To ablate or not to ablate, that is the que... - AF Association

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To ablate or not to ablate, that is the question?

Nannysue1 profile image

I regularly read peoples experiences on here, from those who have had successful ablations, those who havent had a successful outcome and those like me, who are still sitting on the fence.

My question, I know, wont have a one fit, fits all answer but I suppose I'm just trying to pull all of the fors and against together.

Have you had an ablation and was it successful/unsuccessful. ? Would you have another if needed? How long did your ablation provide peace from AF?Has anyone had an ablation which has left them feeling worse than before?.

I havent been given great odds for a successful outcome, 40/50 with first ablation and 60/70 with a 2nd.

I suppose I'm dithering mostly because so many on here have had such nasty experiences after.

Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated, thanks. Sue

83 Replies

I was booked in for one but cancelled it as the odds of it not working and needing it done again were to high for me plus the possibility of having more problems after than before didnt make sense. My Cardiologist agreed and supported my decision. Having said that my brother in law had it done a few months back and he hasn't had a single problem since, he was back at work and doing everything as before within a couple of weeks.

Problem is we just don't know how it will effect us, no matter how many positives or negatives we get we just don't know.

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to bantam12

Yes it's a gamble isnt it. How lovely for your brother in law. Are you in persistent AF?.

bantam12 profile image
bantam12 in reply to Nannysue1

I don't know when I'm in AF but I have constant ectopics which I'm very aware of. I chose a pacemaker plus meds to control things which worked well until recently, now a change of meds has made things worse again.

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to bantam12

That's rubbish, what's your next step?

bantam12 profile image
bantam12 in reply to Nannysue1

Another meds change I guess, will call my Cardio next week.

I was a lot worse after the 1st and the second gave me 3 years AF free but exacerbated an underlying condition.

As Bantam says, it’s a benefit:risk assessment and although hindsight is a wonderful thing, we have yet to be blessed with foresight. I was given a 95% chance of success in 2014.

I now have a pacemaker and take no drugs and that’s what worked for me.

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to CDreamer

Thankyou for your reply. Yes I've seen some of your posts. You went for pace and ablate didn't you and only needed the pacemaker?.

That has been suggested to me but they wanted to try ablation first.

My ablation was successful, recovered well in spite of doing all the wrong things! Lasted for nearly two years then AF returned but I am only on a small dose of diltiazem as I can’t safely take any other medication. Infrequent episodes are longer but slower. My cardiologist agreed that it made sense not to have another ablation and if my AF affects my QOL too much my option would be a pacemaker supplemented by the meds I can’t take now. If I wasn’t offered a high chance of success I’d opt for a ‘pace and ablate’ procedure if my QOL was very poor. (Just read your reply to CDreamer, my choice would be only one ablation first so you can get on with your life 🪂)

Hope that helps 💜

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to Buffafly

Thanks so much for your reply. That's really helpful to know.

Hi, I had a cryo ablation after being diagnosed with PAF aged 63 two years previously .My episodes were relatively mild and short lived with low HR .I decided ,along with my EP to have the procedure after the episodes became more frequent and at that time I think generally I was concerned it would eventually progress to persistent or permanent AF. I was given an 85 to 90% chance of success , the op itself was bearable with sedation and I was told immediately after it had worked but I'd been cardioverted during the process.

My recovery was slow with many and long episodes of AF for months but as time went on it calmed and 2 years on I still have mild random episodes but sometimes months apart .

I believe now that I worry less about them and just rest during the time it takes to get back to normal I don't feel so burdened .

Recently I have had a few episodes of strong ectopics lasting over an hour and have been told that may be caused by a stomach issue that has worsened over time. Having spoken to the arrhythmia nurse during my last review she felt that another ablation , this time under GA and using radio frequency would mop up any missed or rogue pathways and has put me on the NHS waiting list .With the current situation I'm not expecting a call any time soon but I think on balance I'll take the option when offered.

I take anticiagulants for stroke risk and a blood pressure tablet but nothing else at this stage .

As you say we are all different but I've never been one for putting things off and if there's a chance it will give me a better quality of life then I'll take it

Hope that helps 🙂

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to Hammerboy

Thanks so much for your reply

I had an ablation 4 years ago which was successful although like a lot of people I have had eptopics since which are annoying but don’t really cause me a problem. I have had 4 years of virtually no af which has been wonderful and such a relief. Unfortunately I recently was struck down with inflammatory arthritis. I had to take a high dose of steroids for a month. This sadly has started up the af again although in a very minor way but it will gradually get worse I expect. I had no problem with the ablation and will have another if the af starts to effect my everyday life. At 73 I play tennis twice a week and golf once and am very busy with the garden.

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to Brenda-j

Pleased that it worked for you and thanks for your imput

Good morning Sue,I have had a pacemaker and node ablation and it has worked well. The only medication I now take is Apixaban a blood thinner.

Prior to this procedure I had passed out on a golf course and was advised by the Cardiologist to have pace and ablate.

I am 76 and play golf three times per week with no problems, prior i was quite tired and breathless, now no problem.

So if I needed another I would just say yes, although I recognise people are different.

Best of luck

Dave

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to Golfer60UK

That's a great outcome for you and so pleased that you can lead such an active life

Alphakiwi profile image
Alphakiwi in reply to Golfer60UK

Dave it seems from what you say about the pissibility of having another ablation that it isnt the AV node you had ablated. I think the av node once done has been destroyed so its a 1 off. I wonder if you can clarify this as i was offered pacemaker then AV node ablation. The hospital now has backed out of this for me and are back trying me on drugs with the pace maker which i already have. The present drug i jsve been on for 1 week being Bisoprolol and it is terrible. I see the cardio on tuesday

Golfer60UK profile image
Golfer60UK in reply to Alphakiwi

Hello Alphakiwi, I had an AV node ablation plus the pacemaker,so yes AV node gone, I did ask what happens if the pacemaker fails and was told 'they never fail'. Well i have since found out that your hear would still beat but very slowly so A&E asap.You just have to believe they are right !!!!

I am off Bisoprolol thank goodness and only take Apixaban

Best wishes

Dave

Alphakiwi profile image
Alphakiwi in reply to Golfer60UK

Dave, thank you so much for replying . I cant understand why they have now renigged on the ablate part of the pace and ablate idea. To me the pacer is doing nothing at this stage. Now i am on Bisoprolol . It must be the flavour of the month. Hopefully i can get it all sorted on tuesday. I cant stand the side effects and im only taking half a 2.5 mg tab. All other tabs have been an experiment. I seem to be ok on the blood thinner.

Buffafly profile image
Buffafly in reply to Alphakiwi

You can still have an ablation for af after pace and ablate but the purpose is not to need it as you shouldn’t be so aware of what atria are doing and ventricles beat steadily.

Hello Nannysue1 - echoing others we are all going to have different answers/ outcomes, different overlapping conditions, different baseline health, ages, expectations etc... But for what it is worth my experience with my PAF became worse and worse over a 2 year or so span (diagnosed at 46) and my QoL declined drastically so I opted for an ablation in Oct 2020. The procedure went smoothly and recovery time was a few months - only one period of bad afib in two months after the procedure. However came off antiarrhythmics after 3 months and the afib episodes started creeping back in pretty regularly so after discussing with health care team went back on flecainide at a little bit higher dose and this I believe in combination with the ablation/ lifestyle factors kept me mostly in NSR for better part of 6months. Would therefore not say ablation was 100% success but certainly not a complete failure either. Just had my second ablation about 2 weeks ago as i would like to see if I can come off the meds for a while and push the use of them back a few years (again procedure qent smoothly and recovering within normal parameters) time will tell if the 2nd pvi ablation was able to capture what was not zapped in the 1st one.

All this to say that in my case ablation outcome was not black and white, like many things in life, steeped in shades of grey.

I can sympathize though as to where you are at as I deliberated for months as to what I was going to do. Keep safe

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to listerines

Thanks for your reply and keeping my fingers crossed that this one will leave you AF free for some time to come.

I had mine two years ago for atrial flutter and it worked well, stopping that arrhythmia completely. However, shortly after the ablation I did have a severe attack of fibrillation, which was something that I had never had before. More recently I've been having brief spells of tachycardia and fibrillation, with one whole evening of it a few weeks ago, reasonably symptomless as it was, thankfully.

Would I have another ablation? If it were as symptomatic as my atrial flutter, I'd have no choice as that was completely debilitating. I've come to realise that fear plays a very large part in the symptoms, though, so I'd be better prepared if it were to happen again. Untangling the physical from the psychological is hard indeed.

I'm guessing in your case that you cope much better with the symptoms as you have persistent afib? My elderly friend has this, and he's managed without any treatment apart from warfarin; he's now 88 years old and amazingly well for his age.

There seems to be some evidence that an ablation can improve the long-term condition of the atrial muscle, heart and valves. I would, however, be guided by my doctor, completely, since each person's heart is slightly different and would need weighing up by an expert with knowledge and experience.

Steve

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to Ppiman

You're not wrong about the physiological v psychological. Try as I might, everytime I have anything I put it down to my heart problem and often it's not. Not that I'm I'll that often but I'm never completely relaxed about things these days.The replies on here have helped me feel less of a fraud and help put things into perspective. Thank you Steve

Ppiman profile image
Ppiman in reply to Nannysue1

Living with any illness is hard and I know there are far worse illnesses so we shouldn't complain. The psychological effects are sometimes the hardest I feel, especially since they are so hidden and impossible for others to understand. Fortunately, they wax and wain and, of course, life goes on!

I wish you well and hope that between you and your doctors you soon get yourself sorted out for the best. Oh, to be young again, I say!

Steve

Hi.. you are very like me! I am due to have my first ablation beginning of November and I’m still not convinced it’s the right thing. I’m obviously nervous about the procedure.Any info would be great.

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to Pinnie7

Hope the above thread helps you too. People on here are really kind arent they. Good luck with whatever you choose to do. Big step isn't it.

I understand why you ask, but all replies will be bias with the personal experiences of the replier, and its quite random as one persons experience may make you decide one way or another.

The only way to have the best information is through your EP, they, through experience and knowledge of your particular case will be the only people to give you the true information you seek. When discussing with them be aware that they will provide a pessimistic view (to cover themselves) so you will have to probe deeper than their initial response i.e. ask them what they would do in your circumstances - then problem solved do as they would.

If you decide not to, then you condition gets worst you will always wonder what if - we are all human!

If you decide to go for it then you will worry, you will have doubts and the time leading up to the ablation will be difficult. The ablation itself is a breeze if you are put to sleep and not without discomfort if your not (akin to root canal treatment in a dentist). Following the ablation you will be so glad, relieved and happy. Then likely have weeks or months in recovery, the first week to month you will doubt if it was worth it, during this time you MUST NOT overdue anything just rest - if you don't you increase the risk of it not working. The following weeks and months you will gain confidence that it has worked.

It took me 6 months before I started to believe it worked. If you decide to go for it you should read my posts which detail the ablation experience and recovery with no holds barred, what you will read is what happened. I took the advise of the EP and really happy I did, if you think a jackpot win on Euromillions will make you happy, this really does pale into insignificance compared to a successful ablation, even with a long recovery time.

I wish you all the best in making the right decision for you during this difficult time.

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to Shcldavies

Thankyou. Yes I know that everyone's experience is different, which is why I asked for all experiences. I trust my EP and would also have another EP who specialises in HC,working with him, so I'm in no doubt that I will have the best chance of a good outcome but of course no guarantee that it will be.The reason it's good to ask folks on here for their input is because no matter how good the clinical team are, they havent experienced AF themselves and unless you have, you dont know how it feels do you.

Sounds like things worked out well for you, so pleased to hear and thankyou for your reply.

Shcldavies profile image
Shcldavies in reply to Nannysue1

Yes you right, apologies I may have rattled on and did not make the main point clear. When you decide which route your taking, then the good people on here will provide extremely good first hand advice which will be invaluable to you. I know first and that the EPs advise on recovery is not what it should be so you reliance on this site is highly recommended.

However if your undecided, its not so clear cut, not least as the vast majority of people with successful outcomes are not on this site any more and depending on who answers your question you may not get the advice thats right for you. As you say this is a risk judgement and for you to make the best judgement I would say only your EP can provide the advice you seek. One of the many things I have learned from this site is that there are many causes and types conditions which manifest in AF, each with different risks and each requiring different treatments. I say this from first hand experience as I nearly decided against my EPs advice following some the responses on this site and that would have been the worst decision ever for me.

Your decision is not an easy one, getting the facts (as they are) will be difficult enough and then making the right decision even more so, my response is no more than my best advice as only your EP know enough about your condition to provide meaningful advise at this stage but he may not offer it unless prompted.

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to Shcldavies

Thankyou, I appreciate your reply. All replies are helpful and from what my question has thrown up, it looks as if I'm not the only one finding it a hard decision.

Hi I have my ablation in October, it was a decision that my cardiologist and I decided was for the best as I’m 49 and the condition can progress over time. I also used to run and cycle a lot and have a young child so Im hoping to get back to that, I also don’t want to spend my life taking medication if I can avoid it. I realise it may not work first time and I’m not looking forward to it but it’s a chance I’m willing to take for better quality of life.

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to Foxey2

Thanks for that. I'm so sorry to hear that you have this horrible condition at such a relatively young age and a young child to look after, that must be a slog.I was 60 when I was diagnosed and used to travelling the world with lots of fairly full on activities, like white water rafting in Idaho.

I think I was quite a free, devil may care spirit at that time and that I'm much more cautious these days.

I'm pretty sure that if I were your age and in your situation, it would be an easier decision and I would go for it.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

Hi Sue! I’m in the same position as you, so thank you for posting this…

So am I x

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to dawny1908

Scary huh!

dawny1908 profile image
dawny1908 in reply to Nannysue1

Very. My problem is my heart scan said there is nothing wrong with my heart structurely. So I'm my head I'm thinking why mess with something that is OK. It will Maybe leave me worse than before... Decisions!!!I'm currently on bisoprolol and they are starting me on flecainide thuys week too x

I had my 1st ablation 5 days ago. I was unsure like you. My ep said it’s the best way forward so we went with it. Painful procedure for me but only took just over a hour and the ep said it was a text book ablation. Before I was only getting one af episode a month with lasted a couple of hours. 100mg flecanide stopped it almost immediately. My quality of life was unaffected. It still the ep suggested a ablation?

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to Lenlec

Fingers crossed that it's been successful for you. Thanks for reply

Nannysue1,In response to your dilemma I reflect with hindsight I wish I had been diagnosed with AFIB years earlier as I could have had an ablation four years ago.

The procedure was a doddle the recovery was frustrating for the first months.

I had no idea what AFIB was until I was diagnosed upon reflection and thinking about past issues I can recall AFIB events going back over five-years.

Been AFIB free since the procedure. And recently Beta Blocker free.

I am concurrently recovering from a RTKR. Spent all day ripping up my backyard with a power tiller in preparation for laying new turf had a fab steak and salad for dinner. Prior to the TKR and ablation probably could not have done what I achieved today.

Would prefer to be working on my boat alas Covid lock down conspires against me.

Hope this helps!

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to Geoffa1

Hi Geoff thanks for the reply. Likewise ,I hadnt even heard of AF before I was diagnosed. How long ago did you have your ablation? Good to hear your outcome.Sorry for being thick but what's a RTKR?.

Geoffa1 profile image
Geoffa1 in reply to Nannysue1

RTKR right total knee replacement Aug 2020. Ablation Feb this year.I have had a very good recovery from both procedures. No suggestions recovery from either is a simple process rather hard work leads to a demonstrable improvement in the quality of life.

Worked hard for fifty years to keep heart in structurally good condition, only to bugger both my knees and end up with AFIB.

Such is life.

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to Geoffa1

Ouchy ouch, I hear that knee replacement is a very painful procedure. I have always lead a healthy lifestyle as well.

Swam for GB back in the day, never smoked a cigarette, never bought a ready meal, always cook from scratch and healthily.

Found to have HC at 60yrs, after my first attack of AF while on holiday in Crete. Scary time spent in hospital there but the cardiologists were fantastic. Gene tests appear to rule out HC to be hereditary, best bet is that my extreme training back in the day may have had something to do with it.

So much for leading a healthy lifestyle eh! ,🤪

Geoffa1 profile image
Geoffa1 in reply to Nannysue1

Maybe without the excercise we would not be having the conversation!

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to Geoffa1

It's a worrying thought isnt it.

Visigoth profile image
Visigoth in reply to Nannysue1

Sorry to be thick, but what is HC?

I’m glad you posted because I’m in very much the same position re ablation. My EP isn’t advising for or against- just says it’s very much up to me.

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to Visigoth

It's a condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which basically is thickening of the heart walls. Luckily mine appears not to be deteriorating and isnt too severe.

Visigoth profile image
Visigoth in reply to Nannysue1

Thank you for your prompt reply! I learn something every day! I’m glad your HC is not too severe and not deteriorating

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to Visigoth

Me too

My first ablation last July moved me from afib episodes that lasted several days to atrial flutter that made me exhausted second ablation in November put me in NSR no meds other than apixoban, and at last reducing numbers of ectopics from 1 in 30 beats to maybe 1 in 200.If it comes back I will ablate again like a shot if I can . ( despite being a pretty nervous patient)

Steve

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to Sfhmgusa

Great outcome Steve, wishing you well.

Visigoth profile image
Visigoth in reply to Sfhmgusa

This is interesting because before I was put on medication my constant ectopics were destroying my life much more than the bouts of a fib. I hadn’t seen anyone say that ablation helped their ectopics as well.

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to Visigoth

Its helpful to hear all of the various experiences isnt it.

Visigoth profile image
Visigoth in reply to Nannysue1

Very much so. If my EP were giving advice one way or the other I’d probably go with it but in its absence, I think it’s good to gather as much information as possible, particularly about people’s real experiences

Sfhmgusa profile image
Sfhmgusa in reply to Visigoth

Actually the ablation made mine more frequent but less intense for 6 months but now seem to be rarer and even less intense

Visigoth profile image
Visigoth in reply to Sfhmgusa

Thank you, that’s interesting to know.

Some considerations are listed here:stopafib.org/catheter-ablat...

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to Samazeuilh

Thankyou, I'll take a look

Hi Sue, I resisted an ablation for 5 years, but finally went through with it when the AF episodes became more frequent and lengthy.

Now had 2 pvi ablations.

I was worse after the first, and had a bad time during 3 months of recovery.

2nd ablation was far less traumatic, and seemed to be going well for 4 months, but AF episodes kicked in again. I had been given a 90% chance of success.

I was due to have a 3rd with only 50/50 chance of any success - I’ve decided to put it on hold for now and try to use Flecainide when I think I’m going to overdo things.

For me, it seems impossible to ward off the episodes, particularly when I have hard, stressful days!

They come and go. My main aim is to put as many days as possible between them.

I’m 62, sporting background and have had the 2 ablations in the last couple of years.

Apparently I was a perfect fit for success - pretty fit/young for my age, not overweight, healthy diet, no drinking or smoking, and suffering from PAF.

Hope this helps somewhat!!

Chris

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to Tennisking

That's rubbish, it's all such a lottery isnt it. Hope new meds give you some release from this awful condition. So much for living a clean lifestyle eh.

Tennisking profile image
Tennisking in reply to Nannysue1

Agreed - it is a lottery!Wish I could take these meds all the time but I’m one of these individuals that cannot!

Post 1st Ablation, I was taken off Flecainide (rythm control) because it caused me to have 6 second gaps in my heart beat and we all know what that leads to (the blackness😣).

I’m not on rate control or rythm control meds but I do take blood thinners, blood pressure, and statins.

Good luck with your decision, it’s not easy, and one should never underestimate the (lengthy) recovery period required for an ablation.

nmack profile image
nmack in reply to Tennisking

6 sec gaps? That's scary. Hopefully you always landed softly.

I had a five hour ablation in 2018 which changed the pattern of my AF and flutter but didn't cure it. It was very disappointing and left me feeling more unwell generally. I have now developed sick sinus syndrome as a result of that ablation and I had a pacemaker fitted in June which worked brilliantly but unfortunately became infected and had to be removed. I had my ablation because I felt everyone on this site was very positive and I needed to get back to work and knew the sooner or younger you had one the more likely it was to work. I wonder if I would have had it if I had known I could develop sick sinus syndrome, I think I probably would have. I do not feel inclined to have another pacemaker fitted at present as having a wound to deal with for three months this summer has kind of put me off. Also, next time it would have to be fitted on the right and I don't think I could cope with not having the use of my right arm for four weeks. I think if you are prepared to have more than one ablation to get it right perhaps that is the right journey. I just think they get one chance and that is it which I appreciate probably isn't the right attitude but I have a lot of other health conditions.

Hi, I had a Cryo ablation after being diagnosed with persistent AF at age 52. After a cardiversion I would be good for a few months then back to Persistent AF (before ablation) . The operation went smoothly and I was told immediately after it had worked but I'd been cardioverted during the process. It’s amazing how small the incision in my leg was.

My recovery went well. 2 years later, I still have mild random episodes (30 hours) but sometimes months apart. They say I’m in Afib 1% of the time, sometimes when sleeping. Diet, Stress and lying on my left side are triggers. I’m not taking any prescriptions but use a pill in pocket when in AF. Taking supplements Co Q10 , Fish Oil, Magnesium, zink and D

With the current situation get in line quick to receive care. The ablation has provided me a better quality of life . Hope that helps 🙂 and good luck !

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to Mariner1

Well that's certainly a positive success story, which is good to hear. Thanks for taking the time to reply

As you say, this question has been asked many times and there will never be a definitive answer especially as those who have had a ‘totally’ successful ablation tend to toddle off and enjoy the rest of their lives. The link below should add some more information but I think the general views expressed suggest that very few, if any, regret having had an ablation(s).

Also remember that for the most part, the negative posts tend to come from folk during the 3 to 6 month blanking period……

healthunlocked.com/afassoci...

Oh so complicated as my EP said it so depends on the state of your heart, your general health status, your age … I had two fierce 12 hour AF episodes 5 years ago in the context of a severe viral chest infection, so hopes they wouldn’t recur. They did, a year ago, one a week for 6 weeks, every Saturday night! I was recommended a cryo ablation which I had last November, op itself much easier than I had feared (compared to childbirth or hip replacements!), I was tired for a week and sometimes tight chested for a couple more. I had a brief one hour AF episode in May, which disheartened me, EP said at review may be a blip or something that recurs, but we are agreed it has worked and worthwhile. I scrupulously avoid alcohol! Good luck.

I wrestled with this decision too recently, and have decided to move forward. Scheduled for PVI cryo-balloon on Oct.6. I'm 53, an over-exerciser and suffer lots of ectopics (for past 20 years) . 3 years of Paroxysmal Afib has morphed from one session once a year to about one a month. Always controlled with PiP Flecainide. Life is not that bad currently but the reasons I decided to move forward include:

Truly, you have to trust that your EP knows what is best in your specific case. He says my best chance at spending more time for longer in NSR is ablation.

Studies that show outcomes are better if ablation is performed sooner vs. chronic meds.

My mother is in persistent aFib, so.....genetics.

Saw through careful tracking that my events were indeed increasing. The future seemed clear....not only more, but the ability for it to shift (different HR, different times of day, fatigue, etc.)

Constant threat of Afib has eroded my QoL via increasing anxiety, depression and avoidance of the things that bring me joy (socializing with friends, biking with my Son, travelling, etc.)

From what I read, I'm an ideal candidate given no structural problems, my age, and the profile of my 'events'.

In my location (Pacific NW U.S.) have access to a high volume center and currently have insurance coverage and support from employer for potential complex recovery. It's also entering rainy season, so recovering with books by the fire might not be so bad...?

Seeing what you good folks in the U.K. go through to just get on the schedule....realized I have an opportunity.

Procedure will include electrical mapping which may help , either in this procedure or a follow-up with the ectopics.

And yes, the promise of a better life. In some ways you have to be driven to the edge to embrace this one, but you can't let it get so bad that you have more trouble returning to 'normal'. To heck with 'normal',...I like the sound of 'BETTER'! And may people reportedly have done just that.

At any rate, in the end these are the points that allow me a more confident position as I approach the date for the procedure. When you reach a similar point, whatever the final decision, you will know and there'll be no question, because it will be for reasons that apply specific to you. Also, I suspect with decisions such as these, we already know the answer,....We only need to convince ourselves that it makes logical sense. Good luck on your journey. Let's embrace the outcomes together.

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to Bennera513

That is a really lovely and thoughtful reply and I can relate to some of it, actually quite a lot of it. I've been blown away with all of the responses and its given me a little more clarity for the way forward.

Where in the States are you? I have family in NW.

Thankyou for your reply.

Sue

Bennera513 profile image
Bennera513 in reply to Nannysue1

Thanks,...the whole process has forced me to go 'deep' with the thoughts and emotions and sort through the pile, so to speak. I'm in Portland, Oregon. Transplant from Atlanta, GA , going on 19 years now!

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to Bennera513

My family are in Boise Idaho, nice part of the world.

Hi, let's be honest if you are symptomatic with AF like many of us- it fills you with a sense of dread each time you have an episode. Particularly when you might have two episodes a week lasting at least 24 hours. And when you have been on Bisopropol and Flecainide for 3 years and with no improvement you have to make some critical decisions. So on recommendations from my EP I chose to have an ablation in late Nov 2018. So far so good. It has changed my day to day life. But it's not a cure - just enjoy your better quality of life as long as you can. I would have another one if necessary. It wasn't a difficult procedure and lasted 90 mins under sedation. Bristol Heart Institution. I was up and running after 4 weeks. (I was 65 when I had the procedure). I have read it is in the top 3 in the country. I wish you the best going forward and only you can make the decision.

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to Magson

Agree with all you said. Thanks for your input. Glad things have settled for you.

I had an ablation 4 years ago which was almost painless and just felt tired as my heart recovered for about three weeks. It was successful for about 4 years. Then my heart rate started to climb again. I am now on Bisoprolol & Digoxin every day and side effects are not good as get tired very easily. So at my last visit to Stoke to see consultant they suggested a pacemaker would help to control my heart rate so waiting now for appointment with pacemaker specialist at Stoke Cardiology 😊

Simoni profile image
Simoni in reply to Mike-tyson

Hi Mike i am scheduled for an ablation at Royal Stoke, glad to hear your experience was a decent one...who was your consultant that performed the ablation please? Hope the pacemaker comes soon Thanks Sam

Mike-tyson profile image
Mike-tyson in reply to Simoni

Hi Sam. Dr Beynon did my ablation. I am booked in with Dr Diane Barker for pacemaker to be fitted on 2nd November. Have to be there by 7.30am 😡😡

Simoni profile image
Simoni in reply to Mike-tyson

Cheers Mike...Dr Beynon is to do mine by Cryo he said...bit nervous about it i have to admit, but he seems like a decent experienced Cardio/EP so hoping im in good hands...hope the pacemaker goes well for you pal. 🖒

I suppose 4yrs was quite a nice respite. Hope that they find a solution again for you. Pacemaker seems to be the way to go for some folks.Thanks for sharing

Well for me ablation was the best treatment I could have had. Did have flecainide for 18 months which was successful for about 18 months but ablation has kept me almost free from AF for over 4 years now. I really think it should be used more for first line treatment, especially RVR cases, and in younger patients, instead of drugs. If I ever need another one, then yes, I would go for it, but it's not something to go into lightly.

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to colin772

Thankyou for that, it's good to hear a successful outcome. Long may it last for you.

I've had 2 ablations. The first one put me in permanent AFIB. And unlike some, my AFIB is not quiet. I had to wait 3 months before I could get a second one. I was in operating room for 6 hours. When I came out, I was still in AFIB. They did a conversion which stopped it. But it only corrected for a month, and then started up again. The next step was Dofetilide. I've been on it for 4 years with no side effects and it's worked wonderfully. I have an occasional blip but it's short and then months before another. I wish I had never done the ablation. But I have others that I know that the first ablation worked beautifully.

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to PParrish

Oh that doesnt sound good but glad you found a solution. Thanks for your reply.

Hi. I wonder how many fence sitters like us are out there. In the morning I'm leaning over one side and in the evening I'm leaning the other way. I'm 68 with afib 43% of the time, (measured by telemetry in February) but fortunately rarely suffer any symptoms. I believe the main reason for ablation is for improvement of QoL. Mine has been very good except for the recent stress related to making this decision, since I may be approaching persistent afib. If we were symptomatic like many others on this forum, the decision would be so much easier. I know a successful ablation might allow us to stop some of our medications and might even help prevent future stroke, heart failure and dimentia. But how can the future be predicted?I know this probably didn't help much, but hang in there and maybe the choice will become more clear to you one day.

Nannysue1 profile image
Nannysue1 in reply to nmack

Thanks so much for your reply. We're the same age almost I'm 67 and have had AF for 7 years. Its gradually increased, going from the medication keeping at bay for almost 4years with just a little bit inbetween but it's now moved to being in it all of the time. I can do everything that I need to but feel light headed some of the time and definitely dont have as much energy. I'm exactly the same as you and go from one minute thinking I've made my decision, to doing a complete u turn. I'm trying to put off thinking about it as much as I can, until I get a date, then I will have to make up my mind.

Wishing you well.

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