Ablation : Hi I was wondering if anyone could... - AF Association

AF Association

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Ablation

Lorlaw70
Lorlaw70

Hi I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice please. I am a newby to AF and I have found this forum which is just brilliant. I have been diagnosed with AF in September and they put me on Solotol which had side effects on me so they took me off that and put me on diltiazem 60mg x3 a day and apixaban 5mg twice a day. I have been in AF on and off on a daily basis. They have offered me ablation in January. Should I do the ablation? I have had mixed reviews about it and I am worried that it will make matters worse! I want to get back to work and start living again I have horses and a child to look after and at the moment I am just getting by doing mindfulness and acupuncture but I am always waiting on the next episode grr. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

31 Replies
BobD
BobDVolunteer

Ablation is not as bad as people make you beleive. I had three before it fully sorted my AF but many people find that one is enough. The earlier you can get it done the better in most cases.

If you go to AF Association website there are booklets on ablation which explain all about it and also two fact sheets on preparing for and recovering from ablation which it is vital that you read or you may have unrealistc expectations.

Remember that people with successful ablations seldom stay around here as they no longer need our support so don't assume anything from what you read here. Most of the bad things they tell you is so you can't sue them in the unlikely event that they did happen.

Lorlaw70
Lorlaw70 in reply to BobD

Thanks for replying to my post. Yes I am going to just go for it as i want to get back to my normal way of life.

Zozzy
Zozzy in reply to BobD

I'm one of the folks that Bob refers to who hasn't stayed around because my ablation was successful. I still receive the emails and occasionally read the posts in case I can be of assistance to others.

I did it early as Bob suggested and it was successful (although I don't believe it's any guarantee that AF could not return at some time in the future: at the very least I'm susceptible and at the worst it's simply supressed for now).

As I understand it, AF describes the symptoms of potentially many causes, none of which seem to fully understood. So that whether your ablation will be successful depends to a large extent on your particular uncertain cause. Therefore there's no guarantee that it will work, or that it's the best solution for everyone.

As someone whose ablation was successful and for whom the drugs and quality of life impacts were unpleasant, I can certainly say that I have no regrets about having one or doing so early and I hope I never will. 15 months on, I have no symptoms, I'm no longer on any medication and am back to enjoying running - frequently and (sometimes) quite hard.

Always a difficult question to respond to Lorlaw because we are all different and AF is such a mongrel condition, it effects us all in different ways. Firstly, although we are not medically trained, I see you are from the UK so ought to mention that Solotol is not normally prescribed here so it's good you are now not taking it.

It is generally accepted that there is no guaranteed cure for AF and that all treatment options are a means to improving quality of life by controlling symptoms. If you read the factsheets in the AF Association webpages you will find that lifestyle changes, where appropriate, play a major role in reducing the effects of AF. Unfortunately, AF is a progressive condition for many and intermittent AF often progresses to persistent and or permanent AF although many find it easier once that progression has occurred. Clearly you lead an active life and although the drugs (Diltiazem) you are taking currently are "fairly" benign, that can change and many are, not un-naturally, reluctant to take potent heart controlling drugs for the rest of their life.

I can only speak for myself when I say that it was largely for that reason I opted to pursue the ablation route and I have absolutely no regrets. So far I have had two, which is not unusual and the benefits are significant but they were done in the knowledge that AF can return at any time. Listen to what others have to say, read all you can about the pluses and minuses and listen to the advice of your EP. Particularly ask what the potential success rate is likely to be. The other thing to consider is imagine how many thousand's of ablations are performed here in the UK, USA and Australasia (the main catchment areas for this forum). Bear in mind most forums tend to attract BAD news and we get very few members saying that they wished they had not had their ablation......hope this helps.

Lorlaw70
Lorlaw70 in reply to FlapJack

Hi Flapjack - many thanks for replying to my post. I am so grateful to your kind words of wisdom. I feel a little bit better with the reassurance of this forum.

I would go for it. I know a lot of people who have had great results. I’ve had a few dramas but I have multiple arrhythmias which probably complicates things. I’d head back into the Cath lab without hesitation.

Lorlaw70
Lorlaw70 in reply to Kaz747

Thank you for sharing that - I am going to go ahead with it as I just want to get some sort of normality in my life. I have not had a good year so far after falling of a ladder and shattering my arm and having to get surgery etc I was pretty much immobilized for 12 weeks due to having huge scaffolding round my arm!!! Glad I have supportive family and friends

Kaz747
Kaz747 in reply to Lorlaw70

Was your AF diagnosed after your injury and surgery? I ask because I was diagnosed after having ankle reconstruction surgery.

Yes it was I had my accident in February and was diagnosed in September

Kaz747
Kaz747 in reply to Lorlaw70

My cardiologist and EP said they believed the pain and trauma surrounding my injury (it was 11 months from when I first injured my ankle and the tendon ruptured making surgery the only option) and surgery triggered my heart rhythm problems. I think the anti inflammatories could have contributed as well. That said, the doctors said there was probably a predisposition so I may have ended up with heart problems down the track and the injury just brought it forward.

Just go for it. I had one four years ago and would have another if AF ever returned. Good Luck.

I had my first and only ablation in November 2013. It took about 5 months for all arrhythmias to stop and since then no more af. It’s great to be back to normal so I would say go for it.

Good luck - the hardest part is making the decision!!

I had an ablation in September after 2 failed cardioversions and it was a success and I hope that is the end of AF for me. Everyone is different but after my experience I would say go for it. One of my daughters came with me to see the EP before I had it done and really quizzed him on how many he had done and had anyone died! He wasn't at all fazed by her questioning and in fact was happy to spend time explaining it and how experienced he was. We came away very reassured.

I had my ablation 16 months ago. I initially had more bouts of afib up until the 3 month post ablation period which I was told is normal.

I have been afib free for 13 months now and off all meds. The sooner you have the ablation the greater the chance for success.

I have my life back and wouldn't hesitate to have another ablation if needed.

Best Wishes

Kaz747
Kaz747 in reply to perkman

Hi Perkman - how often and how long were you AF episodes after your ablation?

perkman
perkman in reply to Kaz747

I started having afib several times a week some lasting 16 hours. I only had an episode about once a month prior to ablation.

I was put on flecanaide which helped lessen the length and frequency of these bouts of afib until my heart healed after 3 months(blanking period). The bouts of afib stopped completely.

Kaz747
Kaz747 in reply to perkman

Thanks. I’m 2 months post ablation but I’ve had multiple episodes of AFib everyday (and was hospitalised for a few days two weeks after my procedure because of fast AF and flutter). I also developed pericarditis so it’s been a struggle. This week I’ve had 4-8 hours in AFib each day. I’m on lots of drugs so it’s a bit slower than what it was but its still around 100-120bpm and spiking up around 150. I see my EP on Tuesday again so will see what this week brings. I’m hopeful that there’s a positive result around the corner but I am getting rather worn down by it all. 🤪

Thank you all so much for all your words of encouragement. I am going to go ahead with the ablation in January. This forum is a god send. I really did think that at 48 years old that was it I was going to be like this for the rest of my life lol the dramatics of it all. Thanks again so comforting.

c2low
c2low in reply to Lorlaw70

The earlier the better and higher success rate. Go for it. I had mine two months ago. I should had gone for it three years ago when first diagnosed to be able to enjoy a normal lifestyle.

My ablation gave me my life back so I'd say go for it. Any operation (don't know why they call it a procedure) has risks, but they are generally low and your AF will just gradually get worse without it.

FlapJack
FlapJack in reply to Mike11

Coz they don’t use a scalpel and then sew you up when it’s all over!

Mike11
Mike11 in reply to FlapJack

How else do you think they get the catheters into the body ? Usually they go in through the groin but sometimes the arm as well

FlapJack
FlapJack in reply to Mike11

Yep, but they don’t use a scalpel and they don’t sew you up afterwards, but not really worth worrying about.

I agree with a lot of the comments here, my QOL had become impossible with AF, had an ablation in May and I have not looked back since no AF or flutter since day 6 after the op, the odd ectopic beats now and again, when I was offered the ablation I didn't hesitate.

Hello I was only diagnosed on the 23rd octover with AF and because I was getting episodes pretty much daily it was really affecting my life. So I wanted anything to make it stop. They didn’t know what ablation they would do until they got in to do the EP study.

I ended up having a PVI Cryoblation. I only had this 10 days ago and still not very well. I didn’t have a great time through it as I had to stay awake and they couldn’t get a canula in. But honestly it was 4 hours and I didn’t enjoy one bit but this is the longest I’ve been without a full blown AF attack.

Don’t get me wrong it’s taking me a while to recover I’m still so tired and can’t do much as my pulse rises pretty fast but I’m feeling positive.

They told me it’s a 70% success rate. The tablets barely did anything for me to be honest just maybe a day longer in between attacks.

I had a lot of faith in my hospital hense why I opted for the ablation and they booked me in for a week later after diagnosis.

So like I say early days for me but so far so good I’ve just got the normal recovery symptoms like what some people get.

Some patients feel great straight after ablation I think it just depends on the type of ablation done and of course everyone’s different.

I’m still off work and don’t intend to go back for a while until my eptopic beats and small palpitations go away.

Sorry if message is a bit mixed but I would definitely do it again and that’s even with my not so great experience.

Wishing you all the best.

wilsond
wilsond in reply to Amy2805

Blimey! That was quick! Im on a waiting list of 12 to 18 months! Glad all went well xxx

Oh wow what hospital are you with! That was a really fast turn around. Thank you for sharing your story. I just want to get better as soon as I can and enjoy doing the active things I used to do. I wish you a speedy successful recovery.

If mine were daily, or even more frequent than it is, I'd go for it in a flash. The only reason I havn't yet, is the very long intervals between my AF visitations.

Had afib since 2003. Many cardios.In the last 5 years had 3 ablations, the EP SAID THE LAST ONE WAS NOT OPTIMISTIC ( 16 months ago ) however, that was the winner. No afib since. I am however still on meds. I have my life back finally. Good luck to you. It was worth it to me.

Marney

I was diagnosed after two episodes of Afib, back in June of this year. I had my ablation in September. I am still in what they call the "blanking period", and have had no episodes of Afib. My heart rate still goes up rapidly, but that is settling in. I still have not been comfortable returning to my usual exercise routine, and am only walking about 1-2 miles per day. I plan to return to my other exercises after Thanksgiving (in about 2 weeks). I have not regretted the ablation, but the recovery has been slower than I anticipated, however, I have to remind myself that I am 67 years young, so it takes longer these days to get back to normal. I wish you the best results and fastest recovery!

Hi

I had a cryoablation 11 months ago after I had had months of af every 2 to 3 weeks.

I have not had an af episode since but do still take flecainide and bisoprolol as I had 3 short episodes of a fast heart beat after the ablation.

It has greatly improved my quality of life and I hope to either decrease my drugs or try coming off them after I see my cardiologist next year for my anual check up.

It is definitely worth a try.

Good luck.

Dulcimer

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