I was diagnosed with WPW about 1 year ago after a 3 day binge on alcohol. I was admitted to the ER because of tachycardia, tightness of chest, and dizziness. The ER docs were able to bring my tachycardia under control by means of an adenosine injection. My cardiologist had me perform a stress test where I was found to be a low risk cadidate for sudden death because my WPW delta wave completely dissapears after 90BPM. He also performed and echocardiogram on me and I was found to be in excellent health. I am not on any medications, and @ the time he is not recommending the ablation surgery. Since this episode I have completely quit drinking, have lost 50 lbs, and have entered multiple weight loss/bodybuilding competitions. This syndrome has completely changed my life for the better, until this morning.
I have been off my strict diet/exercise program for the past week or so because of the holidays. I woke up this morning to my heart suddenly racing for about 5 seconds or so. I didn't have any other symptoms (tightness in chest, dizziness, etc...) Was this tachycardia? If so then I may want the ablation surgery because I can't diet and exercise for the rest of my life (on this level @ least).
Has anyone out there had this surgery? I'm scared to death of the thought of having leads in my heart and someone "burning" the excessory passageway. I'm also very scared of dying because of the surgery. I've read that the mortality rate is 1 in 1000 which doesn't sound so good to me. My wife just had our son 3 months ago and I don't want to leave him or my wife after only 29 yrs of life.
Really having an ablation is not bad. It gave me my life back. I was practically an invalid at the age of 25 before I had my ablation. After it was done, even though I had to have the radical version - the AV Nodal Ablation and be permanently pacemaker reliant - I got to do all the things I loved again. Swimming, horse-riding, playing tennis, going out and having fun with friends, walking more than 20 steps without keeling over. As I posted on another thread, if I was given the option of having an ablation or having root canal treatment at the dentist, I'd choose the ablation. It is a remarkable and life changing procedure. But then I will admit, it did not occur to me that I might die. I think it would be more likely to die in a car crash driving to the hospital to have the ablation than actually dying from the ablation. Oh yes, I had my son 5 years AFTER I had my ablation, so I don't think you should worry so much - these people know what they are doing. Whatever you decide - good luck!
Hi. I had the ablation for WPW, left lateral concealed pathway variety. It worked. I have told others that the procedure isn't difficult to go through, and that this adversity should not factor into the decision to either have or not have an ablation. A person should probably give a lot more time and worry to the potential outcomes, risks, merrits, and so forth. Having decided to ablate, then spend the time and worry figuring out who best to do it (its not been my experience that everyone knows what they are doing necessarily), and discussing with the doctor what risks you are willing to take, and which you are not.
Going through the procedure is definitely the easy part. If the outcome is less than perfect, and assuming you dont have a frankly bad result, then there can also be some adjustment to make. I dont think people really stop to think how much a changed heart beat can affect things, either for the better or worse. It is a good idea to talk to people about their experiences beforehand.
By the way, 5 seconds doesn't sound that bad. There are some medical guidelines as to what is considered appropriate to treat with ablation. Usually, if a person is not at significant risk for SCD, then his/her perception of lifestyle limitations can weight into it. This is something you talk to your doctor about, but I believe that it is true that some situations are better off with the use of drugs and any appropriate lifestyle modifications. As you indicate in your post, its not good to role the dice with stroke and other risks like that when the actual benefit might be marginal.
I'm glad I found this website, it is very helpfull in making me feel more @ ease. I scheduled an appointment with my cardiologist and have a feeling that he will tell me it's not a very big deal. I don't know if this was tachycardia because my symptoms that landed me in the ER were so profound that I felt like I was going to die. I've read that your heart rate can suddenly increase upon waking up which may be what I experienced (and it was literally for about 5 sec. or so). Nonetheless I want to see what the doc thinks, I've never been into the "ignorance is bliss" way of thinking.
I have PVC's and tachycardia that is aggravated by exercise. In a matter of seconds my heart rate can go from 58 to 150 at rest. It is way more bothersome post-exercise. I have frequent episodes of being light headed and dizzy (post-exercise) but have never passed out. Other stuff too - the symptoms are just plain weird.
Because my quality of life is very much affected, I have decided to have an ablation. Initially tried medications and was doing well on Cardizem (a calcium channel blocker - many athletes cannot tolerate beta blockers) but this has stopped working.
I've become used to my wacky heart and don't get anxious when it acts up. Good thing because it's not often I'm in sinus rhythm. Having anything serious ruled out goes a long way towards helping with the anxiety.
A friend of mine is a EP nurse. Ablation for WPW has a high success rate.
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