Status report -- 2 weeks post cryoablation - AF Association

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Status report -- 2 weeks post cryoablation

Breezera
Breezera

Greetings all. I've been visiting this terrific forum for quite some time now (what a help it has been!), but this is my first time actually creating a thread.

On 21 August 2018 I had a PVI cryoablation at University Hospital here in London, Canada.

I'm happy to report that everything went extremely well with the procedure and I'm feeling very well 2 weeks post ablation. As info.. I am a long time paroxysmal "vagal" AF sufferer (4+ years of frequent, lengthy, highly symptomatic AF episodes).

I've been in continual NSR since the cryoablation (what a great thing that is!), with a couple of very brief instances (perhaps 3-4 seconds) of ectopic beats during the first week post procedure. During the 1st week I also had two brief episodes (~30 minutes) of ocular migraine, culminating in a mild headache for a few hours. I've experienced no episodes of anything during the 2nd week.

Since having the cryoablation I have noticed my resting heart rate is up about 10-12 BPM (when I last checked it was 72 BPM) and my blood pressure is up about 10 mm/Hg on each number (systolic & diastolic) -- my blood pressure is currently averaging about 128/88, which I will be discussing with my GP next week.

I've been instructed to continue taking an anti-arrhythmic (flecainide 50 mg B.I.D.) for the first 2 months (then stop), and at the 3 month point I'll be having a follow-up visit with the EP folks. I'll be on an anti-coagulant for life (I'm taking apixaban), as my CHADS2 score dictates this -- I had an ischemic stroke in March 2016 as a result of AF. My stroke was luckily/thankfully mitigated by way of an emergency intervention at the hospital -- an endovascular thrombectomy was performed.

So that's my story and that is where things stand at the moment. The technology associated with cryoablation is absolutely amazing, and I'm very thankful it was made available to me. I am hoping this blissful NSR I'm experiencing will continue for a very long time! :-)

Cheers

Richard Breeze

17 Replies
oldestnewest

And so would we Breezera, welcome to the forum. Let’s hope NSR reigns supreme, but even if it doesn’t, a little RF ablation touching up may well do the trick.....enjoy your blissful experience....

Breezera
Breezera in reply to FlapJack

FlapJack, thanks for the welcome and thanks too for all your great info and advice you regularly provide to people who post here -- it's really appreciated.

Based on the positive experience I've had with my first ablation, I'd have no hesitation in going for a little RF ablation touch up should that action become warranted at some point in future.

/Richard

BobD
BobDVolunteer

Welcome Breezera and just to let you know that raised heart rate post ablation is quite normal Typically around 15-20 bpm up and it may take quite while to return to lower levels. We do mention this and many other things in our fact sheet on Recovering from an Ablation which you can find on our website (Atrial Fibrillation Association) under patient resources. Do take it easy as it does take a long time for your heart to recover.

Here's wishing you well and continued NSR.

Breezera
Breezera in reply to BobD

BobD, thank you. I've read MANY of your posts -- you are such a great source of information, and all of us who frequent here really benefit from the knowledge and experience you so freely and regularly share with us -- I can tell you it's very much appreciated.

Prior to having my cryoablation I learned (by visiting this forum) that I would quite likely have an elevated resting heart rate (for some time) post ablation as well as instances of ocular migraine early on, so having these things happen didn't take me by surprise. I've actually read somewhere that an elevated heart rate can be further "evidence", if you will, of a successful PVI ablation.

Prior to my procedure I read (and reread) the fact sheets on the AFA website that cover 'preparing for' and 'recovering from' an ablation for AF, and they are an excellent source of information -- very nice going Bob in putting that together and getting it posted. :-)

I'm taking things easy, and only yesterday restarted my historic daily ritual of walking on my treadmill for a period of time. For the past 2 days I've quit walking after about 40 minutes, and my heart rate never exceeds 90-100 BPM. I will build up slowly over the next 2-3 months.

Thank you for your good wishes.

All the best,

/Richard

Hope you continue to do well! Best wishes to you and thank you for sharing your story xxx

Breezera
Breezera in reply to wilsond

Thanks so much wilsond for your best wishes and comment - you are very kind. xxx

I wanted to 'give back' here and share my story -- my cryoablation experience -- for the benefit of others who suffer with horrid symptomatic paroxysmal AF and who may be contemplating an ablation. Looking back now I didn't need to stress about having the procedure -- it was much easier overall than I had ever imagined.

The EP cardiologist who performed my procedure commented to me afterwards that my cryoablation was "acutely successful". I was certainly happy to hear that!

Take care and best wishes to you too.

/Richard

Nice to meet you Richard. Glad to hear that things went well and you’re feeling better.

Breezera
Breezera in reply to Kaz747

Nice to meet you too Kaz747 :-) and thank you for your kind wishes.

In reading some of your posts I see that you live in Perth Australia. What a lovely place that is! I've visited Perth (along with many other WA destinations) many times over the years and almost moved there several years ago.

Take care and I hope things go well for you with respect to your AF situation.

/Richard

Kaz747
Kaz747 in reply to Breezera

Thanks Richard- yes it’s a great place to live. I love Canada too but haven’t been to London. Not sure I could cope with your winters. When I was a child my parents were tossing up whether to move (from England) to Australia or Canada. The first house we lived in here was across the road from the beach 🏖. We have some good friends in Toronto and we hope to get back and see them soon. This time two years we were in Vancouver and touring the Rockies. Amazing scenery.

Raised pulse rate is normal at this time, and may lead to raised BP. But no need to worry until the 3 month check. At that time they will decide if you need nothing, a beta-blocker or something like ramapril to just reduce the BP.

Unfortunately the ectopics will possibly carry on forever. You've probably actually had them all your life, but any heart surgery makes us hyper sensitive to our heart's rhythms and so we notice them far more. They are not dangerous in any way so don't worry on them.

My cryo- gave me my life back and I hope the same is true for you.

Breezera
Breezera in reply to Mike11

Mike11, thank you for your interesting, helpful comments.

My elevated resting heart rate in itself doesn't worry me, but I'm a little concerned with my raised BP. My BP has always been 'high normal' and of course it reliably shoots up whenever I'm around doctors and the like. A classic case of 'white coat syndrome'. I currently take a beta-blocker (metoprolol 25 mg B.I.D.), the dosage of which may have to be increased to address my currently elevated BP.

Glad to hear your cryoablation gave you your life back -- that is excellent. My fingers are crossed for the same end result in my case. So far so good. :-)

/Richard

Mike11
Mike11 in reply to Breezera

Well I'd definitely vote for ramapril or similar to get the BP down after three months. You really need to keep the heart healthy - lots of walking, etc - to prevent the return of the dreaded random heart beats and a high BP can cause AF.

Hi Richard and welcome to becoming part of our forum with your first post.

It certainly sounds as though you're progressing well and are pleased with the results of your ablation. Long may that continue.

I agree with you, today's technology and medical care is truly amazing.

Wishing you a speedy and successful recovery.

Jean

Hi Jean, thank you for your welcome and your kind comments. In visiting this forum over the recent months I've read many of your posts and know that you're very much a valuable member and contributor here. :-) I'd love to attend the breakfast get-together later this month in Exeter, but I'm afraid it's a bit too much of a trip for me from Canada in these early stages of recovery! I'll try to make it next time.

Yes, I am indeed progressing well -- pleased with the results of the ablation and very pleased with the EP-Cardiologist's comments to me following the procedure. He said that during the early stages of the procedure he was able to trigger AF by simply going near the opening of my pulmonary veins with his mapping catheter. In other words my PVs were extremely contributory to initiations of AF. He achieved a complete conduction block to all 4 pulmonary veins, using a freeze/thaw/bonus freeze cryo procedure, with the doctor characterising the ablation as being 'acutely successful'.

We'll see how things go now during the 3-month 'healing phase' -- I am very hopeful.

Thanks again for your kind wishes, and I wish you all the best.

/Richard

Welcome Richard. It all sounds great and hope it continues for you. I am in a similar situation to you and equally happy with the result of my first ablation.

Breezera
Breezera in reply to grandmadogs

Thank you grandmadogs. It will be 4 weeks tomorrow since my cryoablation was carried out, and so far so very good - blissful NSR, with only 2 or 3 extremely brief episodes of mild ectopics. Glad to hear that you are in a similar situation and are equally happy with the result of your first ablation. :-)

By the way... did you have a cryo- or an RF-ablation? Did you undergo sedation (only) for the procedure or did you have full GA? I had full GA, which evidently is the standard here in Canada for an ablation procedure.

Best wishes for continued NSR and good health!

- Richard

grandmadogs
grandmadogs in reply to Breezera

Hi Richard. I had a full anaesthetic and as it lasted for over five hours I am really pleased that I did. I am not sure if I had cryoablation or RF but it is one of the things I want to ask at my follow up. I am in the UK. I watched a really good video on YouTube about it by Dr Mehul Dhinoja at the London Independent Hospital a few days ago.

I hope all continues to go well for you.

Jill

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