Heart Disease Expert Forum
Ablation
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Ablation

In mid February I went for an ablation but ended up with a pacemaker.  How common is this?  Also, I have been on beta blockers for l8 years and I was told that I must be weaned off of them because my heart & body will go through withdrawal.  Is this true?  Although my heart no longer beats at the 200-240 I had problems with, it still beats hard alot, although it is getting better. Will this go away as my bodies need for beta blockers subsides? This entire ordeal has been very upsetting for me as I never expected a pacemaker.  I would appreciate your advice.
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Dear Kathy,

The risk of requiring permanent pacing depends somewhat on what type of ablation was attempted and what the goal of the ablation was.  In general, we always let patients know ahead of time that requiring a pacemaker is a potential complication of all ablation procedures.  

Beta=blockers should be gradually stopped to prevent the onset of a rapid heart rate.  This can usually be done over a short period.  Best wishes to you.
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Hi Kathy

I had an ablation done to correct SVT in 1994.  After the ablation, I no longer had a racing heart, but I developed heart block.  I was then inserted with a pacemaker.  I'm only 25 years old and over the last 6 years my normal activites have not been affected by the pacemaker in any way, I've even played contact sports (ie aussie rules footy).

I've been a bit naughty and havn't been having regular check ups.  I've noticed that my heart misses beats quite often, but this doesn't really bother me.  Apparently the pacemaker leads may have moved, so they turned the voltage up.  They then turned the pacemaker right down so it wouldn't pace until my heart beat fell below 30 bpm, and I was monitored with a halter monitor.  The results showed that my heart did actually fall below this rate while I was sleeping.  The pacemaker battery is alomst flat, and the doctor is thinking that because the slow heart rate is not bothering me, that maybe I don't really need a pacemaker afterall.  But he's not really sure if my heart could ever stop.  I would prefer not to have a pacemaker.

I was just wondering if it is alright for my heart to be beating this slow, if it doesn't really bother me (ocassionally I may feel a bit short of breath) and if it is likely that it could ever completely stop?

Also, I want to go SCUBA diving.  Has anyone with a pacemaker had any problems with this?

thanks Michelle
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