Having second thoughts: I am scheduled to... - AF Association

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Having second thoughts

I am scheduled to have my ablation on June 12. I have been pretty much a fib free with a little bit of breakthrough and Then take Flecainide I have read here by a couple of people that they would have an a fib episode maybe just two or three times in a few months but they still move forward with an ablation. Before I was on Flecainide I was having a lot of problems heart rate to 170 and lasting long periods of time hours and hours. I am on Eliquis and I am just not getting the a fib attacks that I was before. I’m just thinking maybe I could cancel my ablation but my problem is my husband wants to retire early next year and I won’t have the kind of insurance that I have now and that’s kind of a problem to just Wanted your thoughts

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In the long term, side effects from rhythm control medication are apparently more likely. Also apparently less likely to be effective eventually.

Early ablation, if lifestyle changes are ineffective, is said to be more successful before atrial remodelling has developed.

The counter argument could be that over time, new ablation patterns and different ablation devices may offer improved success rates.

What does your EP advise?

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Yes that is what I’ve been concerned about with the rhythm controlled medications. And then if you have changes then you’re unlikely to be able to even take them. Thank you so much for your perspective this is weighing so heavy on my mind as you are now and many of you have been where I am.

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Why don’t you want to have the ablation , it’s like a slightly bumpy bus ride ! I had one two weeks ago , I’m a retired dentist , for svt , which I’ve suffered with for years , yes treatments may improve but we haven’t got time on our side ! Get it done and it’s out of the way . It’s very expensive if you need it in the future and you are not insured ! 20Kroughly , just be brave , I’m sitting here safe and sound and feeling better !

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Don't wait for the drugs to stop working. Get it done now while you have a chance.

Much as I would love to agree with oyster's second point we are still flying byplanes here with AF and they won't be invented the jet engine for another ten years. All the developments over the last ten years have only been very minor and mostly just helped the EPs work load. Love to be proved wrong!

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I agree with you and that’s in the forefront of my mind. I feel like because I don’t have any heart damage and my atrium has not changed then it would be the best time to do the procedure. I guess it’s just when you start feeling really well and you think wow maybe it’s gone away or maybe it won’t come back for a long time. I appreciate your comments and I will certainly take them into major consideration

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Before I had ablations I felt absolutely fine between each bout of AF. However it kept coming back like a bad smell.

I think you should have the ablation. When you are in the Cath Lab they will induce AF to enable them to identify the paths that need zapping.

I would strongly advise against cancelling as you will kick yourself (Horses hurt when they kick😜) if it returns a week after the arranged date.

Pete

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Pete I know that is what my husband said. Murphy is alive and well! I hate being such a baby really. I have enjoyed good health until the last 2 years with Afib. I don't know any of you personally but I trust you all. Amazing. Thank you for your response.

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I think everyone feels very conflicted before ablation. I decided in my head to say I was going ahead with it with the proviso I could change my mind up until the last minute. I was in the waiting room thinking about doing a runner !! It’s a big decision. I went ahead and after 5 months of various bumps and arrhythmias all settled. That was 2013 and still AF free.

So good luck but it is good to be med free.

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Wow. Thank you

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Just had my first ablation on Friday , was cryo cardiac ablation where they inserted a balloon in each area and freeze burned these areas, I had thought they would induce ablation. - but turns out they didn’t. So when I come off Flecinaide in A month I guess we’ll see if it worked . I’d been AF free for two years since being cardioverted in 2016 then put on Flecinaide morning and night when I was getting intermittent episodes of AF that came and went . Reason I decided to go on ablation is since starting Flecinaide been getting major Eptopic beats and want to get rid of the drugs as much as I can . My only regret so far is I feel ripped of as thry didn’t induce AF to do the Ablation. , really wondering if it’s Just bout the money they make

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I don't understand how they did an ablation without knowing where is issues are. That's really puzzling for sure. I would try to get to the bottom of that. I hope all goes well for you.

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Hello Pete I will be having an Electrophysiology study done june 13th for palpitations and PAC in the top chamber. HR is 150 to 180 constantly. they will trigger AF and see where its coming from then ablate. Is the term misfire my EP used the same as triggering??

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It sounds much more like ectopic beats.

An ectopic beat is either a missed beat or an extra beat. It is a nuisance I know but hopefully the ablation will fix it for you.

Pete

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yes hope so too.. thank you

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I was also ambivalent about having the ablation once I discovered Fleccainide which helped me immensely. But I read here the about the fact that "afib begets afib" and decided to go ahead with the procedure. I'm very happy I did and wouldn't hesitate to have a 2nd one if episodes return. I feel so much better off of the beta blocker & more motivated about maintaining healthy lifestyle habits. Good luck with whichever direction you take. Susan Marie

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Thank you. Yes I have gone pretty much plant based and I feel so much better. I walked Saturday 3 miles no issues. My step sister had an ablation and said the exact same thing. I just needed more opinions as I know she had success and its easy to hear that from her because it was so successful. Thanks again.

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As they say, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.....the chances are your AF will get worse but it has to be your decision.....just try to make the right one.....😉

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Yes! And I have horses and know this well! I was reading all the what ifs... I guess I need to stop reading!

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Yes you can go around in circles reading too many comments always remember that many of us all have varying degrees of symptoms,diagnosis and treatments listen to your cardiologist..

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The reason you have fewer issues with symptoms is the flecainide. It is very much a personal decision whether you want to rely on a chemical solution to your problem (which may become ineffective after a while) or use a physical solution. I know that I didn't want to keep feeding my body toxic chemicals in the hope that they would remain effective and took the risk of limited and controlled elimination of faulty cells in my heart to eradicate my debilitating symptoms. During my most recent ablation my EP took steps to stimulate other cells to malfunction so this gives me some comfort that my arrhythmia should not return any time soon. We all have different perspective on our problems and their potential solutions and what is the right decision for me may not sit well with someone else. Some valid points are made above by other contributors. All I can do is add an outline of my own thought process.

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I believe your correct on all accounts. Gosh I just need to hear these things. I guess I am just a big chicken. I have never had anything wrong with me to any extent (by the grace of God) and I am having trouble accepting this situation. I don't want toxic chemicals in my body whatsoever! I saw that they use Dye which I didn't realize and take a bunch of xrays. So that got me off the rails for sure.

Thanks you so much for your perspective and I know that is correct. The Flecainide is the reason I am doing OK.

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You are not alone. I was terrified before my ablation. I, however, was in a position where flecanide and Cartia were not working as preventative meds after just under a year. My arrthymia broke through them. Let me tell you, you do not want to get to that point!

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No I don't want to be in that position for sure! I have decided to move forward. Your thought and the thoughts of others have shown me what I believe is the truth of what can or will occur if I get worse. Thanks for sharing.

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Hi horse57, since I started flecanaide I never got afib episodes, but it didn’t make me not want the ablation.......cos they say early ablation are better results.......it is a gift horse I feel..........yes I felt fine getting no afib while I was on tablets...butthe chance to be taking no tablets and being normal....wow!....of course you are concerned we all were.....my fretting got worse the closer it got.....then whooooosh I walked into the hospital and a cloud was lifted,they take such good care of you.....You’ve this forum to bavk youthru your journey as we all have......

Sue

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Thank you. This forum is so comforting and amazing. I feel incredibly blessed to read Everyone’s posts of wisdom and knowledge.

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I told the consultant that I was only getting PAF once or twice a month and the heart usually went back into rhythm after a number of hours. His reply was “Good for you, but that’s still too often and doesn’t mean that the ablation is no longer needed”.

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That’s so good to hear because my EP does not say it to me that way or at least just does not say that. So that perspective is important to understand. Thanks

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Do it now, AF only gets worse

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I’m realizing that with everyone’s wisdom here.

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I agree with all other comments. I had no AF once I was on Flecainide twice daily but still went for the ablation (March 28th). I was nervous and worried I'd feel awful afterwards and if I was fine on Flec why risk it. But I did go ahead and no regrets. I felt fine from day one. Some visual aura in first 10days but short lived and no headaches. One episode of ectopics on day 14 (1-2 hours). I took it easy because that's the advice here but quite honestly I didn't feel that I needed to. I'm to stop the flec soon so that'll be ultimate test as to how well it worked.

Good luck, go for it.

Amanda

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That’s exactly how I have felt about the Flecainide . But brighter people here have reminded me that it is a chemical and it is toxic and eventually may just completely stopped working. That is really compelling and a reason to have the ablation

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I would go for it, wonder why cardiologists prefer to use drugs as the first defense & not ablation ? I’ve never been offered an ablation & just started taking flecanide regular & I too will loose my insurance end of July

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Is ablation an option for you?

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Can’t see why not

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My experience is that afib gets worse the more you have it. I had to take ever more drugs for it that had side effects. So I had an ablation. I have not had Afib since the ablation 29/01/18 and have not taken ANY drugs since 15th May 2018! Focus on the potential upsides! In any event my pvi cryo ablation was no issue. Local in the groin meant I felt nothing. The cryo itself , the pain is like the pain of Biting into a very cold icecream - the brain freeze. Little felt in the chest. I also had a right atria RF ablation for reentrant flutter a month after. A smaller shorter procedure. The pain there is a bit more and is felt in the right shoulder, again not in the chest. I have had much worse pain at the dentist.

I am not medically qualified but it worked for me. If AF returns tomorrow morning I will happily have another ablation tomorrow afternoon!

Best wishes.

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Thank you for the description. It’s very help Because it’s just such an unknown. I appreciate your post and I’m so glad you’re a fib free. All of you are wonderful here😊

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I don't know how old you are but if I were your older brother or mother, I'd be taking your down to the hospital holding your ear or pummeling you. That's Afib, always pulling on your ear. You need to get the ablation done just to see how simple the process is. And if you are free of Afib, what joy!

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You sound like my family! I’m 62 I. A few days. Still 61! So noted😊

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Get in there and get it done! It only gets worse and every bout you have dose damage to your precious heart. I’m two years post ablation and I promise you that is the very best thing I have ever done for myself in my entire life❤️

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I’m so glad it worked for you! I think you are all correct. This forum is invaluable. Thank you😊

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I too have to decide on ablation on 17th July. Only 1 (and a half ) flutters so far. I can only draw on my experience of cyberknife for prostate cancer. Yes you read all the dire warnings and experiences of people (Tiny tiny %), for whom it went wrong. With cyberknife you can end up doubly incontinent and wearing diapers for the rest of your life. I worried and worried and then my old doc told me about people who just ignored the cancer and ended up with a terminal loaf sized malignant lump on the shoulder or anywhere... So I bit the bullet and just did it. Five one hour sessions. Billed at $222,000, reduced to 27 k and I paid annual max 5k...Great result and the nasty number went from 6.4 to 0.4 as at last week... Yes there is a risk with ablation, but its very small and the rewards are said to be very good and long lasting, even 'curative'... The docs dismiss the $$$ coz they earn 4 million a year...but we don't, and it IS important... I have docs and dentists sneer at me when I mention money coz it's not a factor for doctors...(in the US)...... "A stitch in time saves nine"

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Are you in the US? I’m in the US. Wow you had amazing results with your prostate cancer surgery. Good for you I’m very happy for you. I have decided after reading all these comments and listening to everyone I’m going to move forward and have the ablation on June 12. I am thank you for your comments and wish you the best always😊

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hello please let us know how it went.. my ablation is June 13th..

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I will. And you let us know as well😊

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Where are you in the US? I'm in the DC area and having cryoablation tomorrow and am freaking out as well. I also had thoughts of backing out and then I was in AFib for 12 hours Friday and couldn't work. I knew I didn't want to keep going through that so I'm ready for the surgery now. My only concern is being away from my babies for 2 nights lol. I'm 35 and they are keeping me overnight because I also have Sickle Cell.

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My best to you! I am praying for you that all goes well and you return to your babies completely healed from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet! Let us know how you are doing :)

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Thank you so much! That was very kind of you. I pray the same for you. They called right after I posted this to ask if I could push it back a week because the hospital was having equipment failure. So now I'm a go for the 18th instead.

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Take good care! Its still right around the corner. We will do well :)

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I'm in Southern California. I love DC.

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Best wishes for your ablation on the 12th, will be thinking of you and waiting for your report back.

Jean

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Jean that is very kind. Thank you and I will report back!

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I'm 18 days post AF RF ablation. Like you, like everyone. I was scared to death. Recovery so far has been completely uneventful and easy. I'm 37, have 40+ cardioversions under my belt. I wish i would have done it sooner.

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