I'm having an ablation on Monday 19th March. Had an SVT episode last week but prior to that I hadn't had one in 10 months. Just been speaking to the cardiac nurse over the phone and i'm very nervous about it all. She said I'll have irregular heartbeats and thumping for a few days until it all settles down. What if it doesn't settle down and I'm left with erraic heartbeats? That ever happened to anyone? I need reassurance at the moment, I'm very scared:(
Your heart will likely be a little unsettled for a little while. I was having almost weekly episodes of svt and I likely had irregular beats before the ablation so my heart was already through a lot but I do think if you have been rather calm and don't have much by way of irregular beats now you may not notice much of it afterwards. No one can say for certain but chances are good you will feel just fine within a day. The first day I was quite tired and got short of breath easy but physically I bounced back very quickly. I did have what seemed like increased ectopic activity but again, I think I likely had alot before that was masked by the svt. My main concern would be them not being able to induce your svt and if they can't then they can't map it to know where exactly to ablate but I wouldn't really worry too much. Most people have the ablation and have little if no problems afterwards. But your heart may do a few odd things for the next month to 3 months and I am told it takes a up to 6 months for full healing to occur. Well, good luck. The ablation really is no big deal. You will be surprised how easy it is. I send good thoughts your way that all goes well and you are cured of your svt. Take care and let us know how it went. I will be thinking of you on Monday.
Thanks Michelle....always good to chat with you. I've had a bad day today, I'm really scared and wonder if I'm doing the right thing. I've been told I don't even need to stay overnight at the hospital which is encouraging as it can't be that bad. I wishI could sleep through it, but of course I have to be awake and not too sedated until they can bring the SVT on. I'm hoping they'll sedate me big time after that! Yes, a worry for me too if they can't SVT me....Thanks for thinking of me on Monday, I'll need all the positive thoughts and prayers I can get:)
I know. I was scared out of my wits to do it and I was one who was never afraid of my svt in the first place. But I was scared to have someone messing with my heart and kind of wish I had found this place before hand but I actually didn't find this place until after the ablation though I probably still would have been scared out of my wits. But all that worry did turn out to be unneccessary because it really isn't bad at all. You will be very pleasantly surprised. And I think they very rarely keep you overnight unless you are having one of the more complicated svts like afib ablated. I am sure they will do their best to keep you comfortable. You may even be able to fall asleep without them needing to add more meds. I almost did a couple of times. But really it isn't bad at all but I will be around all weekend if you need to talk more because I know you will likely be a bit anxious until it is over so I am here. : )
Thanks again Michelle. I was never very scared of my SVT either apart from a very bad episode 14 months ago I've always been relatively relaxed with it. Last week when I had one i took my verapamil and just chilled. It was gone in 40 minutes, but I did feel as if I'd done a serious session at the gym I was so tired!
It's just that there's so many different things going through my head and it's difficult because other people don't know what I'm going through. I think you have to go through this whole SVT thing to really know how it feels. A part of me is absolutely terrified...will I have a heart attack? Will I have a stroke? Will my heart be erratic for the rest of my life? But then another part of me just wants to get on with it and lead a normal life where I'm not worried if I have to go on a journey, or if I've left my phone at home or even having a glass of wine. The carefree days!!
I'm glad you're around this weekend, I'm sure I'll come back for mor reassurance, it's great talking to someone who's been through it and come out the other end:)
The one thing I didn't mention if it makes you feel better about doing it is your svt won't go away. You will continue to have episodes. You may not be active now but you very well could get to a point where you are having episodes every other week or even every week like I was having. Now it is not neccessarily the case for everyone but with the majority of people the episodes do become more frequent with age so I really do think it is worth a shot to try and be rid of it for good before it gets to a really bothersome point. If the ablation doesn't work you can go back at a later date and try again but my best wish is that they get this sooner meaning now rather than later. : )
I hope so too. Having a better day than yesterday and keeping busy which helps. I'm very worried about how I'll be after the procedure. I don't have any weird beats now (I think you call them PACS and PVCs?) so I'm worried that the ablation will cause me to have these. I don't mind if I getthem short term whilst the area heals but the thought of haveing them indefinitely scares me. Part of me wants to run away and not have it done! But I want to get rid of this problem. Like you say...and my husband says....the SVT will not go away. The fact that I hadn't had an episode for 10 months doesn't guarantee that I won't have another one for 10 months. Is SVT very common? I'd never heard of it before Ihad mine...
I went 54 years without ever encountering another person who had SVT. Then I found this site and found that I shared this problem with a lot of other people. I'm pretty sure I had given you my opinion prior to this, but my ablation was scheduled only after my episodes had increased to over several per month. My feeling is that advances in the procedure will continue and that someday, the current method will seem primitive by comparison.
The key to fixing your problem is finding it, and the key to finding it is being able to get it going. With my frequent episodes, the electrophysiologist was confident that he could stimulate it into action, and he merely touched the suspected lcation with the catheter and I went into SVT. I hope your procedure goes smoothly on Monday. Be sure to get back to us on how you did.
I don't have statistics on how many people have it though once I started talking to people I have come across some who know someone else who had it. The main statistic that I have come across is that women get it more than men and the most common form of congenital svt is avnrt though I think afib is more common than the congenital forms. Your husband is right. It won't go away. And I partly wonder if letting it go causes more issues down the road. I personally don't remember having pvcs or pacs when I was younger. I did notice them over the past 5 years though I did not make the correlation that it was a separate issue from my svt. So I was taken by surprise when the ectopics continued after the ablation and I did have a bout of them that were pretty bad. The doctor claims that the ablation or the svt did not cause the pvcs or pacs but all I have read about ectopics suggests that they arise from irritated spots on the heart and also they fire off when the heart itself misfires or the signal doesn't reach where it suppose to go. So there are some that fire randomly just because but there are others that are safety mechanisms that help keep the heart functioning. So some of them are good for us but it makes me wonder the ones that are firing off because the heart didn't pump properly is it because I let my avnrt go for too long and there is some sort of damage to the heart albeit nothing major or is it just another issue I was born with. I just don't know. It seems to make logical sense to me but I am not a doctor so it is just a theory and not based in any real science. And for the most part no ones heart functions totally properly their whole lives. Everyone has some sort of hiccup from time to time I think most just don't notice.
That said, especially in the case of avnrt, a disruption in the beat cycle is generally what triggers the episode. The signal needs to have time to reach the center of the avnode where it will then go out the other end of the pathway and create a loop. Essentially in avnrt you have 2 pathways in, a normal one and an extra one that the signal travels a bit slower on. If the extra slower pathway has time to complete entry into the avnode when a person has a pause from a pac or pvc then that is generally when a person will fall into tachycardia. Does this mean that everyone who has avnrt has ectopics. Possible but there are other reasons for the heart to pause though I am not sure what those are. So the bottom line is you could already have pacs or pvcs that you don't feel and if you don't feel them now you may never feel them. Supposedly everyone has them but it is just some feel them while others never do. Or you may not have any at all since you don't feel something else besides a fast beat from time to time. Like I said I feel my ectopics. I don't know that I always did but I do seem to now though it seems the farther away from my ablation the less intense they feel. I am six months out. And my doctor seems to believe that I will stop noticing them so it may indeed be the case in the near future.
But I don't know that not having the ablation is the answer. My ectopics did seem to increase afterwards but I also recall feeling episodes of flutters and weirdness before the ablation before I knew what they were that could have very well have been a bad bouts of ectopics. I don't know because they were never captured. But though they were a bit bothersome for a little while after the ablation they have calmed down now and I have days where I don't notice many at all and I really don't feel like I am noticing the fluttering anymore unless I get stressed out. But in general I just have to watch how hard I push myself for my cardio workouts. But there are others who don't mention having ectopics at all after their ablations so there is no guarantee you won't have them but there is no guarantee you will either, especially since you don't feel them now.
I guess what I am saying, if it were me in your position, I would try the ablation. Maybe ask them not to do any burning unless they can induce. Because knowing what I know now I do think repeated episodes will have a toll on your heart eventually so why not head it off earlier rather than later. I kind of think the medical community should take svts a little more serious but they don't because you could be inviting trouble down the road and if I wasn't so naive about my own svt 10 years ago I would have pursued it back then.
No one can decide for you whether or not to do the ablation. You have to decide that for yourself. There is no guarantee this ablation will work, there is no guarantee you won't have ectopics but there is no guarantee you will either. And there is no guarantee your svt will ever get to a problem point. But you are guaranteed to have another episode. That is the only thing you can count on. So weigh the fact that your svt won't go away with the possibility you may have some ectopics afterwards and just go with what feel the most comfortable for you. If you are super super agitated about doing the ablation then may hold off. I know the nice thing about your health care is it won't cost you an arm and a leg to do it where it does here in the states. Crazy high costs but that said you do have to wait if you do decide in the future that it needs to be done. So take that into account as well and just go with what feels right in your heart. Let all the talk in your head go and follow the path that feels the most right. One of them will feel more right than the other. That is the road to follow.
Take care and I wish you the best whatever you decide to do. (((Hugs)))
Well, I had the ablation on Mon and it was actually much much easier than I thought. I felt no pain and was away with the faries for most of it whcih was good too!
The recovery has been tough. I lost my appetite for 2 days and had sinus tacycardia for 2 days too. Unfortunately I was given an 80% success rate as he couldn't ablate it all as my heart went up to 140 and the EP thought it best to sstop. 80 % is still good....but I had an SVT episode the next day which stopped once I took my verapamil He wants me to go in next week for another ablation. He's very certain of succes 2nd time round...I have the most common one, avnrt I think it's called and he reckons it's a shame he couldn't burn off 2 extra areas as that would have sorted me out. I am very stressed about it all again. Noit the procedure itself but the recovery. I've had the worse few days of my life and going through that again is scary, especially feeling my heart rate go fast and also the burning sensation on my chest. Part of me doesn't want to do it....
I've never heard of anyone going in that soon either. The vessels they use for the catheters have to heal up a bit I imagine.
I'm glad the procedure went well for you. Sorry the recovery has been uncomfortable. I've had 3 ablations and although I felt some fatigue and dull ache in the chest, overall I was more happy to have it over that worry about going in. You will recover and gradually feel better. Be sure to ask the cardio about going in for another ablation so soon.
He justs wants to sort me out and get it over and done with. He reckons I'll need a general anaesthetic as he could tell I was nervous hence the increased heart rate. He said it was a shame he couldn't do all of it and I'm glad he played it safe. They want me to go in on Thur, I got a message on Fri, but there's no way that I'm fit enough.
I consider myself fit and healthy...I go to the gym 3 times a week, swim a couple of times, walk a lot and eat relatively well. but this knocked me out
Probably having an SVT less than 24 hours after didn't help and put strain on the heart, I don't know. All I know is that for 2 days I didn't want to talk, eat, I couldn't walk much and was out of breath going up the stairs at home. My heart was quite fast too which was scary and I had no idea I was going to get a sore chest...again scary. I'm much better now, nearly normal after 6 days although I'm taking it easy as I still get tired.
Like tom says...I've come this far....but this has been a tough week and not sure I want to do it again. But then again, the though of SVTs...urgh!
I hope you are making a good recovery from your second ablation. I understand what you are saying about the recovery. I had my first ablation (with heat) in May of 2010. The recovery was very tough. I was under 10 hours but they were unable to complete the procedure. Looking back, being under that long is a big part of what made the recovery hard. My new cardiologist says she wouldn't have someone under longer than 6.5 hours. Anyway, my first ablation seemed good at first, but then over the months, my a-fib increased to where I was having several episodes a month from September 2011. I switched cardiologists primarily because the original one seemed content to not complete the first ablation! My new cardiologist is part of a cooperative and thus, is big on prevention. I had the cryoablation on 2/6/12. It was only for 6 hours and she is optimistic she ablated all trouble areas. So far, two very minor (a matter of minutes) episodes and one larger one. My meds were raised to the point where I'm very tired and fatigued. (But I'm also 65 and work full-time in a stressful occupation). My cardiologist says it's part of the healing process. The end of April, she's taking me off my beta blockers and putting me on a heart monitor for a month to see if I continue to have silent or more full-scale episodes. If I still have some a-fib, we're going back in.
The first time, I had great expectations and so, was very disappointed. This last time, I was more cautious, and am just seeing where this is going. I'm glad to hear your cardiologist is proactive. Some doctors seem to think "a-fib" is no big deal. It may not be as life-threatening as some disorders, but it certainly affects our quality of life and I appreciate having a cardiologist who takes it seriously.
Please keep posting so we can support you. This board has been a lifesaver for me emotionally. I found it right before my first ablation when I was terrified, and got so much support.
Hi Maryll Thanks for your support and glad you're doing better after your 2nd ablation.
My ablation took 2 hours so I don't think the recovery was tough because I was under for so long. I think EP's play down the recovery....mine was positive that I'd be at the gym within a week! No chance of that, my chest is still sore (burning?) and I still find myself needing to rest.
This forum is a great help, i don't know anyone who's been through this so it's a great help to talk to others who know how I feel.Thanks!
I am glad to hear you are doing well. I do believe that a second ablation would likely correct your issue for sure so you have to weigh whether or not you want to continue to have svt or not. It almost sounds like you are in the same boat you were before you started though it is possible once the scars take hold you won't have any more episodes. I am a little surprised they stopped though. My heart rate was getting into the 230s so 140 doesn't sound all that fast. And 2 hours for an ablation I believe is typical. I have heard others who were in for upwards of 7 hours. Well I am sure the doctor stopped for good reason. But I would definitely take it slow for a while. Even though exercise is good I found it was easy to push myself too much for quite a few months after the ablation. It is a tough call though doing the ablation so soon. I guess the one good thing about doing it right away though is you won't have to dwell on it too long. Well good luck with whatever you decide to do but glad to see you posting again. Keep us posted.
I just realized you are over in the UK. In the states things cost so much they likely tend to push it more than maybe they would if costs weren't an issue. It is likely the 7 hour ablations should probably have been aborted and tried at a later date but I am sure the doctors here really want to help the patients. It is nice to know you have a doctor who is taking good care with you. Ok talk to you later.
I was very active so I was in an out within 2 hours the ablation and mapping only taking about an hour so my total cost was only $50,000 but I had to pay 4,000 for my yearly out of pocket so an expensive medical year but worth it for the long term health of my heart. Afib is a bit more difficult to fix as well so likely the reason for the higher costs for you. I am doing well. I have some pesky pvcs that I had prior to the ablation but have been SVT free for 6 months now. : )
Just spoke to the nurse at the hospital and cancelled the appointment for Thur. I appreciate he wants to sort me out soon and it was hard for them to fit me in, but I don't think I'm fit enough, it's way too soon. My chest is still sore...anyone had this a week after ablation? I mean it's not very painful, just sore and not normal. Psycologically it's been hard too.I'm scared of being unwell. I just want to have a normal life and do normal things, being out of breath and not being able to walk had frightened me
I was told they'd book me in for June which sounds good. I want to see the EP beforehand too and ask him lots of questions....my main concern at the moment is whether I could be left with arrythmias for the rest of my life. The recovery has been tough but I can get over that. Now I'm also worried about having an increased heartrate long term.Could that happen? Goodness, this time last week I thought it would all be sorted by now...:(
Michelle, he played it safe and stopped because my heart rate was 140 and the point he wanted to ablate was near the node. He says it's not dangerously near and he can confidently have a go, but at the time he thought it would be best to stop.
Are you charged differently depending on how long the ablation takes?
I am not really sure how one is charged. There are a lot of factors like the hospital the area of the country the type of insurance. My thought is the longer you are in the higher the bill but I could be wrong. Mary was ablated for afib which is a much more complicated ablation procedure so could be why hers was almost double the price but mine seems to have been a little lower than most. Well regardless it is expensive either way here.
I would say you may likely be sore if you are still having svt episodes. Your heart has been through a lot, it will heal but if you continue to have svt attacks you will continue to have problems but the shortness of breath and pain and faster rate should subside with a bit of time. It may not be fast but the heart does do a good job of healing itself. You may also feel a few weird pings and pangs from time to time too. I felt those for a good month after. But 3 months was probably when I noticed I was getting back to full strength though I did/do still have troubles with pvcs which is something you don't so that was possibly a factor in slowing my healing time. Anyways go by what feels right. Take care.
Hi I was just wondering if you had the second ablation? I was just diagnosed last sept with my first episode of SVT and have had none u til lasting and I had two in 3 weeks. We are treating with a beta blocker for now, but we are considering the ablation. Just was wondering if it worked for you. And if you have had any SVT episodes? Thanks!
A key to successful ablation is locating the source of the problem. The only way to locate it is to get your heart to drop into SVT. I've seen a number of people pass through this forum who've had a couple of SVT episodes and decide on ablation. Unfortunately once in the lab, there are problems getting their heart to respond to attempts to initiate an episode. They will use electrical pacing and adrenaline in an attempt to get it to fire. Some patient's just don't respond. With the cost of the procedure often exceeding $100K (US), it's a good idea going into the lab that you have a high chance of stimulating the heart successfully.
My advice to you would be to wait a while. Try the beta blocker, but don't expect much. Track the number of episodes you get per month. If they become regular, then it might be time to consider the procedure. If you don't already know how, learn the procedures on how to convert an episode yourself. I had SVT for 54 years; from 6 to 60. I was able to successfully convert every single and stay out of the ER. Also realize that as you wait, technology is moving forward at a rapid pace. In five or ten years, we may look back on the current method and cringe at how barbaric it was.
I agree with Tom.
To go right out and ablate after one episode... not worth it.
I'm sure there have been 95 year olds who died getting hit by a bus the day after they had their 1,000th episode of SVT.
That being said - should you deal with a 1000??? That's up to you. But I wouldn't even do the Beta blockers if you only have an episode every so often. Step one - learn to stop them. If you can do that. Do that.
I went years getting it about monthly. Started a vigorous exercise program and then it hit me about every other day. After a couple sustained runs and ambulance flights to the ER... THEN - yeah, it's time for a $75,000 procedure (ish - I don't remember exactly)
I had my first episode when I was 12 and got the ablation this past May. By that point, my ep told me it was very easy to get my heart into SVT but not easy to get it to stop (until it was ablated). It was such an easy procedure for me. However, if you have only just started SVT, I agree with Tom and LittleGreen. Wait it out and see how your body responds. Make sure you know all of the different tricks to stop your heart from racing. Your cardio can tell you more. I got to the point that I wasn't able to convert myself. Most often, I would need a trip to the ER. It was worth it to me, at that point, to get the ablation done, and it was a complete success. Good luck!
See a lot of folks who were scared to have a catheter ablation. I know fear so not making fun of you, but you couldn't have been as sick as I was with Afib to be scared. Like the unsuccessful cardioversion preceding my catheter ablation, I was excited as a kid on Christmas morning --- I couldn't wait for the date to arrive! If the procedure killed me it would be preferable to living with Afib. I had the ablation two and on-half months ago and was told afterwards that I had a "textbook" and "classic" case where errant signals originated from the pulmonary vein roots. Therefore, the areas of signal blocked by the ablation were quite certain to have taken care of the problem. It didn't.
I'm still in the 90-day "blanking period" where any Afib is clinically insignificant because the "scarring needs time to form." But, after having the usual post-ablation arrhythmias in the first month, the Afib has returned with a pattern of ever-increasing frequency and duration. In the past 21 days I have been in atrial fibrillation 11 times. The attacks last at least 12-hours and as long as 18-hours, so I'm in Afib one-fourth to one-third of the time, barely recovering before the next attack one or two days later. Incidentally, it was Afib 10% of the time which prompted me to schedule for an ablation. Just 10% of Hell on Earth is enough to make you push and shove your way to the front of the ablation line. When attacked, I do not eat, sleep or drink. Last October - two months after the first attack, and having been in Afib for weeks, I showed up at the ER having lost 40-pounds, dehydrated malnourished, a blood pressure so low it could not be measured and concern that the hypotension had destroyed my renal function.
The stuff absolutely devastates me physically and emotionally. I haven't worked in 10-months, ran out of FMLA and sick leave pay and had to resign my job as full-time college faculty. Now, no income or insurance and too sick much of the time to even care. Obamacare is out of the question because even if you can afford the ghastly monthly premiums you are handed a Blue Cross/Shield Policy in Network E. Not one provider in the state accepts Network E --- not even the public hospital will touch it. You're just out the premiums and haven't a chance of receiving any care. I'll never understand the wording of the act; Affordable Healthcare Act. It is neither affordable, and you sure don't have access to healthcare.
Anyway, sorry to digress. I'm still in that 90-day blanking period, but I'm not going to be in Afib on the 89th day, then jump up in normal sinus rhythm when the clock strikes midnight. My ablation, like the medicine and cardioversion before it was a complete failure. I cancelled all my remaining ablation-followup appointments since there is absolutely nothing to follow up, and told the doctor to set me up for a second ablation (yes, he's one of the best, as is the hospital). I can sell everything I own to pay for it.
I got concerned over my emotional state. Sometimes an attack brings crushing mental depression, and sometimes a devastating anxiety based panic attack (always thought the brain controlled neurochemicals affecting mood but it ain't so ---- the heart can bring its own and not tell the brain crap!). Lately, I've had the tendency to break into an absolute frothing rage when at attack comes, I was planning an trip to the next-state to see my Grandson, but on the night before was woke with yet another attack which of course nixed all my plans. At 1am I was absolutely berserk and trashing the house telling my damn heart (in much stronger terms) to either kill me or leave me alone. How childish is that?
I realized later that I placed too much faith in all the drugs, cardioversions and surgeries I've had since last summer and the constant ups and downs wrecked me mentally. It's best to take a conservative attitude to any treatment.
Anyway, I see the crossroads ahead. One more attempt - if I can pay for it - and I'm done. I've already reached the point of not caring. It's not that I can't handle adversity because I've always been tough as leather, it's that the condition is so debilitating that life isn't worth living. I care nothing for life just for the sake of existing, I'm either going to live life or not life at all.
Anyway, browsing the Web and saw this site with an option for review and opinion. So, here's mine. For those of you affect with this disease I hope you can find health and peace.
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