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cryoablation

Hi I’m on day 2 recovering from a cryoablation. I had a complication of a pericardialeffusion which was just a tiny rim that was unchanged so they weren’t concerned.. I had a local anaesthetic so was aware of what was going on.. They used a pacer to jog my heart into Afib as it was in SR. I wonder whether anyone else found the experience overwhelming, I was told I may feel strong hiccups but you couldn’t compare the feeling to hiccups.. It was awful.! I am feeling very well and am happy I had it done but regret not having a general anaesthetic..The experience was too much for me.! My heart is in SR so far so if it stays it was worth it! But if there is a next time I will definitely have a general anaesthetic..

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Sadly Eileen it isn't always up to us. Different EPs use GA and some sedation . It ,means they do not have to have an anaesthetist present which makes it cheaper and easier to schedule.

Now rest for the next week or two and don't forget to read our fact sheet on Recovering from an Ablation.

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Thanks Bob ..I would prefer sedation as the recovery is quicker but would be too worried about the procedure..

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Some EPs and Health Trusts favour sedation.

I had 3 ablations with sedation but I had a terrible time rather like your experience and because of that it was decided that I should have GA for the subsequent ablations I had.

There is a cost implication and often you have to wait longer as they don’t have as many GA slots in the system.

For me GA was a much better experience although non of it is a walk in the park.

Pete

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Good to read I’m not the only one who had a difficult time.. I was beginning to think I had a low threshold of pain..Thanks pottypete..

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hello Eileen, even a GA has it's problems. I had one last Friday and I was vomiting quite severely and the guy opposite me was in an even worse state. As they say, no pain, no gain and everyone is effected differently. Two years ago, I had a cryoablation under sedation and also experienced the violent thuds when pacing. It felt like having a CV without a GA! The good thing is the memory fades over time so just try and focus on the advice in the fact sheet.

This morning I woke up two days post a RF ablation feeling as fresh as a daisy, but as time progressed, breathing has become a little more laboured and pulse rate has dropped a bit....but I'm sure it will all calm down in the next few days so let's both start to feel better together.....

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Glad you are on the other side of it ,safely Flapjack. Enjoy some rest and recuperation now. We will miss you at Nosh and Natter next weekend. X

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depends how things develop dedottie….not helped by the current train strikes!!

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Oh dear. I hope the trains from and to Cardiff are still running!

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It was local services from South Western Trains, don’t think it will have any effect on national networks.....

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I wished they had warned us of the violent thuds.. Also I didn’t feel terribly sedated and was very aware of the entire procedure which I hoped I would be too spaced out to know what was going on....Thanks Flapjack I wish you well too.. And considering the intense procedure I’m feeling ok...

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That was my problem. On the last occasion they used sedation on me I was aware and awake all the way through including being cardioverted.

Pete

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That’s so bad! Why don’t they bloody ask if you need topping up? It’s beyond me!

Eileen

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I have had 7 ablations in total. It was the first 3 where I had sedation. The last of which was the one where I was awake all the time. Most of my ablations have lasted between 4 & 7 hours but the longer ones were under GA.

On the last sedated ablation I continued to complain that I was uncomfortable and was feeling everything they said they were giving me more sedation but nothing seemed to happen. I then experienced the cardioversion, not pleasant. I have had about 20 over the years and always with General Anaesthetic which is fine as a rule.

I wrote to the hospital telling them that things were not good for me when I had the ablation on that occasion. In addition I spoke to my EP at my next outpatients appointment. He asked me to write in because he told me that they had been told to minimise the amount of sedation they used and that was probably why I had problems. He retired.

Since then I have had 4 more ablations under GA with different EPs and the latest has been a qualified success where I have only had 2 very short episodes of AF in the past year and a few ectopics. I have had PAF for 26 years so my QOL is the best it has ever been.

I am an advocate of ablation but only by very skilled EPs and only if your QOL is so bad and you are symptomatic like I always am in AF.

Hope you feel better soon.

Pete

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God reading your history makes me feel I’m just making a fuss! But it all needs to be aired as that’s the only way things can change! What a lot you’ve been through.. Your Amazing👍

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That is what this forum is all about.

AF plays mind games and despite having it for so many years even a short burst like I had this morning for the first time in 6 months put me into a state of panic.

I have calmed down now and it feels like it might be OK now. I tell others what to do but I am very bad at taking my own advice.

Best not to keep taking your pulse. Take slow deep breaths and relax as much as you can. Take your mind off it by trying to concentrate on other things.

Pete

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I also experienced feeling these thuds - was completely out of it with sedation till the thuds started, I heard myself call out "my god whats that" and I must have been given more sedation as I don't remember anything else so my point is shout out if you feel pain or too uncomfortable.

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Yes but I felt gaged and couldn’t speak! They need to take this on board! Some people are too traumatised...

Eileen

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I have learned from experience that not all anaesthetists are equally competent. I was lucky when I had my GA as they asked if I was likely to throw up (yes!) and the anaesthetist was determined I shouldn't so I suspect she gave me enough anti sickness medication to put me out without the anaesthetic, could hardly swallow for 12 hours but I'm not complaining. I think the aim was to protect my oesophagus.

I hope you feel much better soon 💐

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The anaesthetic did ask if I had had any previous problems but apart from a small op donkeys years ago I had no history......I’ll know different if there’s a next time......😩

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I have had 2 very different experiences both with sedation. For one I was out for the count for the other I felt and experienced far too much. I had hypnosis for for 4 weeks before the first but took a cancellation for the second so had no time and my adrenaline was running very high so I wondered if all that was what made the difference or of course ,someone incompetent administering the drugs.....probably more likely. Anyway, I cant say I would be jumping up and down to repeat the performance....Im afraid I prefer the dentist!!

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It shows their not together on the sedation issues! I’m very surprised considering I was in the best hospital in the country! I thought all would be cool! 🤪

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Hello Eileen! Glad it's all over for you and you are on the road to recovery.

Interesting to hear what you and others are saying about Cryo ablations under sedation.

I had my first 2 RF ablations under sedation. I was in NSR when they commenced and certainly was unaware when AF was started up. I'm wondering if weaker sedation is given with Cryo procedures. My 3rd one was under GA.I went into fast AF at home shortly before I left for the hospital so must have made things easier.

I have a 4th one in the pipeline . Hope it's not Cryo !!

Sandra

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Yes Yatsura I’m sure it must be weaker..As I said in the previous reply I felt totally aware and I thought I would have be in a dream like state! Good luck with your 4th ablation and hope you stay in SR permanently...

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I think we are expected to tell them if things are getting uncomfortable and they will increase the sedation, but us blokes are far too self conscious to ask!!!

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I don't know about increasing sedation....if mine was progressing as badly as those mentioned here and I was fully awake I would call a halt !! (We're not strapped down after all 🤤😢.....)

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Hard to call a halt when they are in the process of a ablating! I didn’t have the strength! Good if a nurse would ask regularly if I needed more sedation so I could at least nod! Ah well feeling ok now so mustn’t grumble...🤪

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Whilst this doesn't make for pleasant reading for novices about to undergo Cryo ablation , I would think that the lesson learnt now is to make sure before the procedure begins that you are able to indicate at any time when more pain relief is needed. And dont be afraid to speak up....its your body.

Sandra

Ps my first 2 ablations under sedation were each around 4 hours and was well looked after with topping up of painkillers when indicated.

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Absolutely! They need to find a strategy to make sure people are sedated properly and in accordance to their specific needs!

Eileen

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No your not strapped down but you are all wired up and have tubes coming out of both arms. In my experience once you are in hospital it is often like being a child again being told what to do and do not challenge what is being told to you.. I always find it so hard to assert myself yet I am normally an assertive person.

Pete

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I have to remind myself not to get too assertive when I feel things are not going right or I don't like the way I'm being treated. Fortunately (for all concerned 😁) this does not happen very often.

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Yes I definitely felt like the victim and they had all the power...but we are in this place of the unknown fearful and helpless like putty in their hands!

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I felt too traumatised to speak! My mouth was like a desert..Think they heard me whinging!

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Mine was RF ablation both times. X

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Hope all continues to go well for you Eilleen. X

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Thankyou Dedeottie ...

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I hope it was worth it in the end 💐

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Fingers crossed...🙏

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Hi Eileen

I had my first SVT ablation under sedation. It was 4 hours of hell without a positive result. Well there was one positive, the EP said it was really easy to trigger the arrhythmia so when they tried again they would be able to do it under general anaesthetic.

All the best for your recovery.

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Thanks Kaz 4 hours? OMG you must be tough! Mine was about 1 hour and don’t know how I survived that! Not enough evidence is given about the sedation procedure! Good luck with the GA next time! At least you’ll be asleep!

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Yes, I had 2 litres of IV fluid too and of course had to lay flat for hours afterwards. It was like a scene from a comedy when I had to wee in a bedpan without bending my legs. My next ablation was also 4 hours but that was under a GA and I they put in a catheter while I was unconscious.

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Woooow you had it hard.. The bedpan seems like an impossible task! Just what you don’t need! I realise every ablation is different so in no way should people reading these post believe that it is always difficult! As we know there are thousands that say it was nothing to fear.. So that’s the best thing to hang on to,...Everyone is individual 😍

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I was fine with it really- just wanted to laugh (but not laugh so hard that I had an accident 😂🤣😂

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Well i dont know what to say!I had cryo ablation July 2017 at Bristol Heart Institute it was nothing like you describe, i had sedation and was given topups as needed,i felt the hiccup likesensations but no pain,although everything did not go to plan (i had phrenic nerve damage) and would not hesitate to repeat procedure if necessary. Just thought i should give another side to the story for those who have not had their ablations yet. JANE

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Nice to know as I expect that is where I would go for another ablation IF I decide to have one. Annoying thing is I was given the option of another ablation without even asking but told no chance of a hip replacement even though I am struggling to walk 😬 - I wonder if I could do a trade in!

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So sorry to hear that, they seem to ration some procedures, all down to money i expect.I feel lucky i had cataract ops to both eyes earlier this year

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Thanks fastbeat..I made a point of saying everyone is different and has different experiences and the majority have good experiences.. But it’s also fair to say if you had a hard time then it’s alright to share your stories..That’s what the forums are all about, Glad your procedure went well..

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I am not sayingsome of you did not have a bad experience ,i was just trying to give at least one acceptable event so people still waiting for their ablations would see it can be ok for some, as you say we are all different with different EPs.

I hope your recovery is going well and has a successful outcome

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Yes I understand and welcome your comments.

Thankyou...

Eileen

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Hey Eileen,

Like you I had both a Cryo and RF at the same time in May this year and both were done under locals. It was horrible and not something I’d like to experience again!

I could feel the burning during the RF ablation at which point I enquired as to whether that was normal. I was told it wasn’t so they gave me a another dose of which didn’t work either.

I was told that they couldn’t give me anymore as it would lower my HR too much. So I had to endure it. They then began the Cryo ablation and I have never had such a severe headache/brain freeze as I did for 45 mins. It seemed like an eternity. I could feel them pushing on my groin to close me up and then I think I fell asleep because the next thing I knew I was in the ward being asked if I wanted something to eat.

For me, I’ve had quite a few ectopics but I went into AF twice since, but for less than a minute each, so the ablation worked. I’ve found stress is a big trigger for me, so at the moment I’m having relationship issues with my partner of 16 years which has definitely set me off with ectopics.

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Yes I also had the headache which was very weird as I was seeing white moving lights and stars..It didn’t last long but felt scary at the time. I wasn’t sure what was going on,.. But nothing as bad as yours..

I was only in their for around an hour but have so far felt fine....fingers crossed🙏

Eileen

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I am so sorry to hear about your experience. I had an ablation on saturday under GA and was really pleased I did as I was in theatre almost all day which ended up with a chest infection. My EP prefers a GA as I imagine it can't be nice for them to have a patient finding it difficult. I ended up spending two nights in hospital on oxygen but home now. Recovery from sedation is much quicker so I imagine it is what is best for the individual. I hope NSR stays for you. So far I am in it too.

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Thanks grandmadogs for your comments..It’s weird how some people can spend half a day being ablated and like myself about an hour!

Eileen

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