I have so far had 3 ablation procedures to cure Atrial Fibrillation, but unfortunately they have been unsuccessful. Before I had the ablations I had been in and out of AF for a couple of years, I had been successfully cardioverted on several occasions. I am now in permanent AF and have been on amiodarone since the last ablation.
What I wanted to understand was, could the ablations have made my AF worse in respect of it now being a permanent condition whereas before it was paroxysmal. When I used to go into AF I always had to be electrically cardioverted, apart from one accasion after my first ablation procedure when I flipped back into sinus rhythm without intervention. I had been led to believe from my Electrophysiologist that my condition in respect of AF would not get worse as a result of the AF procedures, was this advice correct or is there always a risk that the AF can go from paroxysmal to permanent?
I have permanent AFib and an enlarged left atrium of 5.4 cm, that and the fact that my symptoms are mostly acceptable for light duty physical activity, at least, my EP and my Cardiologist say trying an Ablation is not worth the risk in my case: i.e., low probability of success with the risk of complications. As you know, Ablation has risks of stroke and worse and the risk factor for AFib Ablation is the highest because of the need to access the left side of the heart. It is in the low percentage range, I understand, but enough of a risk that one needs good odds at improvement before undertaking.
I have had a mini-maze done when I was in for open heart surgery. The MSR from that lasted about 30 days. I have had four (best I can remember) electro cardioversions, two of them lasted about 18 months, albeit I was taking propafenone and warfarin during these NSR periods. The other two lasted much less time and the last, following the failed maze procedure lasted only 5 days. So, I am no longer a candidate for electro cardioversions, and it seems not justified to try Ablation, and I have choosen not to try the heavy duty drugs. The strongest I have used is Rythmol SR 425 mg twice a day. It didn't convert me.
I have never heard of Ablation causing AFib, or the worsening of AFib to permanent AFib, and I can't say it seem likely as Ablation either reduces the number of electrical paths or it doesn't, but I can't imagine how it could create new ones...but then I'm just a patient, read a lot, but just a patient.
My sugguestion would be to research it with the Mayo Clinic web site. I had to take my 19 year old son there to have heart surgery done. They don't really suggest having ablations done because it's really inducing a heart attack and you can't control the damage that is being done to the heart. It's a guessing game. No guarantee. That's what they told me, when I was going to have it done to him. I changed my mind and we opted for open heart surgery and had his heart shaved. He has cardiomyopathy and we were told up front that both proceedures carridy risks of electric disturbince was possibe so they implanted a pace make during the surgery. They take ALL insurance. We were from TN and went to MN.
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