Second ablation for SVT: Hi Just wondering if... - AF Association

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Second ablation for SVT

Paula27 profile image

Hi

Just wondering if anyone else has had to have a second ablation ?

I had my first one in July of 2019, doctor said it was successful, went for my 3 month check up and everything seemed to be going great with no more SVT attacks.

Move forward to December 2019, I got another SVT attack of 210 BPM and had to go to the hospital to have it slowed down with adenosine. I have an appointment to have a second ablation done April 16, 2020 and am feeling worried, dissapointed and scared as the first time.

The doctor apologized and said I'm sorry sometimes this happens and I thought I got it. But he was going to use the 3D mapping and get to the bottom of it this time around.

I'm in a wedding party and going to Cancun Mexico in March and am so nervous that I will have a SVT attack while on vacation and they won't know what to do to get me back to normal rythem 😭

32 Replies

If you're that worried, don't get on a plane. I had three ablations and have been in NSR for about a year. There is nothing to be worried or scared about - 100,000 ablations have preceded you and 85% of them are the better for it.

Hi Paula. I'm sorry to hear you are feeling so anxious and disappointed. I had my first SVT ablation 2 days ago and although I've been reasonably reassured it was a success, I can't help worrying. I think your anxiety is perfectly normal cinsiderinf the circumstances. Reassurance from the experts may help you. Are you able to speak to your Consultant to ask these questions Paula? Wishing you well and I hope you'll be able to enjoy the wedding.

Paula27 profile image
Paula27 in reply to Karen63A

Hi Karen, thank you for your response.

I spoke to my specialist and he is the sweetest doctor. He told me that they normally wait 15-20 minutes before removing you off the bed to make sure the ablation worked and that he was sure it was a success but that sometimes months later this can happen and you may need it done a second time. He said he will hook me up to the 3D monitors this time and that he will get it. Fingers crossed. I hope your ablation is successful and you don't have to worry anymore

Karen63A profile image
Karen63A in reply to Paula27

Thinking of you Paula and hope you are feeling a little more reassured.

Paula27 profile image
Paula27 in reply to Karen63A

Thank you Karen63A.

I got a little relief yesterday when I got a call that they had a cancellation and are able to take me in this Monday March 2nd but of course at the same time nervous.

I'm glad that it's before my trip and o will be able to get some answers and hopefully fixed and never have to worry about this again.

Karen63A profile image
Karen63A in reply to Paula27

Hope it goes well on the 2nd March Paula.

Karen63A profile image
Karen63A in reply to Paula27

How did the procedure go on Monday Paula? Thought of you.

Paula27 profile image
Paula27 in reply to Karen63A

Hi Karen!

My doctor used the 3D to be able to get a better look at my heart and see what was really happening. He was certain it was the same area that he had did the ablation on back in July, once he went in again he realized that it was a totally different area of my heart.

He proceeded with the ablation and said that he was able to burn it as much as he could because this one was very close to a node and if he burned to much I would be at very high risk of having to get a pacemaker ( which I don't want at 46 years old.

He said there's a 2 or 3% chance it can return, I'm hoping he is right because I don't want to go through this again. If it does happen to return he said he would use the cold ablation ( freezing) because he can't burn that new area he found anymore without me needed a pacemaker.

My groin area is a little more sore this time than the last procedure and my chest feels a little more sore but seems to be a bit better today

Karen63A profile image
Karen63A in reply to Paula27

Gosh Paula, sounds like quite an experience for you. I hope you recover well and are able to enjoy your trip.

Paula27 profile image
Paula27 in reply to Karen63A

Thank you so much Karen.

All though I got it done and hoping that it worked I still can't help but wonder is it going to come back and it's causing a lot of anxiety. I hope I can enjoy my friends wedding away in the sun and relax.

Karen63A profile image
Karen63A in reply to Paula27

Paula, that's really understandable. Scary when we maybe don't know what is ahead . I hope you have lots of support. Take great care.

Gowers profile image
Gowers in reply to Paula27

When are you due to go away?

I had my 2nd ablation 3 weeks ago & recovery has been much easier than the 1st. But, I don't think the worry of af/svt etc really leaves you it's always in the back of ones mind & I can understand how nervous you feel. It maybe useful to ask your cardiologist for the report on your procedure + current medication so that you can take it with you. Pleased to hear you were able to have it done earlier than expected - you are already a month or so in advance of recovering which gives you time to heal & get used to any new medication. Some sunshine & sharing a happy event with others will soon help you relax when you are there Do let us know how you get on

Hi there

I can understand how you feel. At the moment I get them numerous times a day. I’m getting my ablation on 27th February. I can get them to stop with Vagal manoeuvres. The one that works best for me is sitting on floor with back against wall and blow through a straw hard for a few seconds, then quickly lie back with kegs in the air. It normally stops after a minute. If not I try the other things and last resort take my PIP flecainide.

Here’s the other things. You may know or have tried them anyway but thought I’d list them just in case.

Hold nose and close moth and exhale like u do to pop your ears

Lie backward quickly from seated to lying position

Head down deep breathing

Drink cold fizzy drink quickly to induce burping

lie on right side curled up head down

hold your nose, close your mouth and exhale hard while straining as if you were on the toilet

wrists in cold water

headstand

blowing into a straw or into your finger

coughing whilst bending over

put finger down your throat to gag

Fill a sink with cold water and plunge your face in it. Sometimes this little jolt can help. Others have said a cold shower has a similar effect.

Try belly breathing.

Lie down or sit comfortably, and relax. Breath through your nose to a count of four, slowly filling your belly. Exhale through the nose or mouth for the same four count. Breathe deep into your belly, not your chest. Make the inhalations as long as the exhalations and breathe in a circle, i.e., don’t hold your breath on the inhale or exhale. You can also try breathing into the belly and holding the breath for a count of ten (stopping if you feel uncomfortable), then resume breathing rhythmically to a count of four.

Blowing into a closed fist like a trumpet

Hold your breath for a few

Blow into a syringe whilst lying down (face up) for 15 seconds

Modified VM - blow into straw sitting on floor for 15 seconds then immediately lie back feet in the air.

Lying on your back and raising your legs and pushing down as if you are straining for a poo can also work

Elsie xx

Paula27 profile image
Paula27 in reply to Elsieclarke

Hi Elsie.

How did your ablation go today ?

I hope it went well and it was successful.

I was set to get my second ablation on April 16th but they had a cancellation and I'm going in March 2nd, relieved that I might get some answers and hopefully a successful ablation the second time around but of course nervous that I have to go through this again.

Paula

Xx

Hi Paula, I’m experiencing something similar, sorry to say. Had svt ablation October 3 2019 and it was successful at the time. Fast forward to January and I had an ‘attack’. It only lasted about 4 minutes and stopped on its own and I even managed to catch it on my Kardia. EP thinks it could be return of SVT but he said it’s hard to know—could be atrial tachycardia since it stopped on its own. He wanted me to have another one before deciding what to do. Well, couple days ago I had a run of 130s (previous attacks were well into 200s). Stopped with vagals.

In some ways it’s good they KNOW it’s your svt that’s returned—they have a plan (another ablation). That being said, I completely get how devastating it is. You’re told it’s 95-98 percent cure rate so you don’t expect it to come back.

For what it’s worth, my EP said that when it fails it’s usually because the bad ‘wire’ is a little deeper than others. Or that the wire branches in a way they can’t detect. I had cryo and he said that it’s safer but freezes wide and shallow. So if I get a repeat ablation he’ll use rf as it burns narrow but deep. It also has a 1 percent risk of doing damage that would require a pacemaker to fix. Sigh. Not fun is it.

And I feel for you with the trip. I was just getting the courage to take a trip/fly and now I’m scared again. EP did give me script for pip of flecanide (sp?). Do you have anything like that?

Keep me posted and I’ll do the same!

Paula27 profile image
Paula27 in reply to Timsywhimsy

Hi Timsywhimsy.

I'm sorry to hear that you are also experiencing problems after your ablation. I really hope everything works out for you.

Well a little update, I was scheduled to get my second ablation done April 16th.. fast forward to yesterday, I got a call saying they had a cancellation and can take me in as fast as this Monday March 2nd so I will be going in at 6:30am. I will keep you updated on what happens.

I'm really really hoping this is it and I don't even have to worry again.

I unfortunately have already paid for my trip and am going to attend. I have been so paranoid that I have been googling cardiologist in Mexico and where to go of something happens there. ( Which I hope now that it won't and they find the problem on Monday)

I also talked to my cardiologist and asked if I should just take a loss and not go before this earlier date came and he said just make sure I have the name and dose of what they give me here which is always adenosine and I should be fine.

Also the nurse who did my pre-op blood work today mentioned that her 8 year old son has SVT and the only way to bring him out of it is by making himself throw up. I don't know if anyone has ever had success with that manoeuvre.

Hi

They didn’t manage to sort it. This is my first for SVT. They ablated a couple of areas but still induced it. They have suggested I come back and they try again and do a full mapping with two electrophysiologists present. Hopefully as this is your second they will have more information to be able to cure yours. They says it’s a 90% success rate. The op wasn’t too bad and I feel ok today. They have asked me to take flecainide daily instead of as pill in the pocket in the meantime.

Hope all goes ok for you.

Elsie xx

Hi there

Hope all went ok with your ablation ? I’m on daily flecainide now and not on apixiban anymore. So far so good and seem to be recovering quickly. Waiting to hear if they are going to try again as they were unsuccessful.

Elsie xx

Paula27 profile image
Paula27 in reply to Elsieclarke

Hi there!

My doctor used the 3D to be able to get a better look at my heart and see what was really happening. He was certain it was the same area that he had did the ablation on back in July, once he went in again he realized that it was a totally different area of my heart.

He proceeded with the ablation and said that he was able to burn it as much as he could because this one was very close to a node and if he burned to much I would be at very high risk of having to had a pacemaker ( which I don't want at 46 years old.

He said there's a 2 or 3% chance it can return, I'm hoping he is right because I don't want to go through this again. If it does happen to return he said he would use the cold ablation ( freezing)

My groin area is a little more sore this time than the last procedure and my chest feels a little more sore.

Could they not put you into arrhythmia is that why they were not successful ?

Hi

That’s great they found it. I hope you recover quickly. I think the recovery from SVT ablation is a bit easier than afib ablation. My groin area has healed quickly. I have three entry points in the same groin area. The SVT didn’t sustain long enough for them to locate. I’m assuming they didn’t use the 3D mapping on me. After 3 hours they gave up as ran out of time. Out of curiousity - did they give you an anticoagulant ? I’m 55 and they said they I didn’t need one for SVT ablation which I was surprised at.

Take it easy the next couple of weeks.

Elsie xx

Paula27 profile image
Paula27 in reply to Elsieclarke

Hi

No they didn't give me a anticoagulant and I'm 46.

All they gave me was fentynel for pain, froze my groin and gave me something for my anxiety as I was really nervous again. I have 3 entry points in my groin area as well where they went in from, they seem a lot better today and not as sore or as bruised as the first time I got the ablation done for SVT.

My first one I was in there for 4 hours and this time I was only in there for 2.5 hour's.

I was also a little more aware this time and when I looked over at the screen I seen 406 which I believe was my BPM

I really hope they can figure yours out so you don't have to worry anymore

Hi

That’s good knowing that you have three as well. Been googling the internet as you do 😀. And also that you weren’t anticoagulated either gives me peace of mind as they did for my afib ablation. The SVT is something that is at the back of your mind all the time that’s what I hate. May’be the daily meds they have given me will sort it. Sounds like yours is sorted which is great. Take it easy over the next couple of weeks. I assume you will be fine to go to the wedding.

It’s great chating to someone with similar experiences 😀as apart from this forum I don’t know anyone else who has had an ablation.

Elsie xx

Paula27 profile image
Paula27 in reply to Elsieclarke

Hi

Yes I find this group so helpful.

Because I don't know anyone who suffers from SVT to get peace of mind and someone who understands how stressful it is living with this and always having it in the back of your mind.

I am really hoping Elsie that this is it for me and I don't have another episode because if I do we know it's from the same spot the doctor burned on Monday and he will have to freeze it, I have to live with it and go on medication for the rest of my life or a pacemaker.

So when will you know if they are going to try the ablation again ?

Hi

Fingers crossed they have sorted it for you. The nurse from the ward gave me an update today and said I was to be sent an appointment for an outpatient to go and discuss with cardiologists and they would take it from there. It sounds to me like I have to go back round the system again and after the appointment if they decide to go ahead then I’m guessing it will be another 6 months from that date as that is the waiting list time in Glasgow for an ablation. I think they will be wanting to see how I get on with taking flecainide every day instead of as a pill in the pocket which I suppose makes sense but I would prefer to get another study/ablation. If I get that swallow SVT again it will be a nightmare but hopefully if I keep my acid reflux at bay I may not get it as often. for some reason they anticoagulated me for two months before the op and I think the anticoagulant was giving me worse acid reflux which then irritated the vagus nerve and gave me more frequent SVT. It’s all guess work though. Time will tell.

Hope you are continuing to recover well.

Elsie xx

Paula27 profile image
Paula27 in reply to Elsieclarke

Good luck Elsie. Please keep me updated.

Our wait times here in Canada are 6 months as well, I just got very lucky because my cardiologist said he would bump me up on the waiting list..

Hi Paula, I had my ablation on Wednesday 4 March after years of irregular undiagnosed SVT. It got worse last year and I was put on beta blockers. I feel exhausted (it's only day 3 of recovery I know) and every time I try to walk about I get an uncomfortable mild heart discomfort/mild pain. Is this what you have experienced? The doctor said it was a success but i have to wear a 24 hour holter next week just to check. Will i feel stronger soon? Thanks and best wishes.

Paula27 profile image
Paula27 in reply to Lossiegreen

Hi Lossiegreen!

My first ablation back in July I had no pain but was extremely tired for a little over a week.

Had a second ablation on March 2nd, and I was extremely tired for about 5 day's where I slept on and off. On March 4th I almost went to the ER because I had some discomfort in my chest and everytime I took a really deep breath it was painful almost like I could feel a burning radiation in my heart. After calling my cardiologist they advised me that mild discomfort is sometimes normal.

Try and rest as much as you can, listen to your body.

Today is day 8 for me and I have returned back to work yesterday. I still find I get a little tired faster than I did before the ablation but I listen to my body and rest.

Also, remember that they put you into SVT quite a bit to find where the problem was before they proceeded with the ablation and that alone is like your heart running multiple marathons.

How are you feeling today?

I hope you feel better and I will keep you in my thoughts

Hi Paula, thank you for your comforting reply. I had a bit of heart discomfort yesterday but otherwise here I am on day 7 feeling a bit stronger. Think I overdid it yesterday around the house so today will be resting and napping. Hope you are feeling good. I'm meditating daily which makes me feel relaxed. Thanks and thinking of you too.

Paula27 profile image
Paula27 in reply to Lossiegreen

Definitely take it easy and things around the house can wait. Your health is more important. Take it easy get lots of rest and sleep

Lossiegreen profile image
Lossiegreen in reply to Paula27

That's the plan!

Paula27 profile image
Paula27 in reply to Lossiegreen

Hi Lossiegreen!

How are you feeling ?

Lossiegreen profile image
Lossiegreen in reply to Paula27

Hello! Well I'm 7 weeks on and feeling good. I'm up to walking for about 45 minutes ( daily exercise under lockdown) but not running yet! That's my long term aim. I still get very tired by about 7pm. My body just says, "Go to bed!". I'm taking the advice to go slowly and not overdo things which is not my natural inclination. I'm being so good! Thanks for asking. Hope you are safe and well.

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