I am a 36 year old mom who's been living with heart issues since I was around 14. I currently have a diagnosis of MVP, arrhythmia, cardio myopathy, CHF and an enlarged left atrium. I have almost a constant rhythm of bigeminy and trigeminy I have started seeing a new electrophysiologist who wants to perform an ablation to rid me of the irregular heartbeats. He has also found out that the pvc's are multifocal(coming for several different areas). The ablation is scheduled for Nov 29th. I don't know a whole lot about this procedure other than what I have been able to research online. Can anyone please tell me the pros and cons of having this done and also any successful/unsuccessful stories so that I know what it is that I'm facing?
The biggest pro I know of is an ablation offers a possible cure, rather than ongoing treatment with medications.
The biggest con is it is not 100% effective.
On balance I believe the decision makers are:
1) it can significantly improve your quality of life
2) your doctor's expert evaluation gives a high confidence of success (say over 70% comes to mind) and a low risk.
On the latter point, I believe risks associated with an ablation are low, but not zero. Then simply being alive has a non-zero risk of something going wrong on any give day.
While I know nothing of what they're planning to do for your particular problem, I have had the procedure done for SVT, and would be happy to address any general questions you may have about what to expect, the process, recovery, etc.
Ablations for ectopic beats are not the same as ablations for accessory pathway svts. The best way I can describe it is they have to essentially build a fortress around the cells that are acting up. In your case it sounds like a couple of spots need to be isolated. This is a bit trickier and more invasive then the handful of burns they do to create a block in an accessory pathway. The odds I believe are around 80% cure rate but unfortunately there can be reoccurance which is why they generally reserve ectopic ablations especially for pvcs for extreme cases where a persons heart health is in jeopardy. Like Jerry pointed out, if your quality of life can be significantly improved by doing the ablation it out weighs the risks. It does indeed sound like you fall into this category. I don't really know whether you were born with cardiomyopathy but it is possible the high load of pvc have lead to the CHF. I know that certain conditions within the heart that are caused by ectopics can improve and go away once the arrhythmia is cleared up. It is unclear whether or not that will happen in your case but I am sure any relief your heart can get at this point is much needed. If you want to read about an ablation in general you can click on my name and read my journal entry. I do believe that your situation won't follow mine exactly and you will likely be put out but you can see in general ablations are not too difficult on the patient as compared to full on surgery. There is actually quite a bit online as well if you want to research cardiac ablations so you know what to expect.
No one can make the decision on whether or not to go forth with the ablation but you. It is a big choice and there is a risk, I am not sure how high, not likely too high, but there is a risk that you could come out worse then when you started but given all you are dealing with I personally would probably try. That said, I also make my decisions based on my internal alarm. If I have a big decision to make one option usually feels a lot more acceptable to me than the other. Basically which ever choice gives me more agitation I avoid and chose the route that gives me the most calm and then I know I am choosing the best way to go no matter what the outcome. So take some quiet time to sit with both options and choose the one that gives you the most peace and you can't go wrong. Even in the middle of pure on fear of doing my ablation I still had an inner calm that told me it was the right thing to do so just try to find that calm and go with that. I wish you the best of luck with whatever route you choose to take. We are always here if you need to talk. Sending your heart much love and strength. Take care.
I would agree with Michelle but would also note that if you have cardiomyopathy because of the rhythm issues, it would likely sway me to wnat to give the procedure a try if the Drs feel you have a good chance at a positive outcome. Let us know what you decide and best of luck to you. Ill be thinking of you! :)
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