Persistent AF and Ablation: Would be grateful... - AF Association

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Persistent AF and Ablation


Would be grateful for feedback from anyone with persistent AF who's had successful ablation. After 2 failed cardioversions ( both lasted around 6 days) wondering if this now best way forward or to stick with meds. Contact later this week from Cardiac nurse specialist so need to make decision. Had useful discussion on ablation with Bob at patients day but would also value opinion of folk with persistent AF given lower success rate. Thanks Linda

13 Replies

I had an ablation 18 months ago. Still in nsr .

My ep said there was about 80% chance of success for me.

I'm happy I had it done, and would do so again if needed

lindat15 in reply to Mikee69

Thanks Mikee69 that's encouraging

Mikee69 in reply to lindat15

Like BobD said, cryo may not be the best option, mine was RF ablation.

I have also taken steps to help myself, blood pressure under control, plenty of exercise and sleep, losing some weight, very rarely have a drink (one g+t every couple of months) health diet, no caffeine, no sulphites, no MSG etc.

lindat15 in reply to Mikee69

Helpful info thanks - more questions for the nurse later this week! Very much follow same lifestyle advice as you- biggest issue is trying to lose weight while on the meds


LInda the cardioversions did work. They just didn't hold for very long. Many people drop back in hours so your results were actually quite good and I would think suggest that ablation may well work for you. Best discuss with your EP of course and beware it may take more than one procedure. I would also suggest that cryo may not be best though most likely the first attempt.

lindat15 in reply to BobD

Hadn't thought about it like that Bob. Thanks for the encouraging comments. EP did highlight may need more than one procedure- PVI possibly followed by ?Line Ablation. Would just like to get back to some sort of normal if at all possible without the rate/rhythm drugs

Hello Linda, my first diagnosis back in May 2014 was termed as lone persistent AF. I had on CV which lasted around 9 months before AF re-occurred but NSR returned within a day without any additional medication and it stayed that way for almost another 6 months. Periods of AF returned but they were kept at bay using Flecainide, first as a PiP then as a small regular maintenance dose, until a cryoablation in July 16 and another, this time RF ablation just under 3 months ago and so far, all is good with absolutely no regrets. It’s not so much how long the CV worked for that’s important, it’s the fact that it’s WORKED which matters. Generally, EP’s particularly on the NHS, will only perform an ablation if they are reasonably confident that it will be successful, the difficulty is quantifying success, but if you trust your EP then I suggest you should be guided by him/her.....good luck

lindat15 in reply to FlapJack

Hi Flapjack Your experience sounds positive in spite of the fact you've had several procedures . It's good to hear and you make a valid point about the NHS offering only if some chance of success - hasn't really thought about that aspect! Biggest problem is dont really know how long I was in persistent AF before I was diagnosed.Thanks for reply

FlapJack in reply to lindat15

A cryoablation is often a preferred method to ablate the 4 pulmonary veins which are frequently the main problem areas for the rogue impulses which cause AF. It tends to be a quicker procedure and it’s generally done using sedation rather than a GA. However, because human tissue is very often not uniform in shape, the inflatable balloon which is used to freeze burn the inner tissue of the veins can sometimes miss bits. This is what happened in my case, hence the second attempt to use heat to burn the tissue around the previously missed area. Fortunately, for many this is not necessary but it is something which needs to be considered but 2 (rather than several) procedures are not uncommon......

lindat15 in reply to FlapJack

Really helpful to my understanding Flapjack Good to know approach is pretty common with persistent AF and why. Would explain why success rates at first attempt are that bit lower.

I have had 4 ablations with the most recent lasting 3 1/2 years with a few blips. If I needed and was offered another one I would take it.

lindat15 in reply to Barb1

Sounds like you've been on a bit of a journey. Thanks for sharing - encouraging that it eventually worked for you and held for a number of years. Helps to hear as will be less disheartening if it doesn't work at first/ second attempt.

Yes. It is a journey not a cure. But saying that you can have gòod quality of life along the way

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