Ablation as opposed to meds: I had an... - AF Association

AF Association

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Ablation as opposed to meds


I had an attempted ablation a few months ago which was aborted as the arrythmia was for flutter and it was in the left atrium so deemed a bigger procedure and would need to be done under general. AT the time I had been on disopyramide and it wasn't working but since then I have had bisoprolol 1,25 twice a day and its great and I am a lot better and getting better every day. I want to stay as I am with this and diet and magnesium but now the EP and cardiac team say they still want to do procedure What is the point as it doesn't reduce stroke risk and is all about QOL which the beta blockers have given me?

2 Replies

If you had asked me 4 years ago I would have said ablation rather than drugs - now I would say lifestyle and nutrition always and as few drugs or interventions as possible after that - but it does depend upon your quality of life, age and general fitness, your symptom tolerance levels and the possible progression of AF if left untreated.

I think it is a personal choice and it sounds like you tolerate Bisoprolol, which I didn’t, and you have your reservations so I would explore your reservations personally, develop a list of questions to ask your EP - listen to the answers and then decide.

Any procedure or drug regime is a risk:benefit analysis and you are the only person who can say what is right for you at this time - but ensure it is an informed rather than a biased decision.


Flutter is in the right atrium and more easily dealt with as there is no need to pass through the septum to get there. Fibrillation is in the left and far more complex so I understand the situation.

Many people find drugs intolerable (me for one) but as you say treatment is only for improved QOL . so why take risk. My only caution is that AF is normally a progressive condition so be prepared to have to change you mind at some time in the future. I had to and then went on to have three ablations. In the mean time as CD suggests look long and hard at lifestyle choices as these are as if not more important than any outside treatment.

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