cause for ourselves are unbelievable.

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I have had it done before they sedate you so whilst not pleasant the sedation normally leads to amnesia hence you remember little.

If you are having GA as I have had for the last three ablations they normally do it after you are put to sleep. If you are having GA for the ablation ask them if they can do it that way.

Pete

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In this case, I believe they're going to just give me something to numb the back of the throat. Thanks for answer Pete, you have put my mind at rest!

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I would ask for sedation if it was me.

Pete

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Will investigate.

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I had to have an endoscopy a month or so ago supposedly under sedation. The spray before was pretty awful taste but the actual procedure was fine and trust me when I say Linda Lovelace I am not!. Most TOEs are done under deep sedation or GA and having had three have never known a thing about any.

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My EP said that it would be cruel to do one without sedation.

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LOL !🐱

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LOL, thanks Bob! You've all took away the considerable trepidation I've been feeling about this with these answers.

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Yes, I've had just one as far as I know and that was carried out during a cardioversion under general anaesthetic so I knew nothing about it.

Best wishes for June 18th.

Jean

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Thanks Jean.

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I have had 3 of these prior to ablation and have to admit that in the beginning I was more worried about this than the ablation itself ! However you must tell yourself how vital it is to have this to look for clots which could cause stroke and then just get on with it.

No one can call it pleasant but it is over quickly and staff help to put you at ease.

Sandra

PS just remembered I have had 2 more for gastrocopy procedure...same idea swallowing a probe....and I have a very strong gag reflex. I was offered throat spray or sedation.....i opted for both !

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Thanks Sandra, I'm hoping VERY quickly, but you've had 3 and you're a girl, so I should quit whining!

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Of course females are made of strong stuff but you should still be ok😁 I believe the procedure is called TEE in the States and TOE here in UK

Good luck !

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That is because Americans can't spell Oesophagus Yatsura. lol Trans Oesophageal echocardiogram is the full title.

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Off topic. I have a friend in the UK who has been trying for YEARS to teach me there should be a 'u' in words like favour (americanese-favor), humour etc. I have had a good education across the pond otherwise but this spelling thing is useless for me. LOL I think he has given up. I'm 74 and you can't always teach an old dog new tricks!

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I'm actually English Bob, but that one must've slipped past the goalie! And that's a FOOTBALL goalie, not a "soccer" goalie, and definitely not a hockey goalie.....ok, I'm rambling.

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It is funny how terms change . When I did anatomy 60 years ago the top chambers of the heart were called auricles no atria (still are in some countries I think. There are lots of Americanisms in English and as Churchill once said . we are two countries separated by a common language. I still cant work out where the K comes from in EKG unless USA spells cardiac with a K?

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I was taught auricles too (I'm 52). And EKG has me flummoxed too. They have a lot of different names for things over here that most Brits probably don't know about.

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I am in America and have had two or three what the call here Tee procdure, when mine was done they put me to sleep. I had an ablation in Feb prior to that I had a conversion. They wont do a conversion if they think you missed your blood thinning med in the last 30 days. Yes they put the tube down you throat to see if there are any blood clots. If you are a sleep you won't fee a thing. Its the same procedure an an endoscopy. Here is a link google.com/search?q=tee+pro... check it out.

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I've had 6 but all under GA. No other way as far as I am concerned.

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I had a similar thing for gastric investigation s,was very worried as I get easily,but it was nothing to worry about.I had a mild sedative given,and to be honest,was surprised when they said all do n e!

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I’ve had two - both prior to ablations. The second was under GA as was the ablation so hassle free - the first was under sedation and I remember most of it though I dropped off a couple of times - it’s never pleasant having anything shoved down your throat - a few years ago I had a broncoscopy which is similar- but the sedation makes it bearable- sure you’ll be fine and it’ll be all worthwhile.

Think of tea and biscuits afterwards 😀

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I had one the day before my first CV, they sedated me, I remember little about it and certainly didn’t feel a thing (or don’t remember).

Had one years ago with no sedation and when the cameras were physically bigger now that was unpleasant!

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Hi afafaf, The procedure you are being asked to have is called a TOE Transoesophageal echocardiogram (TEE in the US). It is necessary that before your ablation the docs are sure you have no small clots. I had a TEE in March (for another reason). It was uncomfortable but only lasted about 10-15 minutes and I asked (as is our right) to have some sedation to help my anxiety. It is standard and actually helps your procedure be safer. Go ahead. It sounds terrible- "camera down your throat etc". But don't be deterred. The 'camera' is contained in a small round flexible tube inserted partially down your esophagus. The docs will give you some medicine to numb your throat and also your gag reflex. It's also helpful to remember they WANT you calm and cooperative so will give needed meds to accomplish this. Not as traumatic as the word camera makes it sound. I had my ablation in 2016 ( also a pacemaker). Am doing well and am glad I did. Good luck and if you want to PM me with further questions to help you through this please feel free anytime. Take care. irina

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Thanks Irina, all these answers are fantastic and are really helping. I'm hardly bothered about it at all now!

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Good. Anticipation is often worse than the actual event. I hope you will be pleasantly surprised.

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Just to support the other responses you've had about the TOE procedure - it's not painful, just a little awkward. I found that I needed to keep myself calm during the procedure (no sedation other than the spray) and control my breathing. I'd recommend putting Breathe Right strips on your nose to help keep the nostrils open, otherwise you end up trying to breathe through your mouth, better not to do that.

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Good tip, Peter, thanks, will keep that top of mind.

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Good advice, Never thought of that. Thanks, Peter

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I had this prior to my 3rd ablation and had a bit of a sore throat for a week or so, but no big drama. I was also prescribed a months medication to help overcome the effect. Don't let this minor side effect cause you any worry.

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Thanks Don, I will bear that in mind. What was the month's medication you were prescribed?

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It was lanzasprazole

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Ah, yep, makes sense.

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Did your cardiologist mention anesthesia for the internal echo cardiogram? I had that exam seven days ago under propofol and I felt nothing. They did find a clot so the ablation was cancelled and I am still in the hospital with a heparin drip and warfarin. Six months on Xarelto did not prevent a clot. I am so grateful that the found it and I avoided a stroke. Ask about sedation. Good luck to you.

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I think they said they give you a throat-numbing drug, but not sure if it was anything like propofol. Good job they did it and fond the clot for sure! Glad you're ok.

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