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Anyone had an A Fib ablation?
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by Carey01, Oct 06, 2012

Ive gone into A Fib twice in less than 36 hrs.  I also get RVR with mine.  Its miserable, painful ans SCARY!  BOth times I converted on my own within an hour.  The only reason my EP admitted me the second time was because I was pretty much losing it.  I felt horrible and needed answers.  I have always thought you could get an ablation and "fix" the A Fib.  My very well respected EP says the ONLY cure to A Fib is AV node ablation with pacemaker.  He said an ablation will not work.  I thought people did get ablations for A Fib.  HE said we start with a more aggressive BB treatment and we could escalate to a rhythm medication.  I think before I did that I would want to get an ablation.  Im too young to get a pacememaker and my EP says it would be total overkill a this point.  I guess Im really confused now because I always thought if I could get up the courage, ablation was the way to go.  HAs anyone has success with BB's or an ablation without a pacemaker?  
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Member Comments (14)
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by michellepetkus, Oct 06, 2012
I am a bit surprised to hear that they didn't offer an attempt at an ablation.  I do believe there have been successful ones but I also know there is a gentleman on here Jerry I believe who is in permanant afib and they won't try one on him for some reason.  Maybe he thinks yours is in a spot that is too tough to fix or maybe there is more literature out there that it doesn't work as well as they thought.  I know there are a few on here who have tried a couple of times and it didn't work but in general you only get people showing up here who mostly have problems.  There is also a gentleman here who had an sa node modification.  He already had an ICD in but I am not sure they actually burn out the whole node or just try and modify it.  That said, I am sure there is a high risk of needing a pacemaker if it was attempted but I would ask the doctor to clarify if they make you pacemaker dependent with no matter what with that type of ablation.  I might also go and seek a second opinion.  I do hope people with successful afib ablations jump on as well to let you know of their successes.  Anyways if I were you I would go see someone else just to see what they have to say and maybe question your current doctor why he thinks what he thinks when you know ablations are performed daily for afib.  I think it would be good to know if he suspects something in particular about your case or if it is a general opinion.  Considering his livelihood depends on ablations it is a bold statement in my opinion.  I would definitely get him to clarify it.  Take care and hang in there.  I do hope you can find some resolution to your afib.
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by DeltaDawn23, Oct 07, 2012
My Afib was controlled for 7 years on Atenolol.  Then I had 2 episdoes 3-1/2 months apart and I had to be electroconverted.  Right now I am on Norpace Xr and have been Afib free for 1-1/2 years.  Hope some of this helps.
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by LindaTX, Oct 07, 2012
Ablations can be amazing...if done by a very experienced electrphysiologist.  The key is the experience.  I had mine in Sept '10 for a-fib and then had to have a "touch-up" ablation in May '12.  Sometimes women, moreso than men need this..something abiut their septal wall. I would definitely do it all over again.  Just don't wait too late...sometimes your left atrium can get enlarged to the point where they won't perform the ablation.  Don't be afraid...it's a piece of cake.  Good Luck!
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by ziggy101, Oct 07, 2012
I developed paroxysmal AF in Jan 2011. Had 4 episodes which lasted about an hr each but alwayz came out on my own. Drugs had too many side effects and did not work. Had ablation at UVA in June 2011are and it worked great! Don't wait to long because heart will remodel itself to accomodate the arrhythmia. Go to a good EP group.....makes all the difference. Procedure itself is a piece oc cake.
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by Carey01, Oct 07, 2012
For those who has the ablation..were asleep the whole time?  My A Fib is so uncomfortable.  Do they have to make the A Fib happen when you have the ablation.  
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by ziggy101, Oct 07, 2012
Yes you are out the whole time. IV anesthesia. You will not feel anything and will be comfortable. They fo induce the AF to find the electrical misfires....but they can control it and you will not feel it at all. I was very scared before the procedure..... and it was a waste of worry. :)

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by DeltaDawn23, Oct 08, 2012
It is really good to hear some success stories.  Makes me feel like I could handle it if I need to.  My EP thinks since my sleep apnea is well controlled that the heart may have changed from going into the afib arrythmia.  I am not convinced, but I am going to go off my meds after the first of the year, so I guess I'll know then.  Carey I also have the rapid ventricular response, which is the worst part of the whole thing.  It just wears you out.  I was in it for 3-4 days each of the last 2 episodes and I was exhausted by the time they converted me.
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by ziggy101, Oct 08, 2012
I had the rvr too and i know how nad it makes you feel! But take heart because it sounds like you are on the righ path! Also.....keep in mind that a good potion of what you read on the net are the negatives.......the large majority of successes go on with their lives and never post.....only reason i do is because i want to change that. Best to you......i am rooting for ya!
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by twinbee, Oct 09, 2012
First of all, I cannot believe your doctor would even suggest an AV node ablation, then pacemaker. That should be the very last resort. And even that is sometimes not a 'cure" . I agree, that you should start with the BB,s and see if it control your a-fib, if not then move on to rhythm meds. Some insurances will insist that you try meds first, before they will approve an ablation. In my case, I tried every med out there for years. In 2006, my EP wanted me to have an ablation. In January 2008, I finally had it done. My ablation was for both a-fib and a-flutter. Besides an occasional PVC or PAC, I have been in NSR ever since. I am also off all meds except for an aspirin a day. Good Luck.