I am 23 years old. I was diagnosed with WPW after being required to stay on a heart monitor after delivering my youngest daughter and the nurse discovered that my heart rate never went below 100bpm the entire 24 hours that I was on the monitor, even when I was sleeping. EKG shows the delta wave, and a holter monitor showed that my highest resting bpm was 140. I have a healthy, normal sinus rhythm, normal heart muscle, no sign of weakening or any kind of deformities, other than the WPW. I've been on two different beta blockers, metoprolol and then after a year of no symptoms it started up again and I have been on Atenelol for about a year now. I'm exhausted all of the time, I feel a lot older than I am because of the medicine along with the palpitations and the SVT that I still experience. I'm always scared of "sudden cardiac death" that can be a complication from WPW. I think that I'm ready to go ahead and have an ablation procedure, but would like to hear some success stories? I'm incredibly nervous about having any kind of procedure done to my heart. Can anybody share their experiences?
I had an ablation for avnrt a couple of weeks ago. It could not have gone any better for me. I was in and out within 2 hours (minus prep time) with virtually no complications. I had shortness of breath and a fast heart rate for a couple of days but that resolved rather quickly. I do sense some chest discomfort from time to time as my heart heals but it isn't anything that is too much to deal with. The only issue in your case is the fact that I believe they may have to puncture a hole in some lining, not sure what it is, to get to the side of the heart that your accessory pathway resides. This may cause a bit more chest discomfort and healing time than what I had to deal with but consult your cardiologist about what to expect with healing for that type of ablation. Hopefully someone who had wpw successfully ablated will write as well.
In any event, do your homework before you choose your EP. Find out how long he has been practicing and what his success and complication rates are. The more experienced he is the more likely he will be able to find the arrhythmia and get it successfully ablated in the shortest amount of time to you, which will help your recovery time. Like I said, for me I was in an out within 2 hours. And the whole procedure pain wise was no worse than getting some IVs put in. You do feel it when they pace your heart to get the arrhythmia going but you know what to expect with that. It is also likely you may sleep through the whole thing. I was kind of awake for mine but they do sedate you enough that you really don't feel much. I felt the ablation part but it really just felt like heart burn. But I am sure if you are anxious you can ask to have more sedation.
After the ablation is done you will have to lay still for 4 or so hours so your arteries have a chance to start to heal. If they offer you drinks try to not drink too much. I made the mistake of drinking a bit too much and at the 3 hour mark I really had to go. But other than that everything went great and I was in and out of the hospital within 9 hours. So best of luck. It really is worth getting it done to be free of the episodes. They can be very disruptive. Let us know how it goes.
Many of us on the forum have undergone successful ablation. I had mine done last November for Circus Movement Tachycardia, a form of AVRT in which WPW is classified. For further information, you can check my journals, and those of user Janniex411.
Thanks guys. I've read those journals Tom, and they have been helpful. I'm completely sold on having the ablation, just nervous about the "what ifs," mostly, what if something goes wrong during the procedure? Or what if it doesn't work? I'm like you, always a pessimist when it comes to things like this. I always think of the worst possible scenario. I'm not going to let it scare me away from having it done though. I want a shot at a normal life!
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