A friend of mine has a daughter who had an ablation around that age. She did quite well and is having no problems with her arrhythmias now. What a relief for her to be free of that and go on to enjoy her youth. I've had arrhythmias all my life and didn't hear of "ablations" till 2000 when I was 48 years old.
How old is your daughter?
I developed SVT at 6 years of age, and had to deal with it interfering in my life for the next 54 years. If her heart has developed sufficiently to permit the ablation procedure, I would highly recommend it. She'll be back up and playing in a couple of days.
From what I have read I don't know that there is any more of a risk for a younger person to have an ablation as anyone else. The largest risk actually comes in the higher rate of it coming back as the person ages. The younger heart having a better ability to heal itself then an older heart. I have had svt my whole life. I had episodes ever since I could remember. I never told anyone because they were very few and far between, didn't last long and converted on their own. It only became disruptive in my life after I reached my 40s. Most svts are not a threat in a healthy heart. WPW has a bit of a higher risk due to the ventricle also being involved. But if she has something like possibly avnrt and her episodes are very rare then there isn't a need to rush into an ablation. It is actually more prudent to wait until she is more active because the EP cardiologist needs to be able to initiate the svt in order to ablate and sometimes that can't be accomplished when a person only has only rare episodes. But if she is having frequent episodes that disrupt her life like Tom said or she has wpw then I would consider it for sure. Cardiac ablations, though not without risk, have very low complication rates with really high success rates though again at such a young age she may need to do a repeat ablation a bit later in her life if her heart fully heals the intervention that was created by the first ablation. Hope we were able to help. If you have anymore questions please do let us know. But in general, in a healthy heart svt is not considered a danger. It is important to manage it properly when episodes occur but it isn't considered a life threatening condition. Take care and keep us posted on how she is doing and what you decide,.
Thanks for your input. She has been taking Digoxin for 5 years. Her episodes are 1-2 a month and they are very frightening to her. We can convert them now by turning her upside down. They believe she does have avnrt. But, with the same number of episodes before and after medication, I am at minimum thinking the medication isn't helpful at all and worry more about the effects of it, long term. So, we will be in prayer about what to do. Thanks for taking time to respond.
Interestingly, you're the second person in the last few weeks who report using Digoxin. In their case, it was an adult. Digoxin is a very old drug. I used it in 1957 in an attempt to control mine. It didn't work. There are so many new drugs on the market, that I'd seriously question why they chose Digoxin. It can also be toxic, so you have to be careful using it.
That's great to hear you've got a conversion process. I'd hold my breath and squeeze down. I've also heard of other who do headstands to convert.
If you are able to convert it quickly on your own then I actually see no need to be on the meds at all. Though I am not a doctor but mine did believe that the meds really didn't help much at all so he never went down that route with me. Some doctors likely basing it on some sort of protocol and will insist on trying meds first but I truly believe they are of little value when it comes to accessory pathway svts.
If you want to read what an ablation for svt like avnrt is like you can click on my profile name and read my journal entry. I have to say I was scared out of my wits to do it but in the end it wasn't scary at all and I was awake the whole time. Most tend to fall asleep. But it really was simply like getting an iv put in and a little bit of a burn feeling when they corrected the spot. I would say twice a month may be active enough to try the ablation so do consider it but in general if your daughter maintains a healthy heart lifestyle and manages the episodes as quickly as she can when they occur then there is really no need to do a thing but head them off when they start. Her heart will in all likelihood not suffer any undue problems from having the issue. Though like I said before, it may become more and more disruptive as she gets older and she may then want to consider an ablation but I would say at this point do what you feel most comfortable about. The way I like to make my decisions is to try and center myself and then gauge which option gives me the most calm. One option will likely make me more agitated than the other so I choose the route that feels the most right. Like I said, I was just terrified to do the ablation but even through the fear I had a sense of calm that it was the right thing to do for me and so I went through with it and found it to be really not very scary at all. Though I do realize I am an adult but in general it is a very safe procedure.
The last thing I will say is whether or not you do the ablation or not I would question the doctor about whether or not she really needs the meds. I might even get a second opinion on that as well because she is very young to be on any meds for any length of time if it really isn't doing much to help. Take care and I wish you the best whatever you decide to do.
I went 45 years unmedicated with several episodes per month until my 50's when it increased to about 3-5 times per month. The fact that I could convert them on my own kept me from doing something about it sooner. You have no idea how it interferred with my life as a teenager into my young adulthood, intertwined in my life, preventing me from reaching my full potential.
Unlike Michelle, I was under general anesthesia; a very pleasant, positive experience. Drugs used for general anesthesia these days make a very peaceful transition from the consciousness state to full sedation. You don't feel you consciousness being "pulled away" from you. It's more like sudden sleepyness and the next thing you know, you're awake. Speaking as someone with first hand experience, and living with SVT for 54 years, should you choose this for your daughter, it will impact her life later on in ways that you can't imagine.
Ok, Tom sparked another thought. I recall as a child not being a fan of anything cardio. It felt a struggle but it could be that I never really pushed myself. What I would like to stress though is you may want to consider seriously getting your daughter into some cario activities. Like I said I was never much of an exerciser but after my episodes started to become frequent I decided that I was going to fix the situation by working out. I didn't know at the time that it doesn't work that way but I hadn't been diagnosed at that point. But needless to say, once I started to work out on a regular basis though it didn't stop the amount of episodes I was having I was extremely pleasantly surprised how much better I was able to tolerate the episodes when they did occur. I would recommend stopping whatever a person is doing when an episode starts and work to get it to stop before proceeding but in general getting cardio in your daughters routine will help her physically tolerate the episodes much better. At least that is what happened in my case.
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