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Arrhythmia Alliance
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AVNRT Ablation Failures?

Hello Everyone. I have been a long time lurker for awhile, however I have hit a wall and desperately need the advice of those who have been through this.

I am a 32 year old female. No heart disease. Perfectly healthy. A little background--My SVT started in my adolescence with episodes of racing heart that no one could explain. In fact, for a long time, I was told I had anxiety. These episodes faded during my high school and college years and returned with a vengeance nearing my mid-twenties. One morning I simply rolled out of bed and that typical ka-thump, THUMP triggered and my heart took off at 245 bpm. I was rushed to the ER and finally, after 25 years, was able to catch this phenomenon on an ECG. SVT. I was given a shot of aeodesine which broke the arrhythmia. I was put on 25 mg metroprolol succ er, which seemed to control the episodes for almost three years.

Fast forward to this past year. I had my first ablation in May (typical adult AVNRT), and sadly I had another episode a week after and then six weeks after. Both were converted easily and felt much slower. Clearly a pathway was missed and I ended up back for a second ablation in November. The EP had to get close to the AV node to make the burn, but said he was unable to induce the arrhythmia after. Both times he could easily trigger them. Like clockwork, a week later I was in sustained SVT for 30 seconds or less using the valsalva maneuver to correct. Two weeks after that (three weeks post ablation, last night) I was sitting in the car on the way to a holiday party and here we go, 200 bpm and none of my usual tricks worked. I ended up in the ER, thankfully captured on the ECG for my EP, and was corrected using Cardizem (so much easier than aeodesine).

When I called my EP after the second ablation, first incident, I was told this is common after the procedure for 3-4 weeks. I just have this nagging feeling something is wrong. I cannot tolerate another failure. I have been suffering from anxiety since this on-set as a child, and the thought of a 100% fix was too tempting. I fear that I will have to live with this for the rest of my life or that I have now made this worse by trying the ablations. Before them I was having episodes every year or three. After the first ablation I was experiencing them within months of each other. After the second I am experiencing them every few weeks. I am devastated. The whole point of coming off the beta blocker was to have a child medicine-free and to ease my worries when traveling/away from an ER.

Living with this condition is horrible. I am constantly worried if I am not near a hospital or in a public space that if it occurs I will need to immediately leave. It is an awful way to live your life.

I hope someone out there can relate. I really need to hear I am not alone.

5 Replies

I cant offer personal experience,as Im actually waiting fir first ablation,but wanted to offer support.From resfing about ablations on here,it seems sonetines tge first few months arexa settling in time with sone upand down times.Im sure people will share their dtories too.Keep your chin up.x


Thank you wilsond. I appreciate your response and wish you all the best for your ablation. I was in the ER again on Sunday evening with a heartrate of 205. Easily converted with cardizem. I can only hope and pray this is part of the recover process and these attacks will subside.

Do you have AVNRT, wilsond?


As an update. My version of AVNRT is complex and required a lot of burns to cover. It is going to be a rather rough recovery. Now that my heart is starting to deswell the connections can be made until the scar tissue forms.

My EP prescribed Flecainide Acetate 50 MG twice a day to help stop the episodes until they have a chance to fully heal.

Ideal outcome is the scar tissue heals and stops the connection. No more meds, surgeries, or random ER trips. Other options may include a third ablation and possible pacemaker. Won't know if those are to come to fruition for another 3-6 months, but if the medication does not work and episodes continue those options will be expedited.


Have you had success since your post? I had a failed ablation and have been on Nadalol and was just prescribed flecainide, which has made me truly miserable because don't want to take anymore meds.


Hi Vunel,

This is post is from a year ago but wanted to see if you had any updates? How are you doing? My situation is almost identical to yours (with the exception that I'm in my 40's). I, too, have two ablations under by belt for AVNRT.

I feel so disappointed that the two ablations haven't corrected things. I feel like going through with this two times was a waste.

And I feel you on the anxiety front. As soon as I'm away from the ER or local hospital, I feel anxious. Forget being on a plane, no way I can do that now with all the uncertainty.

Thank you for sharing your story. Hope you are doing well now.


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