Failed third ablation now what: Hi have only... - AF Association

AF Association

21,173 members25,932 posts

Failed third ablation now what


Hi have only posted once before but I read all posts every day.Had third ablation on September 28th this year which put me in sinus rhythm for two days and back into afib since then to current day.I was told by my ep at lhch this would be my last as he would do no more.My previous ablations both gave me months of sinus rhythm but my kardia shows possible afib all the time and are confirmed as af by email to kardia cardiologist .My next clinic is in april 2020 and my heart failure seems to get worse daily leaving me weak and fatigued.Any advice how to progress ie email to ep secretary for earlier appointment or do I have to accept permanent af.Thanks for any advice,Harry

20 Replies

Do me a favor and place your index finger and your middle finger against your throat and feel for your pulse. Is it steady or is it thready like Afib? Also are you taking magnesium? On March 4, I had my third ablation, and within three days went back into Afib. Started taking magnesium bi-glycinate on March 4 and by April 2 was back in sinus rhythm. Still in sinus rhythm. Also, in my third ablation, my EP performed the Topera method, where they insert these through the catheters instruments that will measure Afib points within the heart. My EP said that if I go into Afib again, the Topera instruments will show exactly where the Afib originates, so that when they perform a 4th ablation, they will be guided by the Topera mapping.

bbigH in reply to Dawsonmackay

Hi thanks for your reply I do take my pulse from my neck and it is irregular I have in the last few days started taking magnesium taurate to see if it helps.My first ablation I was part of a study all over Europe called Uncover and have had a letter back from them them commiserating but stating that 97% of the patients in trial had no further afib after two years.Ihave had constant antibiotics and steroids to treat my Bronchiotasis and thought this might complicate things but after three weeks clear of infection no improvement in af so don't know how to proceed

Dawsonmackay in reply to bbigH

Probably have another consultation with a different EP. Watch how much magnesium you take because I get edema above 300 mg a day.

When was your first ablation? Improvements and methodologies are really improving for Afib patients. There are so many people diagnosed with he condition each year, that, I believe, it's a matter of a couple of years before EP's will be able to perform an ablation with a very high degree of permanent success.

bbigH in reply to Dawsonmackay

first 2017 second 2018 third two months ago

bbigH in reply to Dawsonmackay

Hi I am taking 200mg and will see how it goes over next few weeks thanks for your help

Agree you could try another ep. Also look at your lung issues. If your breathing is bad ( not just having infection) it will affect your heart ( like sleep apnoea does) look at diet- no alcohol, caffeine and have high potassium foods.

bbigH in reply to rosyG

Hi I have had no alcohol since june have regular bananas and occaisional cups of tea and careful with diet having had type 2 diabetes controlled for 12 years

I too am of the view that you should seek a second opinion.

After my 3rd ablation I was told there was nothing more they could do.

A change of EP and 4 more ablations later I have now been in NSR for approaching 2 ½ years apart from maybe 4 short episodes in that period.

Prior to the last ablation it happened sometimes twice a week and never less frequently than once a month.


Has your EP mentioned pace and ablate? This usually seem s to be the next step if ablations are not successful and appears, based on comments here, to improve QOL considerably.

bbigH in reply to Buffafly

before third ablation asked about pace and ablate and ep said didn't want to do this procedure on me and went ahead with ablation

Buffafly in reply to bbigH

In that case definitely get a second opinion, an ablation should be your choice 😮

Sorry to hear your predicament, ask about the AcQmap trial and try to get on that it's a new ablation system.


bbigH in reply to Andyc934

Hi Andy that is the trial I was on for my first failed ablation in 2017 it took six and a half hours, whilst under cardo rehab supervision it came back and stayed.I did receive a letter from the trial stating 97% of trialists had no afib in next two years but I still have it two years later

Hi Harry

I too had 3 failed ablations very disappointed so gave up alchohol and asked for a 4th

My cardiologist said he'd be more inclined to send me to a psychiatrist to have my head tested than a 4th ablation.

I was declared in permanent afib

Since then I put myself on 200mg of magnesium citrate each night a glass of coconut water each day and a glass or 2 of red wine in the evening.

I'm now in afib sometimes normal rhythm sometimes and tachycardia sometimes.

I feel pretty good nearly all the time I dont believe anyone can be cured of afib it will return eventually, just live your life as stress free as possible.

It's disconcerting to hear some of the medical responses after having three or more failed ablations, especially the reply from one fellow member that they were advised to have their "head examined!" After too many to count cardioversions and three failed ablations, I had a Maze procedure performed last spring and have been afib free after probably 20 years of permanent afib. It wasn't without risks and recovery was a bit slow, but it's an option if you find the right person to do it. You might want to read up on it before seeing your doctor in April and ask if it's an alternative for you.


I have 2 things for you to try. Both helped me and lots of others. Here is a cut-and-paste of the 2 things:



Try reducing your sugar intake until your afib goes away (and stay hydrated). Here is the data I have accumulated on that subject:

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 (this is why all doctors agree that afib gets worse as you get older). 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 (afternoon) 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?? I also found that strenuous exercise does no good – perhaps you make yourself dehydrated??

I'm pretty sure that Afib is caused by a gland(s) - like the Pancreas or Thyroid - or an organ that, in our old age, is not working well anymore and excess sugar or dehydration is causing them to send mixed signals to the heart - for example telling the heart to beat fast and slow at the same time - which causes it to skip beats, etc. I can't prove that (and neither can my doctors), but I have a very strong suspicion that that is the root cause of our Afib problems. I am working on this with a Nutritionist and hope to get some definitive proof in a few months.

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

PS – there is a study backing up this data you can view at:


How much sugar do you need to stop your afib? The answer is about 1/2 of what your daily sugar limit (threshold) is. My sugar threshold is about 80 grams a day right now. So if I go over that (and it's sooooo easy to do) my heart will start to afib. Then if I cut back to about 40-45 grams of sugar for one or two days, then the heart goes back to normal rhythm and stays there until I exceed my daily threshold of sugar again. (moderate exercise will shorten that time frame). I have gone 30 days under my sugar threshold with no afib once just to prove it is the sugar. And I have consumed my daily limit of sugar every day after going into afib and it stayed in afib for a week - just to prove that worked. So - as long as you know what your sugar threshold is you can control it, but that takes several weeks of experimenting to figure out. I use the following WEB site to know how much sugar is in different foods:



If your sugar tolerance is so low that you cannot live without going over it, try this:

If you find that your sugar threshold is lower than 50 grams a day - it's nearly impossible to eat less than that each day, which will keep you in permanent Afib. If this is the case, try going to a Nutrition Response Tester. I am doing this and she has improved my gland processing such that we have increased my sugar threshold from 48 grams a day to about 75, which is high enough to stay under - and keep afib from happening (unless I indulge in a sweet something – which I do too often). I'm hoping we can get my sugar threshold over 100 grams a day, and if so, that would pretty much stop any afib from happening again (assuming I consume less than 100 grams a day which is not too difficult to do). If I have success in achieving this, I will post it on this forum. If you are on any harsh meds they might be altering your metabolism and something else could be causing your afib. In that case, you will have to really listen to your body and experiment to find out what is triggering your afib. I'm pretty sure it's some gland or secretion in the body that results in sending mixed signals to the heart - not the heart itself. Hope this helps.

- Rick Hyer.

You might find it interesting to read The Sinatra Solution: Metabolic Cardiology by Stephen T. Sinatra. He makes some interesting suggestions about Heart Failure (and AF).

Permanent is very hard to stop(as you know). Has MAZE or any other newer procedures been discussed? The scarring has probably gotten really bad, but if there's anything you can try I would. I wish the best and don't give up hope.

try workman procedure it works

You may also like...