Cardioversion: Hello everyone, please... - British Heart Fou...

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Cardioversion

NorfolkGal
NorfolkGal

Hello everyone, please do read my profile to get a bit of history.

I have Heart Failure, Left ventricular failure Ef 37%, Left Atria impairment, and presently in AF. The AF started 4 weeks ago as Fast AF and I was admitted for 5 days. I was started on Bisopolol (Beta Blocker) and my heart rate in now a little slower. I am now booked to have internal Cardioversion (electric shock) to try and revert my rhythm back to normal. I was diagnosed in March and although I had few symptoms at the time I have deteriorated very quickly although I was walking 3 KMs a day. I now pretty much do not leave my home as walking is impossible. My heart is just not pumping blood sufficiently to feed my muscles. I am also retaining fluid, so just started on Furosemide.

I am also now on waiting list for Bi-ventricular Pacemaker, which I understand will sync the beats in my heart chambers. Then I will be offered an AV node ablation through the pacemaker which will kill my natural heart triggers and relay totally on the pacemaker.

All scary stuff. Has anyone had experiences of these three procedures.

1 internal Cardioversion

2 Bi-ventricular Pacemaker

3 Ablation through pacemaker.

Thanks for reading....

9 Replies
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Hi Norfolkgal,

I was in a similar situation as you but with an EF of 25%. My cardiologist suspected that my low EF / enlarged ventricle was caused by a complex arrhythmia and that there was a fair chance of my heart recovering if the arrhythmia could be controlled. I wasn't offered a cardioversion but was referred to an electrophysiologist for consideration for a pacemaker & AV ablation. As you know, this is serious stuff and a decision not to be taken lightly. My EP discussed the possibility of a biventricular pacemaker and I had no problem in going along with that if it would result in my EF returning to normal. My EP decided that he should first confirm the theory that the arrhythmia was the cause of my low EF so he decided to first try ablation. He performed a pulmonary vein isolation ablation but that irritated my heart and resulted in a deterioration of my arrhythmia. Again, rather than rush into a pace & ablate procedure he decided to wait for my heart to recover from the ablation and use anti-arrhythmic drugs to get my heart beating normally for a while to see if my ventricle & EF recovers. That's where I am now - still looking for alternative options before taking the irreversible option of pace and ablate. I anticipate another echocardiogram within the next few weeks to reassess my EF.

You will find other people in the AF Association forum on HealthUnlocked who are going through the same journey as you and will be happy to relate their experiences.

Best wishes

Ian

I'm fitted with a biventricular pacemaker. The process is a little more complex than a regular pacemaker and due to being on blood thinners I stayed in hospital 3 days after fitting (To wean off heparin back to warfarin). The pacemaker has been fine since. As it forces both chambers to beat together I always show a paced rhythm on ekg which raises questions. All my data is now collected via the supporting device next to my bed so I don't even have to go to clinic unless a problem is detected.

NorfolkGal
NorfolkGal
in reply to Ruffio

Hi Ruffio, thank you for your comments. Do you live in Uk? Sorry about the following questions, As you have this data collecting device, can you leave your home. May I ask for which reasons you had this pacemaker fitted?

Ruffio
Ruffio
in reply to NorfolkGal

Yes, i'm in Nottingham. Following valve replacement surgery (Mitral, aortic and a tricuspid repair) I had no sinus rhythm. I was on a pacing box for a month then had the pacemaker fitted. My ejection fracture is classed as moderate to severe (about 35% I think). The box is about half the size of a shoebox, and needs to be left plugged in. At defined intervals, in the night when you're asleep it will send data to your pacing clinic. You won't know it's happening and don't need to do anything. The clinic would contact you if there was a problem with the data. You can go away for the weekend/ holidays no problem. You don't take the box, just let the clinic know if you will be away on a date they've given you to collect the data, and they'll move it. You'll also get a card to keep in your purse with the pacemakers info on. You need this when passing through security at an air port as you can't go through the metal detectors

NorfolkGal
NorfolkGal
in reply to Ruffio

Do you think I will have a data box? Do all biventricular pacemaker send info to a box?

Ruffio
Ruffio
in reply to NorfolkGal

Yes. All modern pacemakers usually come with some thing. More basic pacemakers will have one that's like a phone that you have to put on your device to transmit. A biventricular pacemaker is a more complex device though, so it runs through the Wi-Fi. You want one....that's how you know it works properly!! They can check the battery life and everything with no need to visit the hospital

NorfolkGal
NorfolkGal
in reply to Ruffio

Has it made your life easier? And is your heart totally dependant on pacemaker? The consultant has mentioned that he may need to ablate the AV node so I will be totally dependant on the device?

Ruffio
Ruffio
in reply to NorfolkGal

Yes. My own heart rhythm never came back after coming off the bypass machine, so I'm totally pacemaker dependant. Without it i'd be dead, so yes, it's definitely of benefit to my life!

NorfolkGal
NorfolkGal
in reply to Ruffio

Thank you for sharing your experience with me. I have a tough journey ahead but the outlook is better than my life presently. Firstly, I am having internal Cardioversion on 5th October

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