6 months post Ablation : Hi all, hope you're... - AF Association

AF Association

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6 months post Ablation

Hammerboy
Hammerboy

Hi all, hope you're all coping well in the lock down. It's 10 weeks for me now since I've left the house and garden and definitely feeling the need to get out. After a few months of taking it easy I've started to put a bit of work in on the garden that has involved a fair bit of manual effort. My episodes of AF seem to have settled into a routine of an onset every two weeks (like clockwork) always when at rest and now only lasting from 30 minutes to maybe a couple of hours. It's reasonably mild and taking 2.5mg of Bisoprolol as a PIP seems to have an effect. I still get tired but can walk quite long distances with no problems. I was diagnosed with mild asthma about 10 years ago and have a preventer inhaler (symbicort) that I use morning and evening to open up my lungs. The reason I mention this is that now I'm being more active I'm finding that I can only manage strenuous exercise such as digging for a maximum of a minute or so without becoming very breathless and having to stop. I recover after a couple of minutes and I try again with the same result. This wasn't the case before my ablation and I don't know if this is related to the procedure or a worsening of my asthma I've spoken to my GP who has referred me for a chest x-ray but is reluctant to prescribe ventolin meantime as it affects the heart rate which could bring on AF. Has anybody else had the same problem with asthma and AF and the inability to do any heavy work without tiring very quickly. I can't tell if it's down to the ablation now or if my asthma has suddenly got much worse.

12 Replies
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It may have changed, but when I was prescribed Bisoprolol nearly 6 years ago, the accompanying leaflet said that it should not be taken if asthmatic. I expect that applied to a regular daily dose rather than as a PiP.

If you had a cryoablation and the AF episodes persist, it’s possible that the inflated balloon used to freeze the tissue around the pulmonary veins did not treat all the tissue due to irregularities in the shape of the veins. This is not uncommon and should be discussed with your EP at your next review because a second RF ablation is often carried out to treat any tissue that was missed.

Hammerboy
Hammerboy in reply to FlapJack

Hi thanks for that, having spoken to my EP at my first review we discussed Bisoprolol and the effects and agreed only using it as a PIP which seems to work as using it daily fatigued me quite badly. My asthma up to the ablation was quite well controlled and as I said I could do much more physical tasks without the breathlessness I get now. Hoping the chest x-ray comes back clear but that would still leave me unsure as to why, since the ablation, my breathing is so poor on exertion and I'm still using the same asthma medication as before. I suppose I'm asking if the procedure itself leaves a long lasting effect on my level of fitness or does having asthma mean an ablation procedure can cause extra problems and possibly longer lasting or permanent damage. I have read in medical journals that poorly controlled asthma is linked to the onset of AF in older age so there's definitely some correlation

FlapJack
FlapJack in reply to Hammerboy

We are not medically trained but as far as I am aware it is unusual for an ablation to cause breathing problems. I believe having several ablations can cause a hardening or stiffening of the tissue within the heart and this can sometimes affect breathing. Hopefully others here may be able to help more. In the scheme of things, 6 months is not long and it is quite possible that the AF could still diminish......

Hammerboy
Hammerboy in reply to FlapJack

Well I live in hope, certainly the episodes of AF seem to be becoming shorter even if more frequent than prior to the ablation which is an improvement. I know I'm impatient to regain my previous good fitness, especially when my wife has to take over the digging while I sit on the step 😄 I'm a terrible patient and my pride always gets in the way of reason 😉

I can understand exactly how are you are feeling, because gardening used to tire me exactly the same. I'd kneel to weed with a trowel and after a minute or so I'd feel exhausted and have to stop. I blamed it all on my AF and thought I was going to have to move to a house with a smaller garden. I too wrote on this forum about how I felt. Then while at a hospital appointment, for nothing to do with my heart, the consultant I saw suggested a blood test. The result was that drugs I'd taken in the past for my AF (Amiodarone) had made my thyroid under-active. My GP knew this and had been testing my thyroid at regular intervals in the hope it would lower, but in truth, he should never have left me so long without thyroid medication. The consultant contacted my surgery saying I needed to be on medication right away. Taking it, gave me back my life.

Have you had your thyroid tested? If not I'd suggest you do so.

I used to be able to walk long distances, but if I ate lunch out midway - that was it, and the feeling of utter exhaustion that came on during exertion was overwhelming. I thank goodness that's all behind me now. I only eat a frugal lunch now if out walking, just a banana and some nuts.

Jean

That's interesting Jean, something I didn't think of. I did have a FBC done in January as a routine appointment but I have no idea if that was something my GP would look for and he hasn't mentioned it subsequently. I find there are often gaps in information when I'm talking to him at the surgery, difficult I know as we only get 10 minutes and they seem to want you out as quickly as possible. Even yesterday when we spoke he asked me if I knew the last time I'd had a chest x-ray. Thankfully I remember well as it was when I'd been diagnosed with AF for the first time on Christmas day 2017 after feeling unwell and attending a drop in centre They sent me to hospital where I spent a lovely day lying on a bed wired up to a monitor. It seems the results of that x-ray are not in my notes 😕 so before that it may have been 20 years since the last one. I'm now hoping there's been no deterioration in my lungs what with having asthma and AF and undergoing the ablation. I appreciate you taking the time to reply and everyone else who makes this site such a great place to share progress and experiences

Take care 😊

Hi I was diagnosed with Afib Dec on Bisoprolol 2.5. And Apixiban 2x5 mg have not seen cardiologist as yet so not sure which afib I have had probs with meds to start I have copd and was already on amlodipine and Atorvastatin and was using Ventolin for breathlessness stopped using it for same reason and only had to take prednisone once for chest inf but have not seemed to need it since on Bisoprolol gp said some link between beta blockers and less copd exacerbations I wonder if that could be same for asthma Bisoprolol made me fatigued at first still have odd off days if I do to much and a fib in short bursts but food seems to set mine off changed a lot of my diet but still odd afib after food so eat little n often now have lost 1st plus waiting for tests to resume when safe to do so maybe I ll get more answers then

Ticktoc
Ticktoc in reply to Ticktoc

Hope you get on ok strange thing this afib take care

Hammerboy
Hammerboy in reply to Ticktoc

Thanks, you too

It could be that you're just much less fit than you were after 3 months of inactivity.

Hammerboy
Hammerboy in reply to CliveP

Maybe but I was able to walk quite well within a month and built up gradually. Ive never had this fatigue before 🤔

Hope you get sorted take care

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