RF Balloon Ablation Done!: Hi All, I just... - AF Association

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RF Balloon Ablation Done!

msraye777
msraye777
14 Replies

Hi All,

I just wanted to check in and report on my experience being a part of the RF Balloon Ablation Clinical Trial. I had it done on Friday, August 16th and so far so good. The surgeon says that he was only in there for 45 minutes! I woke up feeling fine but uncomfortable. This was owing to the way I was stitched. In the words on my nurse "They did you dirty". She said it looked like they tried to sew my belly to my thigh. OUCH!!! It took 3 of them to free me from that 1 stitch. After this, I was ok. The only pain killers they wanted to offer was Tylenol which would have been fine if not for the stitch, removal and the 30+ minutes of pressing on it to stop the bleeding. They eventually had to use something to clot the blood. So needless to say, I was kept overnight. I went home the next morning and all was fine for the most part. I am back at work full time (today was my first day). I am a little tired but otherwise fine. I can tell when I overdo it. My body definitely lets me know. But I'm learning to listen and not to rush. I'm happy to answer any questions.

14 Replies
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Padayn01

May I ask what is a ballon ablation? They had to cut you open?

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msraye777
msraye777
in reply to Padayn01

It’s the same as Cryoballoon ablation but instead of cold, the use heat. But I like traditional RF ablation, the modes are in a balloon like crying. (That’s the simple and to the point answer)

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HiloHairy

Where is the trial taking place?

What results are they hoping for in comparison to other methods?

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msraye777
msraye777
in reply to HiloHairy

It's a little further along in the approval process in the UK than in the US. I had mine done in the US (Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC).

The biggest perk for me was decreased operation time. The average is about 29 minutes. My doc said he was in there less than 45. As it was told to me, they were aiming to have the effectiveness of RF ablation combined with the efficiency/accuracy of cryo.

“This new balloon catheter is unique because it conforms to any pulmonary vein anatomy and allows me to control electrodes individually to deliver tailored energy when ablating around pulmonary veins,” said cardiac electrophysiologist Rodney Horton, M.D., who treated the first patient in the study with Dr. Andrea Natale at the Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute at St. David’s Medical Center+.

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Japaholic

I had an RF ablation, the doc showed me the tool he used, it looked like the inside of a small pen. How do they get a expandable RF surface?

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msraye777
msraye777
in reply to Japaholic

I can't explain it but you can Google images of the device.

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HiloHairy

Does this change the recuperation time or is it still likely to be months?

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msraye777
msraye777
in reply to HiloHairy

Do you mean the 3 month blanking period? If so, that is still the same. But I will say that so far I haven't had any of the after effects that I was expecting. I've only felt fatigue if I do too much activity.

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HiloHairy
HiloHairy
in reply to msraye777

What I'm referring to by months of recuperation is that most of the people on the forum talk about needing to take it very easy for several months, sometimes up to a year.

I've been holding off getting an ablation because fitness has become an important part of my life. I work out strenuously five mornings a week.

I'm 69 but in part from fear from my AFib I lost 80 lbs, reshaped my body to be lean and muscular and seriously raised my energy level. If I have to lay around for two or three months or more I'm afraid I'll lose all the gains I've made by learning to eat healthy and getting active.

At present I get an A-fib event every five or six weeks and it certainly kills the day but the rest of the time I'm still me.

For the above reason I'm wondering; what do you mean by "too much activity?"

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msraye777
msraye777
in reply to HiloHairy

You definitely won’t have to lay around. I’m not physically active at all. I am a 35 year old mother of 2 young kids. You won’t be doing heavy lifting for a few weeks. But you can definitely do cardio. When I said too much activity I mean taking a few flights of stairs at work makes me tired more easily than before. It doesn’t mean I don’t do it. I live in the DC area with terrible traffic and work a high stress job. And for the most part I am fine. One day not even a week after surgery, I decided to declutter and redecorate my girls’ room. My body eventually told me that was enough and the next day I took it easy.

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HiloHairy
HiloHairy
in reply to msraye777

It sounds like you're able to be much more active then I'm used to reading about from people who had ablations even three or four months before. Maybe this new technique is easier on the body in general?

How does one volunteer?

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msraye777
msraye777
in reply to HiloHairy

Where are you located? It would come down to finding a doctor that is authorized to perform them. I lucked out because my surgeon asked me to do it.

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Bambi65

why stitch, or stitches?

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msraye777
msraye777
in reply to Bambi65

Something about the incision site being larger because the balloon is larger than the cryo balloon.

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