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Ablation - Left Atrium
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Ablation - Left Atrium

I am a 47 year old male with an incessant, drug resistant, ectopic atrial tachycardia probably arising in the left atrium. I also have abnormal A-V conduction. I have been on medication since 1968, and my last documented normal sinus rhythm was in 1969. My questions are as follows:

1) Is ablation of a left atrial ectopic pacemaker considered routine, safe and effective?

2) What is the likelihood of having a normally functioning sinus node after 33 years of no evidence of sinus activity?

3) What is the likelihood of developing an entirely new, and equally unpleasant symptomology, after ablation of the ectopic foci?

4) If ablation leaves me with neither an ectopic nor a sino-atrial pacemaker, OR, if ablation of the A-V node becomes necessary, how much better (or worse) is life with a permanent pacemaker than it is with my present set of symptoms (rapid pulse, frequent palpitations, low excercise tolerance).

Many thanks for this service.
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Dialogue,
1) Is ablation of a left atrial ectopic pacemaker considered routine, safe and effective?
A: I guess the answer to routine depends on who is doing the procedure.  At the Cleveland Clinic I would describe it as routine.  It is fairly safe with a perhaps 1-2 % risk of a serious complication (again depending on where it is being done).  The success of the procedure would depend on the location and number of foci but could be as high as 60-70%.

2) What is the likelihood of having a normally functioning sinus node after 33 years of no evidence of sinus activity?
A: Hard to say for sure but it is possible that normal sinus activity could return.  It is also possible that a pacemaker would be needed after the procedure.

3) What is the likelihood of developing an entirely new, and equally unpleasant symptomology, after ablation of the ectopic foci?
A: This is a possibility but it could hopefully also be ablated.  In any case it would be unlikely to be worse.

4) If ablation leaves me with neither an ectopic nor a sino-atrial pacemaker, OR, if ablation of the A-V node becomes necessary, how much better (or worse) is life with a permanent pacemaker than it is with my present set of symptoms (rapid pulse, frequent palpitations, low excercise tolerance).
A: This is a question better discussed with your doctor because it will vary from person to person.  In general, those individuals who opt for AV node ablation and pacemaker are happy with their decision.
5 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for your question...I'm really anxious to hear the reply you get.  I also have SVT's originating in the left atrium.
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Avatar_n_tn
Feel free to email me at ***@**** if you'd like to swap stories.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had an AV node ablation several months ago.  I already had a pacemaker.  I am now off all of the drugs except low dose aspirin, and feel that the procedure has been very worthwhile.
Good luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
What is life like with a pacemaker? Did you notice any mental/emotional diferences upon withdrawal of your medications?

I would be interested in corresponding with ablation, SVT and pacemaker patients.

***@****
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