Catheter ablation or not?: I was... - Arrhythmia Alliance

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Catheter ablation or not?

HowMyHeartSings profile image

I was diagnosed with Atrial Tachycardia three months ago. I am currently on 5 mg of Nebivolol each day. I am getting occasional small runs of rapid heart beats every few days largely only in the night and haven't had a full on 'episode' of 200 bpm for a month (I've had about 5 of them) - when the episodes come they last about 30 mins, burping and leaning forward tend to slow them down and end them for me. My EP recommends a catheter ablation. I am still undecided. I do want the chance of being drug free (I'm 53 yers old and I dislike the side effects of sluggishness from betablockers) but I am still - probably irrationally - concerned about the possibility of the procedure making things worse. I also don't relish coming off beta blockers several days before the procedure - what happens if I start having more frequent episodes where I can't take a beta blocker as I am going to have the ablation? I have also been told I can't have the ablation with a general anaesthetic as it decreases the chance of success - I'm worried about coping with just sedation as I am a nervous patient. Also what do they do if you need the loo if it becomes a longer procedure? Lastly (sorry this is so long) is there any better catheter ablation technology about to come into play that would make it worth waiting for? Thanks as ever for any feedback and more rational experience than my over worried imaginings!

13 Replies


I am due to have an ablation in November for SVT.

I'm have the same concerns as you.

The episodes I get last from a few seconds to 1 hour but I've always come out of them without any hospital treatment.

I'm on medication and would like to come off it.

Both my cardiologist and EP have said have it due to the success rate for SVT but I still have concerns.

My concerns are I suspect largely irrational: fear of the procedure (comes as standard) and worry about it making things worse and not better. My wife says to get on with trusting the professionals. What has your EP said to you about sedation vs general anaesthetic?

They haven't said anything about it. I have a pre op on the 5th so hopefully they will go over things then..

My concerns are do i really need it

What I hold onto is it offering a good chance of being free of my SVT being too much on my mind each day and from the unpleasant effects of beta blockers regarding sluggishness and sleep disturbance. If the procedure doesn't work I guess we've lost nothing except a day to two.

I feel all your pain. I’m 43 and I just went in to have my ablation done last Thursday and it was unsuccessful. Too much anesthesia can actually prevent the triggers as well. I will say that it was a peaceful time. When they prep you with the iv the worst part is done which isn’t much at all. Once in the procedure room they start your anesthesia through the iv drip line so no more pokes and even before you have any time to worry. Next thing you know you’re waking up. It’s actually pretty amazing. It was the first rest I’ve had without constantly waking up. Take advantage of it. In the end you’ll be happy you had it done. My only downfall was it was all for nothing. I’m going to try again before end of year. I honestly couldn’t believe how easy the process was and if successful could have been. Stay positive and do what’s best for you. Good luck!!!!

So that was a sedative rather then general anaesthetic? So sorry it didn't work this time - very best of luck next time.

It’s weird because before going in the anesthesiologist said that if they find they can’t induce the signal then they would lighten it up a little to where I somewhat wake up. Apparently, the anesthesia can block the triggering of the signals. All I know is that I never woke up til the recovery room. Makes me wonder how much effort went into it now. Either way it is a simple process for the patient. I’m sure I got some much needed rest. 😂

Hopefully I may be of some help. I had two failed ablations, this was not due to the failure of the team, but the area to be abated was actually on and in

the A/V node. Thankfully I went for a 3rd ablation, carried out by two cardiologists , I knew there was a chance of a pacemaker because of the A/V node. However due to the team they successfully abated me without a pacemaker. I used to have daily episodes, sometimes going over 240bpm, causing me to collapse and out of action for days. Now heart is behaving its self, I am off all heart tablets and for some bizarre reason my blood pressure is normal. Please don't be worried as ablations do work and for me I have a second chance to fully enjoy my life. Good luck for the future.

Hi, I had an ablation yesterday, all good. I'll put it on a separate post on the AA page.

43 and had svt ablation three weeks ago. I was totally awake for the first half—so they have a better chance of triggering it—and then “out” for the second half where they really pace your heart, give you adrenaline etc. I felt completely awake but they clearly gave me some kind of super Xanax or something because I wasn’t remotely freaked out by what was going on around me (and I’m easily freaked out). So yes, I’d say procedure is easy but I bled a lot from the groin right before was set to go home, so that was scary. I’m also still bruised and tender three weeks out. Recovery has been a little harder than I thought—really tired etc. I came off beta blockers five days before and was really scared I’d have an episode, but I didn’t! I had my dad stay with me that whole time because I have little kids (my other episodes sent me to Er for adenosine).

I had an ablation for AVNRT three years ago , I was 48 at the time. The procedure was no problem but I did have a longer than usual recovery period I felt terrible for over a week and was off work for two weeks.

HowMyHeartSings profile image
HowMyHeartSings in reply to Nods

How are you now? did the ablation work?

Yes sorry not checked this site for a while

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