Heart Disease Expert Forum
Atrial Fibrillation
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Atrial Fibrillation


  I had open heart surgery in 1986 for stenosis of the mitral valve.The valve was just cleaned out.
  I did have Rhumatic Fever when I was a child.
  I now have stenosis of the mitral valve, approx. 40 to 50%
  also have a leaking bicuspid.
  I've always experienced palpatations for which I have been taking several medications.  propanol, toprol etc.
  Last fall I was changed to beta pace after suffering an attack of atrial fibrillation.   Rythm was restored by electric shock.
  I have had three attacks of atrial fibrillation in the last couple of months.  The last one I was given 180 M of cardizem plus increas of beta pace from 160m per day to 240.
  I became so dizzy I couldn't even dress and was again admitted to hospital.  This time the rythm had returned but was beating so slow I was put on strick bed rest until medication wore off.
  My question is--shouldn't I get a full evaluation from someone like the Cleveland Clinic?  How can I get my doctor (He is a cardiologist) to reccommend me?  I asked him and he said He was evaluating me every time I come in.  He says it's just a matter of  getting me the right doses of the medication.
  I'd appreciate any advice I can get.
  By the way--I'm from Dr. Cosgrove's home town and I've followed his career with much interest.
  Thank you
  Jeanne
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Dear Jeanne,
Absolutely, you should have a second opinion, especially since a.fib is one of the reasons to start seriously thinking about valve replacement, even more so when it is difficult to control (be that because the patient can not tolerate the medications or otherwise.)
Your choice being the Cleveland Clinic for this second opinion is a good one in that here we have a vast experience, much more so for cases such as yours where there has already been something done to the valve (you say that yours was "cleaned out".
Call the Cleveland Clinic at the number below and ask for Dr.Cosgrove's assistant and not only will they collect the information on you, they can also direct you to some help in finding out if your insurance company will allow a second opinion.
I hope this information is useful. Information provided in the heart forum is for
general purposes only.  Only your physician can provided specific diagnoses and therapies.
Feel free to write back with further questions. Good luck!
If you would like to make an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center, please
call 1-800-CCF-CARE or inquire online by using the Heart Center website at
www.ccf.org/heartcenter. The Heart Center website contains a directory of the
cardiology staff that can be used to select the physician best suited to address your
cardiac problem.




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