This is my first post here! First, some background: I was diagnosed with AF at the end of June 2021 when I went in for a hernia operation and they did an EKG. It came as a total surprise. I’m asymptomatic. My average heart rate is around 68-75 bpm. My AF is persistent. I wore a Zio patch for 14 days, which confirms that it’s persistent. The EP also suspects sleep apnea. The echo found that I have some “mild dilation” of the atria; otherwise, EP says the results raised no significant concerns.
I’ve read the book “The Afib Cure” by John Day and Jared Bunch, and have followed their recommendations regarding life-style changes: I’ve cut out almost all alcohol and sugar (not entirely; I still like an occasional dessert), made other positive dietary changes, reduced stress in my life, lost six lbs (I wasn’t overweight before but did have some Covid weight-gain), and now take a brisk walk of 2.5-3 miles every day.
The decisions I’m confronting now are whether to undergo a cardioversion and then possibly later an ablation. Given that my AF is persistent, I can’t expect my heart to go back into sinus rhythm on its own. But my EP says that neither procedure has been determined to prolong life; the main purpose of each is to relieve symptoms. Since I don’t have any noticeable symptoms, I’m wondering about the benefit-risk ratio in my case. I’ve heard the saying “Afib begets Afib.” So my main concern is the remodeling of the heart that eventually may (will?) take place. I’m also not happy about being on blood thinners for the rest of my life. (I'm currently taking 20mg of Xarelto daily. I’m not on any antiarrythmics).
My EP did not make a strong recommendation for or against either procedure in my case. He asked me, “What do you think?” Well, I don’t know quite what to think! How important is it for me to try to get back to normal heart rhythm? Since my AF is already persistent, I would imagine that it’s not quite so urgent that I have either procedure very soon. But I don’t know. Does anybody out there have any thoughts, advice, or relevant experiences they’d be willing to share? I would be most grateful!