SVT episode post ablation: Hi everyone, I... - AF Association

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SVT episode post ablation

Hi everyone,

I had my ablation on Monday morning and on Wednesday night I had a 4 hour episode of SVT, I took two 50mg doses of flecainide one after 2 hours and another after 3 and a half hours. 30 mins after second dose I converted to NSR but heart rate stayed elevated at 80-95 all night and until about 11 the next morning.

I contacted the arrhythmia nurse who was reassuring initially and then called me back yesterday after talking to EP to say that for an SVT ablation this would not be considered a normal part of recovery. They are calling on Monday to arrange for me to have a Kardia so that if it happens again I can record it for the EP.

I am wondering if anyone has experienced this, SVT soon after a successful ablation for SVT specifically.

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Sorry to hear of the news. My EP likes to say, everybody’s heart is different. Take it easy.

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Thank you for your kind reply 😊

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Try not to worry the main thing is you converted to NSR I would think let us know how you get on xx

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Thank you 😊

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I haven't had an ablation but I hope you have a good night tonight Kelly!

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Aw thank you 😊

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It's good your Cardiologist is taking an intrest, always best to be safe. That said I really don't think all EPs/Cardiologists know as much as they should on the recovery part. My EP said I would be back to normal within a week, then when I had a fast rate on day 3 the EP and GP said it was part of the recovery which could take a lot longer. I don't think my fast rate was SVT as I did not have all of the symptoms and the rate varied. The best thing you could do is stay positive, embrace all the checks that get done and take it easy.

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Thank you, I know what you mean there is so much variation from person to person it’s impossible to predict anything during this time, in fact it’s impossible to predict anything at all with all of this. The arrhythmia nurse has been great he said if anything is going on they will get to the bottom of it quickly. Fingers crossed it was a one off 🤞

Hope you are still recovering well 😊

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Scary but having a Kardia should scare the SVT off, same effect as a monitor! Best wishes 💕

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Yeah that should get rid of it once and for all, higher success rate than an ablation 😂

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What is a Kardia? What is an SVT?

I will have a catheter ablation on the 17th but was told my body can take three to six months to recover.

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SVT is supra ventricular tachycardia, a fast regular arrhythmia. A Kardia is an ECG that works using your phone so you can record your heart, good for catching what’s going on if you are having problems.

What is your ablation for? It’s good your doctor has been realistic about recovery with you, mostly people are told they will be fine within two weeks but the more you read here the more you realise that’s not necessarily true for some people.

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I have persistent A-Fib. I was diagnosed four years ago at age 50 and had cardioversion. Afterwards, I was put on Amiodarone but last year I decided it was worse than the A-Fib so I came off of it and went back on Eliquis. In December I went back into A-Fib and my cardiologist told me it was time to see an EP. My upper rate is 300-400 bpm but the bottom is 80-85. I'm seeing an EP at Hall-Garcia Cardiology at Baylor-St Luke's in Houston. A friend's mom had persistent A-Fib almost one year ago and her ablation has been a success so I am very hopeful.

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The acronyms are so confusing! SVT is also Sustained Ventricular Tachycardia.. I started reading this thread because I have that type of SVT and was curious. I wish that they could change one of them so they are both not the exact same! Regardless- I am sorry you've experienced this post ablation :(

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I’ve never heard of SVT being an acronym for anything else, what is sustained ventricular tachycardia?

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V- Tach or ventricular Tachycardia (VT) is a fast, abnormal heart rate. It begins in your heart's lower chambers, (ventricles) VT is defined as 3 or more heartbeats in a row, at a rate of more than 120 beats a minute. If VT lasts for more than a few seconds at a time, it can become life-threatening. It basically is when your rhythm gets "stuck" in the bottom chamber is how its been explained to me. - SVT is when that rhythm is sustained... I had two doctors tell me I had SVT after a stress test and monitor.. I thought they meant "Supra" but they clarified that they meant "Sustained VT". I still have a lot of confusion of what my issues really are. They said that my VT was polymorphic, so coming from more than one area, meaning it couldn't be ablated. Also because I go into this rhythm when I am highly active they suspect it may be genetic (CPVT!) Basically, adrenaline induced VTach...

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Wow, thank you so much for explaining that, I had no idea. When were you diagnosed? That must be very frightening and I would imagine it’s not that common so would be hard to find support from other sufferers. Can you have an implantable defibrillator?

I bet every time you see SVT you hope it’s related to your condition, I fully understand your frustration. Thank you for posting that and I wish you all the best. Take good care.

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I can't really say I have a definite diagnosis.. they suspect CPVT, but it is hard to diagnosis, even the genetic test is only 65% accurate, meaning if I have a negative result- there is still a decent chance I have it. I have found very few supporters, as you suspected, but I did find a guy that i connected with who has been very helpful. He has CPVT and has a pacemaker/defibrillator as well as medication. I would rather have a pacemaker/defibrillator than take medication, personally! The hardest part of my condition (for me) is that it only happens when I'm active. Which I am extremely active. Not just as a hobby, it's truly my identity. I am an avid hiker and outdoorswoman. I also work for the forest service where hiking is my job! But I'm certain I will find a solution and prevail! I have no other option than to believe that. Thanks for your nice response, and best of luck to you with everything you are going through.

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I wish you all the very best as you go through this journey, you sound like an incredibly strong woman. I would love to hear how things turn out for you, keep me updated if you can.

Take good care of yourself 😊

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This may be of interest to you. One of the afternoon sessions is on CPVT.

heartrhythmalliance.org/aa/...

Our sister forum Arrhythmia Alliance is focussed on dysrhythmias other than AF/AFL

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Not sure if this is for me, wyo19 or both? Thank you it’s very interesting, I’m already a member of the Arrhythmia Alliance forum but have never posted because it doesn’t seem to get many replies, not good if you are looking for support. I’ve noticed that this forum has many people with all types of arrhythmias despite its title.

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Hi. It’s for wyo19 because one of the afternoon sessions at Patients’ Day is on CPVT. Also signalling that there is likely to be knowledge in greater depth in some rhythm problems over there.

The lack of activity on AA is an issue and there is a case for amalgamating the two forums. RachelAdmin is looking at that.

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I just looked properly and saw that, how interesting and could be so helpful for wyo19.

In terms of the separate forums I think amalgamating the two would be so much better. Lots of people like myself have AFib alongside other arrhythmias and see them as one problem whereas someone with AFib alone may be inclined to think that I should perhaps post about my other arrhythmias elsewhere, this is after all the AFA. To me they are all variations of the same thing and that is why I often refer to them as my arrhythmias, It’s impossible to separate them. If I had found that the arrhythmia alliance had the same variation and response as this forum I would have posted to both. Inevitably when people search for support for heart rhythm problems they quickly realise that this seems to be the only place to get reliable responsive support, so the atrial fibrillation association has become by default an arrhythmia forum.

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Thank you for this! I will check it out!

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Hey! I had SVT symptoms after what was supposedly a successful ablation. Turns out it wasn’t successful after all. Can sometimes be a while before you can tell I think as it takes the heart a while to heal and get back to “normal”

I ended up having a second ablation and have now been symptom free for over a year (touch wood!!) Hang on in there!! 🙂

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Hi Jennbr, thank you so much for that. I’m really glad that you are feeling so much better and you are symptom free, what a result!

Was your first ablation for SVT?

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Yes my first ablation was for SVT. It lessened the amount of episodes I had but didn’t get rid of them completely. I ended up going back with the cardiologist using something called 3D mapping so he could see what was going on a bit better. I had 2 completly different experiences though. First ablation was horrible and had lots of pain and weird feeling for weeks afterwards. My second was much better and like I said, I’ve been symptom free ever since.

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That’s really good to know, thank you so much 😊 I had 3d mapping for this ablation. I’ve got a picture of my heart map, very cool.

Be interesting to see if it was a last swan song or not, fingers crossed 🤞

Take care 😊

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If not try, try again! 🙂

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I will, I’m not stopping now. If this thing can be fixed I’m going to keep trying until it is 😊

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Hello! I will have the 3D scan you speak of the day before my ablation. I will also have another test where they put a scope down my throat and check for clots. They say I will have a 70% success rate for my ablation.

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Hi 😊 I had both done at the same time, the 3d map and the ablation. I didn’t have the scope. That’s good odds of success, im wishing you all the very best 😊 let me know how you get on. Are you having your ablation under sedation or general anaesthetic?

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I will be under general anesthesia and will stay overnight at the hospital. They will do the scope first to make sure there are no blood clots.

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you little lady are warrior! i was pooping my pants when i had SVT after a intense workout that lasted 10 min or less i cant believe what so many hours feels like! best of luck to you

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Thank you 😊 4 hours was actually not too bad, my episodes have topped 24 hours over the years. I poop my pants every time though, even after all these years 🥴

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how do you do it? how do you cope when in these episodes??? and how high has ur HR gotten? whats ur all time high, ur amazing honestly a true warrior

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My all time high was over 280 in December my rates are always over 220 and usually sit for hours at 240 I don’t cope very well, I’m completely debilitated by them and lie down feeling like I’m about to die 🥴 I’ve had this problem for 30 years and I’ve never been able to control the awful feeling of fear I get at the onset of an episode.

12 years ago I went into SVT and then it converted to AFib and since that day my episodes have always followed that pattern. My AFib rates are very high too, especially if I move.

My episode post ablation was very different, the rate didn’t go over 130 and hovered at 116 if I laid down and it didn’t descend into AFib, the arrhythmia nurse feels it’s either altered because the ablation has been partially successful or it’s possibly AFlutter, the rate would suggest that, we are playing a wait and see game with it now. I coped much better with this episode as it was less physically demanding with the rate being 100 bpm less but I was crushed to be having it so soon post ablation as you can imagine 😪

The arrhythmia nurse helpfully said less than 5% of patients would have an episode like this after a successful SVT ablation, great odds unless you just happen to be in the 5% 😂

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jesus christ, 280?!? for how long? what is just amazing is that you never got a heart attack or stroke being that long in SVT plus AFIB is insane! you’re like immortal and i am just amazed at how tough you are, you’d make one hell of a marine! now why did this all start?? were u just sitting down and all of the sudden u got ur first episode or what triggered it??? and when u say it starts as SVT then AFIB do u feel the switch, and how does the switch feel like?? i still dont understand why all arrythmias do like a switch and turn into a different arrythmia each one more worse than the other right?! sorry im just so curious about what you have endured and i wanna know if its similar to what i feel, my stuff is probably baby things compared to yours, you inspire me honestly your toughness is incredible

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Not sure because I lost consciousness, not long I hope. It went back to 240 and stayed there. I don’t think that it’s all that unusual to have rates like that and lengthy episodes.

I was just standing still when it happened, it’s always like that I will just be doing nothing in particular and it strikes. Yes it’s a definite switch and it can switch between both rhythms during the episode. I didn’t not understand the switching either, a bit technical for me.

I wish I could accept the toughness and marine like credits but I’m honestly the biggest wimp you’ve ever seen 😂

Hope this helps and you get to the bottom of what’s happening with you. Take care 😊

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Hey Kelly,

Is the afib not more like irregular and the SVT regular beat? I thought that was the difference and the afib like a nasty flutter in the chest while the SVT more the pounding one? or...?

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Yes you are right Anna, AFib is irregular and in my case very fast rate, not sure if everyone’s is fast. SVT Is regular and fast. And yes your description is right, AFib is fluttery and chaotic and svt is pounding.

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When I’m in Svt the rhythm is regular but the speed can go up and down but it always stays regular.

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So, now you had the the pounding regular stuff going on?

I remember once, two years ago after playing a tennis match (it was hot that day) my heart fluttered for a few minutes, I didn’t now by then what was happening, I had it only once and I think, when I see it now that I had an Atrial flutter....? I didn’t like it a bit, if I have to choose between the sorts of arrhythmia, I prefer the fast, pounding, regular one.

to cope all these years with that nasty irregular, flutter and at that speed, 😲, you’re really a hero, no doubt about that!

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Yes i had an episode of the SVT, the regular fast pounding heart. My EP did an ablation for SVT because he thinks without that my heart won’t go into the other rhythms 🤞🤞🤞🤞 he is sure that the SVT is my trigger.

If I had to choose I would say the SVT over the others too, it doesn’t seem to mess with the blood getting to your head as much as the fast AFib 🥴

Thank you Anna, I’m the biggest baby you’ve ever seen, I panic and think I’m a gonner every time even after all the years of practice!

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Hi luvvy, so sorry for you. No mine was successful havent had an svt since my ablation in January. What I do get is a feeling sometimes as if it’s going to start but the in backfires and doesn’t happen if that makes sense.

Good luck Monday xx

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Thank you for such a lovely reply. Yeah that does make sense, I feel like that today.

So glad yours nailed it first time. I’m hoping it was just a blip🤞

Take care x

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I had my first ever SVT in December xmas day last year, waiting for my ablation Cardiologist said there is a 6 month waiting list, im currently on Bisraprol 2.5 mg but also suffer with extreme anxiety, to this day i still dont know what cause my SVT apart i was going through a real bad stomach virus at the time? is it true that the stomach linked to the heart? and could cause a SVT? i wasn't sure when i was told this.

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Sorry to hear you are going through all this, it’s a horrible thing and hopefully you will get your appointment through for your ablation soon.

With regards the link to stomach, in my case the answer is 100% yes! If you read some of my earlier posts you will get more details about what happens to me and lots of people saying that they have the same too.

Take care 😊

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Thank you Kelly, just reading your earlier post as your heart rate reach 280 you are so brave, i would totally freak out and my anxiety would have finished me if my heart was at that rate, thank you for your kind words i hope everything settles down for you now.

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Aw thank you 😊 I do freak out, I hate it so much. But I have to say that it was a lot easier to handle the post ablation rate of under 130, you can imagine. I still felt awful though I just can’t tolerate it, you would think after all these years I would have found a way to desensitise myself to it but I haven’t.

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Best wishes Kelly, I hope this is a blip and you have a better run now. After being on this forum for 3 years the one thing that sticks in my mind is the heart when in recovery will do what it wants when it wants, there is no normal recovery process. It took me 4 months to see the light after ablation and I had a right mix of good, bad and 50/50 days along the way. Take care of yourself and fight the good fight till you get there 💪😉

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Thank you for your kind words 😊

I’m hoping so much it was a blip too 🤞🤞🤞

Take care 😊

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sorry to hear about your episode Kelly. I actually did have palpitations after my ablation. even called my ep and she wanted me to go to er but it subsided. best is contact yr ep..cardiologist n get advice. maybe just your heart adjusting to new pathways. but don't neglect. am post ablation almost two months too n knda try to relax wen I feel heaviness or palpitations. take care...hope u feel better!

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Thank you for your kind reply, I’ve been in touch with the arrhythmia nurse, first thing I did, he is having a meeting with the EP on Tuesday. They are calling me Monday to see if I need a Kardia and then he is calling me midweek to let me now what the EP thinks so all in hand. It’s nice to hear yours settled down, I’m still very much in recovery mode so relaxation is the order of the day .

Take care 😊

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Sorry to hear this! I would say this is certainly not a normal part of post ablation recovery. Normal HR is expected to be 10-15bpm higher than normal for at least 6 weeks after ablation. I have had a number of SVT episodes but none have lasted more than 30 seconds max and never therefore required medication to revert me. But a Kardia has been amazing at capturing the events in real time, and has given my EP a really good picture of what is happening. Literally as I’m writing this I had a brief SVT bout, I sat up and it went away. I hope you feel better, and don’t get too concerned as easy as that’s to say, you are in good hands and will be looked after.

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Thank you for your helpful reply 😊

When I spoke to the arrhythmia nurse he said that an ablation for SVT doesn’t have a blanking period like an ablation for AFIB. In an ablation for AFib he said that breakthrough runs of AFib are quite common but not in an ablation for SVT so in his opinion my episode was not considered a normal part of recovery. That’s why I asked the question specific to SVT ablations. It’s all a very steep learning curve for me and I also think that my heart will respond exactly as it wants to and generally seems to be as awkward as it can! 🙄

I’m obviously disappointed but like you say I am very well looked after and feel like they will get to the bottom of it pretty quickly.

Take care 😊

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Hi Kelly,

One thing I’ve learnt having gone from being fit and healthy before this diagnosis of a-fib, a-flutter and SVT is that your heart reacts to so many different factors. I’ve had episodes triggered by mood, reacting to a situation (e.g an argument) position, lying down in a certain position will trigger it sometimes, after eating, being over tired. I never realised how many factors can cause symptoms.

I’m assuming you are on blood thinners now? For me, realising you aren’t going to suddenly drop down dead and despite the symptoms being unpleasant. The risks are mitigated by taking blood thinners. Yes blood thinners carry risks of their own, but the good outweigh the risks. Luckily I’m nearly a year post ablation and I’ve not had to take medication or visit hospital for symptoms.

I’m a strong believer that a lot is also mind over matter. I’ve stopped symptoms by learning not to worry.

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I hope only brighter days lie ahead for you, Kellyjelly. Wow, highs 200s, that’s an impressive number. Must have been scary. Anyway, hang in there.

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Thank you 😊 me too!

My rates have always been like that since I was 17, I thought that was normal for SVT.

Take care 😊

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Hi Kelly. So sorry to learn of your episode occurring a couple of days after your ablation for SVT. Are you certain it was SVT that happened? Could it have been A-Fib? I suppose... the fact they want to provide you a Kardia Mobile (great idea, btw) means they want to try to understand/identify the specific arrhythmia when (or if) it happens next time. In my own case getting myself a Kardia Mobile made all the difference as I could prove to my EP (with Kardia recordings that I was emailing to him) that my PAF was indeed worsening, and this all worked (finally!) to get my name placed on the ablation waiting list and ultimately moved up on that list.

I'm curious... in which general location of your heart did your RF ablation for SVT occur? In the right atrium?

Here's hoping it was just a blip. 🤞 Do let us know how you get on. Hang in there! 😊

Best wishes,

Richard

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Hi Kelly!!

Please know, first off, that this does not mean your ablation was unsuccessful. As other posters have already said, everyone’s recovery is different and this could have been triggered by some healing going on in a part of the heart that triggered it. My EP explained to me that everyone’s heart is innervated differently, and while the scar tissue is forming, it can touch a nerve that triggers an episode. He also told me they don’t really “count” any arrhythmias that occur in the first 3-6 months after ablation because every heart heals differently.

That being said, I 100% understand what you must be feeling right now. I too had an episode of svt - it happened a week ago and my rate stayed at 150 (meaning my atrial rate was 2 to 3 times higher than that) for about 15 minutes. I wasn’t doing anything at the time, although it had been a stressful day and I didn’t sleep well the night before. I laid down until it passed but I had a good cry about it afterwards, my husband kept trying to reassure me, but I was pretty convinced my ablation had failed. My EP is putting me back on a monitor for two weeks to see what’s going on, but luckily, I have not had any more episodes since that night (I did have two more brief runs later that same night). I hate having to go back on the monitor, but understand it’s necessity

I do sometimes feel like my rate is too high for rest—for example, it will be around 90, which is so much higher than it ever was at rest before the ablation. But I am staying in the mindset that this is how my heart is healing, and until the EP says otherwise, I am assuming that the beast is NOT back. Even if it is, I know I’ll have another ablation if needed.

It is so discouraging to have this happen, but you are not alone and must keep your mind on the positive side. I felt so good for 5 weeks and since the svt episode, I’ve been on pins and needles waiting for it to happen again. It is HORRIBLE to think you’ve put something behind you, only for it reoccur. But healing is not always a straight line. I’m convinced that our battle with svt is as much mental as it is physical. You WILL get past this and it WILL be behind you. Faith over fear, my fellow warrior.

Please keep us posted and know we are all saying positive thoughts for you as you continue healing.

♥️♥️♥️

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Thank you so much, I love your reply 😊 I’ve just read your ablation story and see that your ablation was the same as mine, I think you posted before I started posting and I missed the post.

I’m sorry that you have had an episode too and I’m hoping so much that it was a one off 🤞 as much as it feels like a backward step having monitors again at least it will catch anything thats going on.

I really appreciate you sharing what your EP has said about your recovery and any episodes you might have.

Like you I cried after my episode and my husband was really reassuring, it was just such a knock so quickly after my ablation but I am trying to remain hopeful and even though the arrhythmia nurse said it isn’t a normal part of recovery doesn’t mean it’s not normal for my heart.

My rate has been higher and a bit unpredictable since my ablation too, I feel the same as you in that I expected that to be the case during recovery so even though it is uncomfortable I’m just trying to go with it.

It is good to know that I am not alone and that this can happen and I’m hopeful that it was just a one off for both of us. You are so right, this journey takes courage and patience, it’s hard to feel “cured” when you still have symptoms and you are dealing with such a shape shifter but I know that we are lucky to have this arrhythmia because it is one of the easier ones to treat and even if it takes a few goes we will get rid of it!

Thank you again, I really appreciate all that you have shared in this reply and your detailed and helpful post regarding your ablation.

The best of luck and please let me know how you get on.

Take really good care x

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Just sending my sympathy. I so know how you feel with the fear and dread. I've had SVT which lurches into AF, then 2 ablations and still have recurrences (particularly in the blanking period for 4 months after the latest ablation) But importantly they aren't so bad as they used to be, which is good. But I see your nurse says that's not usually expected after an SVT ablation.

All of the above responses to your post have been great and helpful but there's one thing I can add. My husband had SVT which we picked up on my Kardia, but his EP said there are different SVT types. E.g. AVRT, AVNRT etc, and they originate in different parts of the heart and need different ablations (v complicated!). He said the Kardia could only show which one exactly if it picked up the end of the episode, so the type of "switch off" tells you a lot, apparently. I don't know if that helps but it might be worth asking about, so I pass it on with my heartfelt best wishes. I'm sure you'll nail this in the end.

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Thank you so much, that is a really helpful interesting reply.

Luckily before my ablation I had a monitor on and caught an episode from beginning to end and that along with the mapping provided a very definite diagnosis of AVNRT. So I had the slow pathway ablated and the EP was very sure that he got it. When I had the episode the other night I felt like it must be part of the healing process but the arrhythmia nurse said that wasn’t something he would expect to happen. That’s when he said that the type of ablation I had doesn’t have a blanking period. Isn’t it incredible how much you learn as you go through this isn’t it. The hospital I was treated at do 7 different types of ablation and each one has different recovery guidelines. I keep reminding myself that I have an arrhythmia that is one of the easier ones to treat.

Thank you again and take good care 😊

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So much to know!🤞for a good outcome.

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