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Ablation

Hello I am fairly new on this forum. I have been reading all of the posts over the past couple of days and I do not seem to be finding anyone who has anything good to say about having a Ablation which is making me feel slightly scared as I have my procedure coming in the next few weeks. At the moment for the past couple of weeks I have only had very few palpations which is good but I am not thinking that has is gone away after taking Sotalol for a couple of months and do I really need the procedure? I hope you all do not mind me writing this post as I would not want to appear negative as I am the extreme opposite in my normal life?

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The reason is that you have forgotten that people with successful ablations do not need to come back here. They get on with their lives. I'm only here because as a volunteer I want other to know that there is life after AF and that whilst it took me three goes I have had no AF for the last ten years.

Stop worrying and enjoy your future but do remember that it take a lot of time to recover (read our fact sheet) and this can't be rushed.

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Thank you for writing that bob as I was thinking like the cappers, I’m due over next few months......I was wondering too. Can I ask your advice or rather just your thoughts? I see the consultant here fir assessment early October.....I could in theory get it done by early November here in France but I have lots of family visiting fir Xmas.....an English guy in our local had it done same place Lyon and he saud get it done asas poss you will feel so much better.....as I do get headaches and feel tired......yet I’m worrying that Xmas will be busy, it’s a ski resort, and family here skiing (not me!)and meals in evening etc......in your opinion, am I better to wait till visitors are gone? I see from fact sheet you take it easy two weeks then slowly gain weekly.....as the heart heals.....I don’t know what’s best.....

Sue

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I think your future long term health is perhaps more important than one family Christmas and there is no doubt in my mind that early intervention stands the best chance of a good outcome. Get the family to do the cooking if you feel tired and consider what you would feel like if you had a bad AF event anyway. Put yourself first!

NB Personal opinion only.

Never skied Morzine myself mainly Les Arcs or Italy and not for 30 years since we had our boys but some happy memories.

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Thanks bob, that’s what I’ve been thinking, as I want so much to ditch these tablets. Yes skiings always fun my whole family live out here and ski,I can’t now, I do feel “Billy no mates” whrn they all go off having fun!

Can I ask, after the ablation, I presume your heart let’s you know if you are doing too much......how do you know does it go into palpitations, ? Feel tired? Breathless.?and in the end how do you know it’s worked? You feel better? Do you get in with life but never really know if it’s worked? Do they do a test months afterwards?

Thanks,

Sue

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Sue most people feel better right away if they have been in AF prior to the procedure. They will of course have some discomfort from the entry wounds and even some slight chest pain for a few days but the biggest problem quite often is not heeding the advice to rest.

After my first I did have some problems and had to stay in an extra day as my HR went through the roof next morning. To be honest the ablation was not that successful and I had a second a year later which stopped the AF completely for about nine months during which time I probably went a bit mad. I was still doing race engineering for a couple of teams and charging off to Spa or Monza at the drop of a hat may have been optimistic? After my third, my arrhythmia nurse gave me "the talk" and said she wouldn't love me any more if I screwed this one up so I behaved and all has been pretty good since.

My best advise is to listen to your body. not be a hero and rest if you feel tired. If you do get palpitations it does not mean it has failed and remember it can take three to six months or more for the scar tissue to form and stop the rogue electrical signals.

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Thanks bob it nice to get it straight in my head, I speak french fairly well but when I’m in the consultants there’s so much info I struggle with asking questions and getting all ge says clear in my mind....sorry another question.....what about stopping the tablets spoon you stop them straight away? I’m on Flecainade,bisoprol, apixaban.....so you get withdrawal from them? And do they have you back for check ups?

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Just to put a slight dampner on your expectations, it is not always the case that you can dispense with the meds. I have had 7 ablations over the space of 10 years and since the last one just over a year ago I have only had two short episodes of AF.

However I still have to take Flecainide and also did take Bisoprolol until last year. My EP is trying to wean me off Flecainide but we both feel it must be softly softly as when we tried it a few years ago I went into AF after 3 days.

I still feel very lucky to be as free from AF as I am despite the Flecainide.

Pete

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I see Flecainade as my saviour...once I started that the af episodes stopped.....so I guess if I was stuck with that I’d be happy.....I think the bisoprolol gives me these headaches like eye strain as they started whrn I started them.....but I’d be happy I guess to munch any tablet as long as I felt normal again after all this.....I live in hope as they say eh....7 ablation phew! What a can of worms this af is......people that haven’t got it just think it’s a few palpitations.....

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It depends on the EP. Mine always said he wanted my heart to heal in peace and quiet so kept me on propafanone for six months. The anticoagulant is quite another matter as there is no reliable evidence to say that ablation removes the stroke risk and many of us choose to remain anticoagulated for life. Better safe than sorry!

Normally you are called back after three months but here in UK that often extends to six. You should be given a phone number for the arrhythmia nurse who you can contact in the event of any worries or queries.

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Thanks bob

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Heed Bob's sage words.

Why would anyone want to hang around here if they had had a successful ablation.

There are many tales of a good outcome and of course why would the NHS allow so much money to be spent on this procedure if it was, on balance, a failed option.

pete

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Please do not fear an ablation. If it were that bad no one would agree to having more than one.

AF is totally unpredictable. Your AF will probably get worse. If you have been offered an ablation then the EP must think there is a good chance of improving your QOL & reducing your stroke risk. It's a £15,000 procedure and it's not offered lightly.

Don't risks living with regrets. Make sure that you make the best, considered decision for you.

Very best wishes

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My ablation wasn't totally successful but I'm really glad I had it as it improved my QOL a lot. We do sometimes get AFers popping in to say Hi after successful ablations but most of the people on the forum are here for similar reasons to Bob or as he says, because they have problem of some sort, very often that they had unrealistic expectations of cartwheeling out of the hospital! I m sure you will find the info in 'Recovering from an Ablation' helpful, best wishes!

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I have suffered from Paroxysmal AF for over eight years although I didn’t realise it. I had a cryoablation done last December and can say it was a great success until April this year. My condition came back and I have been put on the waiting list for another ablation. The consultant informed me that I had had a positive reaction to the first procedure, having gone 4 months without an attack. He assured me that a 2nd ablation would be more successful. I do not react well to medication hence the reason to have an ablation. Having gone through it once already I have no hesitation in having it done again. I remember how great I felt after about 3 weeks. To be free of drugs and live a normal life was so good. As with any procedure that is invasive there are risks but the surgeons know what they are doing. Try not to worry and think about the positives it will have on your life. One thing to remember, you will get some AF episodes after the procedure, I wasn’t told this! They do settle down very quickly though. It’s only because they’ve been tampering with the mechanics 😁

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My impression from talking to my EP, is that most people who have AF ablation(s) are ultimately satisfied. There seems to be a significant minority who are not improved and a very small number who are worse.

If there is no hurry, why not defer the ablation until you have had a chance to speak to the EP again. He is the only one who knows the specifics of your case. You could ask what is likely to happen if you don’t have the ablation.

However you did say a month ago that your AF was getting worse. If you defer now you may have to back to the bottom of the waiting list.

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Hi Cappers,

I've had three, if I could turn the clock back I would do it in a heartbeat. However I recognise

most people seem to have no problems.

Best Wishes

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In the words of another, “ Trust A-Fib about as much as you trust politicians at election time”. You are feeling ok now....but make sure to do whatever you can with the specialists to make it more manageable and better behaved.

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My ablation was 7 months ago. It was quite a weird, but not awful, experience. The drugs were amazing. The recovery was easy. I felt fine by the evening and completely fine the next morning. I've had no AF since. My life is currently as normal as it was before I was diagnosed with AF.

My rating of ablations: 10 thumbs up.

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Thanks for asking this question, I’m in a similar situation and have been pencilled in for a January ablation but having read the stories on here, was beginning to think the same thing myself. I’m heartened (no pun intended) by the responses, so will continue with the plan.

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Me too I’m goung to have one and it’s good to hear everyone positive

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I'm also pleased you posted this question. I'm scheduled for ablation Novemberish but have been wobbling over the past couple of weeks. So many people on here seem to have had bad experiences - apart from Bob of course who always gives such positive advice. Ideally I'd like to have it done when I'm not there!!!! Try & get some meals cooked & in the freezer for the holidays. Very best of luck & hope all goes well

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I was a little apprehensive about having an ablation, but the medical team completely put me at my ease on the day and, 11 months on, it has made a massive difference to my life. I love not having to take any medication, not feeling on edge, and being able to go cycling/walking etc. without worrying about AF. I feel very fortunate and would not hesitate to have another ablation if it proved necessary in the future. Good luck to you.

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Yes you hit the nail on the head.....I can’t wait for my abs,Timon to not take these five tablets daily and not feel in edge....I can’t go out to eat with friends without feeling in edge all the time....I’ve lost my old self and it would be so nice to get me back....

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Hi Cappers,

I was diagnosed with Paroxysmal afib a few months ago, but have been having symptoms for many years. I also didn’t see the point of it as I was hardly getting any symptoms, but was told that it’s worth getting as I was a good candidate and it’s a preventative for any future risks. Eventually my family managed to convince me to get it done, ans I had my ablation last week on Thursday and it took 4 hours, and it’s my 5th post ablation today. Immediately after, I ate food, was straight on my phone browsing the internet, but was annoying as I had to stay still until the morning as they couldn’t remove the suture at the insition site as it kept weeping a little - this was unusual though as most people do not weep apparently (well that was what I was told anyway). Managed to get it out in the morning and then could move around, and went home. The only pain I had was a very sore thoat and pain swallowing, which has got much better now, some coughing at night, again where maybe the toe may have irritated my esophegus. A slight sore tight chest for the 1st few days but nothing bothersome and no longer have this now. Other than this I feel great and have been told I have colour back in my face now (was ashen before apparently husband told me only now lol). I went for a long walk up and down my high street yesterday, made my husband and mum dinner last night and will be back at work tomorrow. I run a company so it will be non stop hectic the minute I get in but I feel ready and can’t wait to get back in as I’m getting so bored at home. Everyone is different and it’s still early days but I wanted to let you know I was terrified too so I asked the anesthetist to give me a little relaxant before he knocked me out, which he did for 30 seconds and then I was out! I’m glad I got it done and out of the way as I was told it’s a progressive condition and if I left it it would get worse. But like you I really didn’t understand why I was getting this done, but glad I got t done now as recovery for me was very easy, and onwards and upward. Good luck with it, and speedy recovery to your too!

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I had an ablation under GA three weeks ago and so far it has been successful. I had persistent AF and am now back in NSR. I know it is early days but if I needed another one I would not hesitate. Good luck.

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There are plenty of us who are enthusiastic about ablation. It doesn't always leave us AF free, but where would some of us be if we hadn't gone down that route? In permanent AF, probably, instead of significantly improved. I've been able to give up daily flecainide and am no longer taking 300mgs a day.

I have said before that we can be grateful that so much is available to us today to improve the blight of AF, that there are doctors who are prepared to delve into the innards of one's heart and tweak it and hopefully improve it, even though it's a dodgy thing to do, and that there's the technology to enable them to do so.

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Hi Cappers. I had a "hybrid ablation" last year; this is two different types of ablation done six months apart. It will be a year since completion next month. I was going to write an anniversary post, as most "cured" people tend to disappear from the forum.

In short, my results are spectacular. I have had less than 7 days of arrhythmia in total since the first op in April 2017. I am now able to walk and bike for miles. I am taking things (slightly) steadier than I did, but through my own caution, not the advice of the cardiologist.

My only regret is not going for diagnosis a year earlier. I originally thought my symptoms were due to age, rather than a medical problem. You could look back over my posts, I documented every step of my treatment on here.

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My reply is very much the same as Buffafly ,notcompleted ablation due to complication, but QOL is so much improved,and if it became worse again i would have a 2nd ablation,but really happy i had the procedure done.

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Dear Cappers

I have had what would currently appear to be two succesful ablations in January and February this year. One for a fib and one for reentrant flutter.

I am currently not on any drugs since may 15 and am very happy at this and feel so so so much better than when I was on flecainide and diltiazem daily.

Should my happy state end tomorrow by the reappearance of afib, then I will happily have another ablation on Thursday to keep me off the drugs.

I also did not think that either of my ablations was an issue, I had a cryo PVI ablation of left atria, an then an rf ablation of the right atria for flutter.

I have had worse, more painful experiences than both at the dentists.

Best wishes for your ablation should you decide to have it.

Many regards

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Hi Cappers, I'm new to this site as well had my op just over 3 weeks now and was bothered about how I was feeling so I googled and found this site and found I got a lot of help and advice that put me at ease, I'm 53 little over weight and got to admit unfit

Before my op I would go on YouTube and look up catheter ablation and everybody on there that had the op was up and about after a few days , even the guy in the hospital who had his the same time was different to me ,

So like a lot of people will say on this site everybody's different

I had 5 months before my op to lose weight but didn't so now I'm paying the price

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Thank you Cappers, for asking this question. I too am in line for an ablation, although as this is with the NHS, I've been waiting since November last year, and still don't know when it is likely to happen. In the mean time, I have had only one instance of AF, but it totally wiped me out part way through my youngest son's wedding and I missed all the fun and dancing in the evening. As I had only ever had two episodes prior to seeing the EP and being put on his waiting list, I was beginning to doubt the wisdom of going ahead with this, myself. Reading all the amazing responses to your question as been so reassuring.

The way I see this, AF is known to (in most cases) get worse as time goes on. AF begets AF as BobD says. The only drugs I'm taking are the anticoagulant and a very low dose of Bisoprolol, and of course the anticoagulant would continue after an ablation anyway. So I don't have that excuse. But, I don't want AF to always rule my life. It has already changed my risk assessments. I don't go sailing alone any more, and as I don't have any friends who sail, I now don't sail at all. I'm going to sell the boat. I'll give the ablation a chance, and see if it can change my life.

Good luck with whatever you decide, but do let us know.

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Hi

I think ablation has to be looked at in the context that PAF is a highly complex phenomenon that can have multiple causes and trigger factors and is often extremely difficult to treat. Ablation is not a miracle cure any more than medication is. Some people do tend to have very unrealistic expectations. I've had two ablations that have been successful in that they have significantly improved my quality of life and enabled me to return to work.

Good luck and kindest regards

David

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I was very apprehensive about having my flutter ablation. Not worried about the procedure, but about making my QoL potentially worse.

History of AFib & AFlutter, but diagnosed as being in Aflutter when ablations were offered. Before the ablation my QoL was reasonably good. The arrhythmia only affected the type and intensity of exercise that i could do.

Since my ablation in February i am not on any medication and i have made a return to my exercise regime.

I must admit though that i was offered ablations for Afib & Aflutter at the same time, but i elected to just have the AFlutter ablation. I am happy so far with the results

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I had a successful cryoablation in January 2017, no horrible AF episodes since. Like many others I don’t check into the forum every day, I’m busy with my new life. In fact I’ve just got back from holiday in Italy, including walking up Vesuvius! But I’m happy to put the positive side for anyone anxious about undergoing an ablation.

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Pages such as this should be made a sticky as the question will be asked time and time again in the future, where will it be ? Not in your face as it should be - so much positivity and hope for others to see.

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I had my one and only ablation in November 2013. It took 5 months for all odd beats/arrhythmias/bumps to subside but then nothing. BLISS.

No more AF.

I am not sure that an big family Christmas is the right environment for recovery. You need quiet time and lots of rest. You may feel ok but be careful. You will have had a serious procedure and don’t want to risk your recovery by not getting enough rest. If I was in your shoes I think I would delay it for a few weeks and make proper plans for a quiet, peaceful recovery. Remember at least 3 months and up to a year to get back to normal. Have a plan. Easy walks after the first few weeks, increasing gradually over time.

Good luck 🍀

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Nothing good??? It is absolutely a miracle cure! My 1st one lasted 15 months where I was 100% AF free, and I literally felt right back to normal 100% afterwards. It has been 4 months since 2nd one, and I was also 100% back to normal right away. They gave only a 20% chance of my AF EVER returning again. Pretty good odds. But no big deal if unlikely 3rd one is ever needed.

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Hello and welcome. I had a successful ablation for SVT 19 months ago and am glad I did. It was successful - no more node to nowhere. Low dose Sotalol 40 mg BID. It took some time to regain energy....hoping to be referred to Cardiac Rehab a few times a week when I see my Cardiologist. Good Luck and think positive thoughts.

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Here’s some good news for you Cappers. Been to St Thomas’ today. In sinus rhythm and can stop Flecainide and to start to wean off Bisoprolol. To be seen again in 3 months. Yaaay! Had my ablation on the 31st May this year.

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Really? I've posted loads of positive stuff. I had my ablation nearly 18 months ago. That's 18 months without AF. Feeling better, more energy and positive.

I'd have another one tomorrow if I needed one

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Over the last 10 years, I would have an AFIB episode maybe once a year that lasted for up to 8 hours. From July, 2017 to Nov, 2017 I had maybe 25-30 episodes. I had an ablation done Nov 2017, I had one AFIB episode about a week later (they then put me on Amiodarone for 2 months) but since then, I haven't had any episodes. I'm on ZERO medications currently other than a small dose of a beta blocker for slight hypertension. I'm not sure if you can say I'm cured yet but so far so good - and definitely a significant improvement over where I was a year ago.

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It's funny that every now and again someone posts that this forum has put them off the idea of ablation, as it seems a very pro-ablation group on the whole to me.

There are bound to be some negative posts; there is literally no medical procedure that you couldn't google without finding someone's horror story. But generally the message on this forum is positive, I think.

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Cappers,

I’m one of those who has hung around here post successful ablation. I was pretty apprehensive about having one, but as the episodes became more frequent, I decided it was worth the apprehension to get rid of the anxiety. I had it in May. Just got cleared to quit my multaq, and am wearing a monitor for 30 days to consider coming off Eliquis. My EP and cardiologist disagree on coming off the Eliquis. I’m in the U.S. and there is disagreement among docs over this. My cardiologist says 30 days is too short. He says stay on and get a lynk monitor for a longer time to monitor. I wonder about the Apple Watch that has been cleared as an afib monitor. Any thoughts? This is why I stay active on this forum.

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I am from Minnesota and go to the Minneapolis Heart Institute

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I am from Minnesota and go to the Minneapolis Heart Institute

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Hi there, Cappers. I am almost 8 weeks post ablation and am so glad I did it! I had suffered from SVT for many years and the A-Fib started about 2 years ago. My episodes were daily and would have anywhere from 1 hour to 8 hour runs. I was scared to have it done but the fear of stroke pushed me to take the plunge. My procedure took 4.5 hours under GA and I stayed overnight in the hospital. I had no bruising and the incision healed perfectly! The medical staff were amazing and I knew I was in good hands. As of now, I only have an occasional flip flop, but that’s it. The only thing I would say is listen to your body as you go through the healing process. the fatigue is extreme and if I do not rest when my body tells me to rest, I pay for it. I went to a 3 band concert a week ago, thinking it would be ok and it was way to much at this point in my recovery. I slept a good portion of the next day and felt really lousy. Other than that, it has been a great experience. Best of luck to you and happy healing!

Tracy

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