So after 18 months, 5 hospital visits, 6 episodes at home, I've now agreed to be referred for the ablation procedure for my SVT. And I am bricking it!
I havent had a date through yet, but was told it would be 4-6 weeks. I've looked up the EPs name and he seems very experienced etc. so I am looking forward to meeting him.
I also have a friend who is a cardiology nurse and has experience of being in the room when the procedure is done, so meeting her next week to chat about it all.
I guess I just wanted to hear other peoples experiences of it first hand? I know there are alot of negative experiences posted on here, but any success stories would be very much appreciated. I'm not naive, and I know that it might not be successful etc, my concerns are more about the actual procedure
How awake are you?
Can you feel the tubes going up through your body?
How painful is the burning, if you can feel it?
Will I be able to come of the beta blockers afterwards?
How long did you take to feel 'back to normal' afterwards?
How do they know if it was sucessful and how long should I expect this to take to find out?
I know these are all questions for my Dr, but I dont know when I am seeing him yet and I need answers now!
Any advice is greatly appreciated
I can answer your questions but it's only based on my own experience.
I was under conscious sedation with Versed. They say they can ask me questions and I will respond but I honestly don't remember much of anything. Versed also has an amnesia effect so you don't remember the procedure. They also gave me fentanyl for any discomfort that might have come with the ablation.
Feeling the catheters go up the veins was a big concern for me so I was waiting and looking for it. I felt nothing except someone's hand on my thigh as they inserted the catheters.
I felt no burning.
I was not taking meds before the procedures. Each doctor is different and may have you continue the medications for a few weeks after the ablation to manage any flutters and mini tachy times. The heart can be quite irritable after an ablation and many people don't enjoy the flutters and such afterwards.
I was back to work in a week or less. You have some weight lifting limitations for a week or two and may feel tired for a few days but not to the point of being bedridden. You just feel worn out, whether from the ablation or the anxiety leading up to it, I don't know.
It takes about 6 months to know whether the ablation is fully successful.
I had my ablation a couple of years ago and like ireneo chose Versed that is commonly known as the amnesia med...i have never for a moment regretted it because even tho i was given a pretty lite dose i came up and out of it a couple of times and only have foggy memories of the actual procedure. Because the docs want you awake during the procedure the Versed doesn't effect the heart only the mind (should have thought of that before i re married LOL) Like ireneo my story is very similar...i will answer my own personal experience chronologically as you asked:
1. You have options and need to discuss the issue of whether you are put into a twilight state as ireneo and i were or whether you want to tough it out and stay completely alert and awake altho i see no purpose in putting yourself thru this emotionally but all people are different and some people actually want to know what is happening every step of the way...i was a heck no person and see ya after the ablation.
2. Before the procedure you are taken into the prep room and the groin area if that is the way you are chosing to go on this because you can choose groin or neck and you are prepped and the area shaved. An IV is put into your arm and my doc gave me a short acting med to relax me before i went into the EP lab for the procedure. For myself they added the amnesia med soon as i got there so i have no idea on that one because i was on my way to OZ at that point so i cannot answer if you feel it because i was busy chasing munchkins across emerald green fields......
3. Again refer to #2...my question is ...is the doc actually going to burn the area or freeze it w. cryo...cryo is the procedure of choice now w. ablations to avoid scarring and the after effects sometimes lifetime worth that comes w. the burning. You need to check into this if i were you...i would go w. cryo any day of the week..no scar tissue build up thus making an issue of the electrical pattern not having to fight its way up over and around the zapped area...cryo does not cause scar build up as burning does.
4. Generally after most pts. reach the 6 month mark and for some much much sooner they are weaned off of the beta blockers...i have chosen a very low dose of antenolol as a safety net to take each day since the procedure w. no side effects and very few issues.....
5. You may have some funny periods during the first ninety days...random runs of SVT that are fast, then they become further and further spaced apart until they are gone...i had mine for Tach as well along w. a couple of other things and had one bad run ten days after that sent me running back to the doc who basically explained what was happening, i was fine,,,,patience will be a virtue for you after the procedure. You will no doubt feel funny things in the chest area as your heart begins to heal...it will be a little swollen, as well as the heart learning the correct flow for the electrical pattern so that the madness ends w. the SVT don't be concerned unless it seems super severe and remember the doc is just a phone call away and we are all here for you emotionally as well. I would guesstimate that it would be between 4 and 6 months that all symtoms of any type end...you could be one of the lucky ones and after eight weeks all gone.....
6. The easy answer to this one is if the doc tells you that you are in the 70% or above success rate thats a green light unless something else pops up during the procedure. Most all docs say they know the answer to that question within ninety days.....
Good luck on your procedure and congrats on taking the first step in getting your life back...i am sooooo happy i chose it.....i got mine back and a new lease on life......
Thank you for your responses. It is really good to hear of some positive responses. I am hoping that I can chose the cyro stuff as I've read that its safer if they realise they are near a dangerous spot etc. Unfortunatley I am in the UK and having the procedure on the NHS, so whilst it will be free, I doubt I will get much choice in the matter!
I think I will try to express strongly to my Dr that I am very scared about it and that the more sedated I can be the better, I tend to get very worked up about things, even just having bloods taken.
I've just started realising this week how much this condition has affected me, and I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that having the procedure really will help get me back to feeling 'normal'.
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