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Living with PSVT
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Living with PSVT

Hi, I've been diagnoised with paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia.
I am 24 years old and I'm suffering from this for about 7 years.
I've been actively doing sports (every day few hours of training) for few years for until 6 years ago.
Now I am working as manager/director which can be very stresffull.
So, about tachycardia. I'm getting attacks like every 10-15 days. They can last up to 10 mins and they usually stop by me stoping breath or sometimes it stops on it's own.
For last 3-4 months I'm taking medications (presolol, which is actually metoprolol tartarat 25 mg), one in the morning and one in evening. This medication has helped to remove most of missed beats (I had these during the day), but I'm still getting attacks every 15-30 days. (they tried bigger dose of medicine but it didn't help either and I was feeling tired/sleepy with it) My doctor recommended me to do ablation, but I am thinking if that is maybe too high risk for me. I've read that 1% of operations end up needing peacemaker and I'm too young to live like that. Having these attacks is not such a big deal after all. It just happends every once in a while and then I get calm, let it go, and after few mins I'm back to normal. Not to mention that hospital invoiced me with $40k for ablation.

So, other then your comments/thoughts on all of above, my real question is this.
What will happen if I don't do ablation ? If I stay on medicine, will the medicine create some side-effects when I get old, after 20-30 years of taking it ?
What is a bigger risk ? to do ablation or to live without it ?

Thank y
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239757_tn?1213813182
dzeni,

There are basically 3 options available. Nothing, medicines and ablation.

Really the descision to do something is yours and relates to the all of the factors involved in each choice which can be health related as well as financial cost.

There are some risk in doing nothing. In some people with frequent prolonged episodes of tachycardia, some damage could possibly occur over a long period of time.

For a young person with PSVT, the risk of ablation including the need for a pacemaker are not that great.

Insurance will generally cover an ablation.  If you do not have insurance, talking to a financial counselor at the hospital might help.

good luck
9 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
If you 'simply' have SVT, an accessory pathway in the heart, ablation is incredibly successful at comletely curing you and the procedure only carries a slight risk, so my advice is to go for it.
I started off with just SVT in my teenage years, ablation wasn't available back then and it's got worse with age, so don't live with it when you don't have to.  Get rid of it.
Good luck
Linda
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,

Thanks for all the comments.

SVT comes out of blue. It just starts beating heavily.
Sometimes it starts while I work on computers, sometimes when I start laughing or when I jump or sometimes (not so often) when I excersize.
Usually it lasts about 10 mins, but sometimes (like last time) it was only for few seconds when I stoped it.
Also, when it slowes down, it's a clean slow down. It just stops beating so fast and everything gets back to normal instantly.

I don't know what type I have, but my ECG is fine. They only saw this on electrometry (when they monitor ECG while I'm walking fast on that machine - not sure what's the word for it on English), and then my heart beat was like 260 bps. Usually when in rest, it is about 180 bps.


Thank you,

dzeni...
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Avatar_n_tn
dzeni,

I was confused by the bps, I had orig read it as bpm then realized it didn't make sense as such.

You said that you only have a bout every 15-30 days and it is no big deal.  If that were my case I wouldn't take any medicine for and I wouldn't do an ablation, either. Just my humble opinion.

I do take meds for my IST, but I was symptomatic with it and my cardio/ep felt it might be triggering my NCS.  I didn't have palps, believe it or not, even when they caught it at 170bpm.  I would have fatigue and sometimes would be dizzy and lightheaded.  Also, I have been caught often in tachy. and during the holter monitor it said long periods and totaled hours, so I take the meds.  The reason I am saying all this is because as you know, there are side effects to the meds., so why deal with side effects everyday if you aren't dealing with symptoms everyday?

Good luck in whatever you decide.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello all...Longtime follower of this site.  Thanks to all! Thanks also to Pluto who seems to be very attentive and thoughtful with regard to comments to fellow sufferers.

I begin having anxiety attack and high anxiety while in law school in February of 1998.  In October of 1998 I noticed various skipped beats.  These have come and gone over the years.  I have been seen by 2 separate cardiologists and have had Holter, Echo, numerous ekgs, blood, urine tests to which the physicians reply "normal." (only pac's and maybe short bursts of svt) I am now an attorney and high levels of stress are a daily routine.  I usually get the skips at work (sometimes daily).  Can these be stress related? I have taken PAXIL in the past and symptoms seemed to subside. GP wants me to take it again.  Occasionally,I will get skipped heartbeats lasting 3-15 seconds.  Any advice regarding PAXIL?  Any prayers,comments, words of encouragement are welcomed and would be truly appreciated.  Thanks in advance.
Sorry for the length.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had tachycardia when I was about your age.  It would happen when I was working out and suddenly my heart would start racing.  It would last for a little while, and if I messaged my neck or eyes it would stop after awhile.  I also was suffering from ectopic beats as well.

All this occured when my wife and I lost our second baby due to a birth defect about 16 hours after he was born.  I was put on meds etc, but they made me feel very tired.  So I decided that I would just not take them.  Instead I started to make sure I got enough rest, I did mild exercise, and over time it simply went away.

However later in life (about 40)I started getting lots of PAC's and finally about 3 years ago I developed paroxymal AFIB.  Episodes would last from a few minutes to a day or two.  They were affecting my life way too much.  I was always afraid that I would go into AFIB somewhere incovenient.

I had been an athlete most of my life, and in very good shape.  After two failed attempts on meds I decided that I wanted to get an ablation.

This was my thought process:
1)  Living with the AFIB was too life changing.  
2)  Meds didn't work so that wasn't an option.
3)  An ablation was a risk, but under good hands not much riskier than many things I do.
4)  If it works, and I'm cured I get back a life without the hassle of every few weeks going into AFIB.  

I went for the ablation, and it worked very well.  My AFIB could come back at any time.  But not only did the ablation take care of the AFIB but my EP was very very good and got rid of AFIB, atrial flutter, and other foci causing the PAC's.

Total cost was about $58,000.  When I got the bill I nearly went into AFIB!  But my insurance covered all but $3500.  It was well worth it.

My advice:
If meds will not control, or if it changes your life too much go to a very good EP specialist. Check to make sure your insurance will cover it.  And finally don't listen to all the horror stories.  It's like the news.  The only news you hear is the bad news, most of the good news never gets on TV.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi.  I also have AVNRT - the slow form which runs at about 150 beats.  I get very short bursts of 5 or 6 beats at a time about 10 times / month I guess and then also less often runs of about a minute or two.  I have found that dietary changes help a lot - no caffiene, no alcohol, lower sugar intake and magnesium each day, plus I eat Bananas more regularly to keep my potassium intake healthy. I also get PVC's.  My attacks of both these arrythmias also happens roughly every 15 days and lasts for about a week to ten days - in perfect sync with my menstrual cycle.  It is now predictable.  I know when I am going to enter a time of instability as I keep track in my diary and am much better prepared mentally than I was a year or so ago.
I chose to go for an EP Study last July to make sure that my events were benign.  I was given a clear diagnosis by my EP who wanted to ablate as he said it was an easy ablation with a high success rate.  He also advised that the ablation is a quality of life thing and not to prevent a sudden death episode which he identified as highly unlikely in my case.  Being 40, which I regard as a bit young to have heart procedures, I chose to live with it for now.  Plus, I have about two weeks of absolute stability each month and have got the other couple of weeks with their few events under control mentally.
Try some diet adjustments if you haven't already. I also find that a lack of sleep triggers them as well when I work too many late hours.
Regards
Karen
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, Everybody!
    I am a 48 year old male, and I have suffered through PVC's and PSVT since I was about 12. It has made me a nervous wreck, bringing on anxiety attacks and basically controlling my life for years. I have finally come to accept it, although the PVC's are rare now...even though up to a year ago they were so prevalent they were driving me nuts. PSVT only comes around every few years. Even though, I exercise every day and in the back of my mind there is always that fear that my heart is going to go wildly out of control. I wouldn't wish that on anyone, but I have learned to live with it, and I hope all of you do, too. Good luck and good health to all!
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Avatar_n_tn
I had an EP study and rf ablation last week for what turned out to be a concealed accessory pathway. I was never very symptomatic (2 times a year), but stopping the SVT was not as easy as it had been for me in the past.  The ablation was very easy and I should be cured. I spent years dreading the ablation and it was actually easier than going to the dentist. I found the most experienced doctor in my area and asked for maximal sedation that would still allow a complete mapping.  The worst part was the fear beforehand. My advice: if the SVT bothers you at all, find the best person in your region and get the ablation.
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