New here, considering ablution : Hello I am... - AF Association

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New here, considering ablution



I am new here and considering ablation, my cardiologist recommends it, I have had two go arounds with afib that required cardio conversation, the 1st was 5 years ago and than it got me on July 1 and I was converted on July 29th.

The first time I was very low on potassium I required 3 transfusions to get be back to normal, the 2nd time all seemed good but one change was about 30 days prior to going into afin I stopped taking magnesium supplements as Doc told me their were a waste, not sure if this influenced my going into afib or not.

I have found a very reputable electrophysiologist to perform the ablation (RF) and I am considering it as I am over all in good health and "fairly" young at 58

Anyone have any thoughts?

26 Replies

Go for it and also ask your E P his thoughts on magnesium.

Firstly Hi & Welcome, great forum brimmed full of supportive and helpful people sharing their experiences.

Ablation works for many people, it tends to be more successful for males and younger people (under 45) and for those near the start of symptoms as AF tends to be progressive. It is worth remembering that any treatment for AF is to improve QOL rather than a life saving procedure and often requires more than one. I was 62 when I had my first ablation which unfortunately made things a lot worse, I had very symptomatic AF several times a week which drugs were ineffective at stopping episodes and was not offered a CV, as many women aren’t. Second ablation a few months later did eliminate episodes for about 3 years and when it returned symptoms were much less and more bearable. You will find people posting about their 2nd, 3rd or even 8th in one case ablation so do remember that this is not a once only and forever cure for AF, although for some it may be.

My experiences will obviously colour my view which is:- if all else fails ie- for many people making Lifestyle changes such as keeping to recommended BMI, getting 8 hours of good quality sleep every night, avoiding triggers, maintaining good hydration and electrolyte levels, taking various supplements which are known to improve heart health such as Magnesium, D-Ribose, L-Cartinine & COQ10 etc have found to be as efffective as ablation.

If your QOL of life is compromised it is worth having the procedure but please be prepared and read the leaflet about recovering from ablation on the AFA website

I found this site also very informative about supplementing for heart arrythmias which many people find very helpful.

The procedure itself was not an issue for me, actually I found it fascinating and was awake for some of the procedure as it was performed under sedation, which I would recommend but some prefer GA which takes a lot longer to clear your system and comes with it’s own risks.

Forum members rarely feel they were adequately prepared for recovery which often can take a lot longer than the 1-2 weeks quoted by doctors.

Deciding to have an ablation is a very personal decision and depends upon many factors so I would not just rely upon doctors opinion but do your own research, ask really penetrating questions of yourself as well as your doctors, look at alternatives and see if they may help you and only then decide if this is for you.

Also bear in mind that many for whom ablation works do not stick around this forum for too long........

If you put ‘Ablation’ into the search engine for this site you will read numerous reports and thread discussions, many of which can help you decide whether or not ablation would be helpful for you.

Best wishes

easygoer13 in reply to CDreamer

thank you for the great info, the part about being awake is confusing as I have heard GA or a local

CDreamer in reply to easygoer13

they would normally administer a sedative with a local so you would be relaxed. You need to stay very still for the whole of the procedure - mine were both 7 hours+ so you need something to keep you relaxed!

Hi Easygoer

I’m not sure about magnesium or potassium, but as far as ablations are concerned I suppose the answer is how much does your AF inhibit your LIFE. I have had two ( I’m 52) and felt absolutely wonderful after mine ( after about 4-6 weeks) I couldn’t even walk uphill with the dog , struggled with stairs, couldn’t get up a whole flight without having to stop and get my breath, tired, up urinating in the night 5 or 6 times , the only downside is when it didn’t work the first time, I was so deflated and down , but these guys and my friends helped with that., if my af returns I wouldn’t hesitate to have a third.

Good luck

Kind regards


PS - ignore your cardiologist saying that magnesium supplementation doesn’t help those with arrythmias as there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to the contrary and it is essential for efficient cell mitochondria functioning. The majority of the population in US and to some extent in Europe are deficient in Magnesium and the fact you need a Potassium infusion indicates that your electrolytes go out of kilter so in your position I would make my first stop a professional Lifestyle Doctor/Nutritionist for comprehensive testing and advice. Blood serum levels of Mag are no indicator of cell concentrations.

easygoer13 in reply to CDreamer

thank you, I think I am going to start taking it again as it was the one thing I can point to that changed prior to my going back into afib

I am told its the best way froward as the drugs stop working after a period of time, I am referring to Bisoperal although they me you may need more than one ablation.

I went into London Bridge hospital last Thursday for my procedure and had a Cardiac Tamponade so spend 3 days in ICU not what I had Planned. so now I am put off from having this again. keep in touch after your procedure which I hope goes well

CDreamer in reply to bobpitt

So sorry that happened to you, it is a very rare but possible complication. I do hope you take plenty of time to recover, both physically & psychologically.

FYI - Bisoprolol is a beta blocker which is a rate inhibitor which doesn’t have any anti arrythmia properties so will only help if tachycardia is a trigger for your AF. Many people find they cannot tolerate it at all, including me.

Thanks for that help, I have the same problem with Bisoprolol it lowers my Hear Rate to much which make me feel feint.

What arrhythmia drugs would you recommend as I have a number that my G P does not want me to use Digoxin being one of the ,

Go for it. I have had two CV's the first lasted just short of a year and the second is still going strong but am considering ablation once I recover from my knee replacement operation which I am having next week.

Go for it if you want rid and your EP agrees you are a good candidate. I was 58 when I had a pvi cryo ablation for afib. Stopped the afib. Jan29 2018.came off all drugs may15 2018

GET ectopics occasionally usually seconds sometime minutes a few occasions hours. EP unconcerned so i ignore them. Occasionally have a big jump in Hr when I go running usually at the start. EP NOT sure why that is, I showed him my Garmin traces says if it gets worse contact him. Rarely happens if it goes to 160 bpm I stop running try again the day after and no problem.!??

For all I know i had the ectopics and the funny hr before I was diagnosed afib. I am (was) asymptomatic in afib

Are you saying you have only ever had two episodes. I'm a great fan of ablation and had mine in 2013 and no more AF. I was having episodes almost daily. However if you have only had two episodes, you may be a bit hasty. Also, look at weight, diet, sleeping pattern and magnesium levels.

Remember it is about improving quality if life.

easygoer13 in reply to lallym

thank you, two that I am aware of and required conversion. I may have had many others, I do not know.

I want to get off the drugs, for about 4 years I only took blood pressure medicine and a very low dose of metoprolol but now I am on an arrhythmia and blood thinners along with the BP meds.

lallym in reply to easygoer13

You might want to ask for a holter monitor for 7 days. That would give you some indication of episodes you might be having. Remember, ablation is a serious procedure not to be taken lightly and like all interventions is not without risk.

Also, many people remain on some meds after ablation - especially anticoagulant. I am on apixaban.

I'm not trying to put you off but seems a bit drastic if you've only had two episodes. Definitely needs more investigation and if course discussion with you ep.

easygoer13 in reply to lallym

thank you, I had a 24 hour holter after my conversion and was told no afib but a lot of skipped beats

The reason for the ablation is I am told afib is something that typically does not get better and doing it later (aging) is not something that makes sense as recovery is more challenging as we age. I am scheduled for the end of October as it sits now.

By the way my EP Doctor performs several hundred a year, so he is well versed.

My EP (and a few other respected cardiologists) recommend Magnesium. When I started taking it my AF improved. I’ve has 4 ablations (2 for AF) and now feel great.


Since you are so young, you might try this before any surgery:


After 9 years of trying different foods and logging EVERYTHING I ate, I found sugar (and to a lesser degree, salt – i.e. dehydration) was triggering my Afib. Doctors don't want to hear this - there is no money in telling patients to eat less sugar. Each person has a different sugar threshold - and it changes as you get older, so you need to count every gram of sugar you eat every day (including natural sugars in fruits, etc.). My tolerance level was 190 grams of sugar per day 8 years ago, 85 grams a year and a half ago, and 60 grams today, so AFIB episodes are more frequent and last longer. If you keep your intake of sugar below your threshold level your AFIB will not happen again (easier said than done of course). It's not the food - it's the sugar (or salt - see below) IN the food that's causing your problems. Try it and you will see - should only take you 1 or 2 months of trial-and-error to find your threshold level. And for the record - ALL sugars are treated the same (honey, refined, agave, natural sugars in fruits, etc.). I successfully triggered AFIB by eating a bunch of plums and peaches one day just to test it out. In addition, I have noticed that moderate exercise (7-mile bike ride or 5-mile hike in the park) often puts my Afib heart back in to normal rhythm a couple hours later. Don’t know why – perhaps you burn off the excess sugars in your blood/muscles or sweat out excess salt??

Also, in addition to sugar, if you are dehydrated - this will trigger AFIB as well. It seems (but I have no proof of this) that a little uptick of salt in your blood is being treated the same as an uptick of sugar - both cause AFIB episodes. (I’m not a doctor – it may be the sugar in your muscles/organs and not in your blood, don’t know). In any case you have to keep hydrated, and not eat too much salt. The root problem is that our bodies are not processing sugar/salt properly and no doctor knows why, but the AFIB seems to be a symptom of this and not the primary problem, but medicine is not advanced enough to know the core reason that causes AFIB at this time. You can have a healthy heart and still have Afib – something inside us is triggering it when we eat too much sugar or get (even a little) dehydrated. Find out the core reason for this and you will be a millionaire and make the cover of Time Magazine! Good luck! - Rick Hyer

easygoer13 in reply to Hidden

you believe cutting sugar will stop afib?, this is new to me, I know weight loss is supposed to help

I think the advice you've received from all these folks is good, and I would concur that if your AFib is affecting your quality of life, go for it. I only had two diagnosed episodes of AFib prior to my ablation, but I think I had some episodes a few years prior. My EP and cardiologist said the sooner you do it, the better the result. It's been almost a year since my ablation and, knock on wood, I've had no instances of AFib. Still on anti-coagulants and working on lifestyle changes. As everyone here has mentioned, the recovery is longer than the EP will tell you. They will say you can return to your normal activities after 2-3 weeks, but, that's true only if your normal activities are walking from the TV to the fridge and driving to the store! It takes a full year to be totally recovered and a few months to ease back into strenuous activities. Also, do check with your EP about magnesium. I think your history of potassium deficiency might warrant a supplement. Good luck and stay in touch!

easygoer13 in reply to Jjda

thank you

easygoer13 in reply to Jjda

yes that is what mine is telling me, that afib typically does not go away and normally only gets worse with age, so doing it now is the more prudent choice unless I am OK with the MED's. I do seem to tolerate them fine but I know they cannot be good for your long term health

I like your subject title easygoer13, wish it could be as simple as an "ablution", we could

all benefit !

CDreamer in reply to cycleman73

It made me smile....

Thanks all, I appreciate your thoughts and input.

When I say I only had two episodes, that is all I am aware of and needed conversion both times.

I want to get off of the drugs which is why I am considering the ablation procedure. Doctors make it sound simple but those who deal with it tell a bit of a different tale.

It sounds to me like it is too early for an ablation. I would suggest drugs if essential to stabilise the AF to buy time and then visit the best Naturopath you can find to discuss supplements et al. If this fails over 2 years and QOL dips then go for the ablation.

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