I will be getting an ablation in Febuary and I have been terrified.. I accidently ran across this board and feel a little bit better after reading the past posts. I am still confused about the differences in treatment, My doctor said three to four hours and that I would be under anesthesia.
I can"t really get a good answer about how dangerous it is if an ablation is not done. I have been out of rhythm since July 07 and have had two conversions that lasted about two weeks each. .No one seems to be able to say why some people get out of rhythm or what causes it to happen.
Do all ablations work or do people have to have it more than once?
I would apprecite any help with these questons and your prayers for a safe recovery.
Ablations do work but their success rate is related to what type of arrhythmia you have, if they are able to produce it during the procedure (most of the time they can) and whether it is focal (one spot) or multi-focal (more than one spot). There is also no guarantee that you won't develop another arrhythmia somewhere down the road.
I'm not sure that they know the exact causes. I have read articles that athletes are more at risk --- something to do with adrenalin --- but there are no clear cut answers for this perplexing problem. Hormones seem to play a role in women. Most of them are an electrical problem in structurally normal hearts.
I had an ablation done for SVT. My doctor told me that without the procedure my chances for developing atrial fibrillation later in life would have increased. I was given a success rate of 95% so I'm hopeful that I won't need another one. Had I not had the procedure, I would have had the condition for the rest of my life.
These arrhythmias seem to have a mind of their own when it comes to rearing their ugly heads. Mine would come and last for weeks and then, without rhyme or reason, disappear for a bit.
Many are managed just fine on medications and beta or calcium channel blockers are quite safe for most people.
Sometimes the anxiety leading up to the procedure is the worst thing to deal with. Although not everyone has a good experience, I actually found the ablation not bad at all and only had two doses of medication. I was aware of everything and it wasn't scary at all.
I too had an ablation many years ago and it suppressed my tachycardia which I had been having almost daily. I had an extra pathway ablated and it was not a bad procedure at all. I agree with people who say that the wait time leading up to the actual ablation is worse than anything even during the recovery process. For me, the recovery was not bad at all, either.
When I had it, there were no forums, no Google and I had v little info. My EP at that time had no bedside manner and did not take time to explain everything and I was not as 'curious' as I am now!!
I hope you get reassurances here and stay in touch so we know how you made out. I wish you well!!!!
My hubby Stu had ablation for atrial flutter and he tells me it was a piece of cake. I think everyone has a different experience and to me it seems it's a bit like pregnancy and child birth you hear everyone's experiences. Good luck to you
Hey, cuttersma! I really feel for you. I, too, am going in for an a-fib ablation soon (at the end of this month). I am scared, too, but I think most people pull through just fine. I've heard here and from other sources that the period leading up to the procedure is worse than the procedure itself.
As far as why you go out of rhythm, I guess it depends on the arrhythmia. I have atrial fibrillation, and no doctor has ever been able to tell me why. I've had it since I was 17 (I'm 29 now). No one else in my family has it, so I'm confused about why as well. As for how dangerous it is, with respect to a-fib, I think if you're constantly out of rhythm, you can develop congestive heart failure, but I think that takes a long time (my doctor told me I probably wouldn't have to worry about that until I was older) and it increases your chances for stroke (which is why you're probably on aspirin or a blood thinner of some sort). Is your rate controlled, at least?
As for how many ablations you'll need, my doctor told me that people who go in for the a-fib ablation often end up developing atrial flutter from the scar tissue, but this is a less chaotic arrhythmia, and most of the time it is corrected with a second procedure. I think the stat on that is 50% of people who get the a-fib ablation develop atrial flutter and require a second procedure. But I think the success rate after that is like 80-90%, which is awesome!
I will definitely pray for you. My heart really goes out to you, and I wish you luck with the procedure. I know you're going to be just fine, and so much happier once the arrhthmia is out of your life. Good luck!
I so feel for your concerns ! I had an ablation in 2004 for 2 extra pathways,the Dr's said I was most likely born with. I am 67 now and had had tachycardia attacks dating back to when I was into my late 20's. At that time,the Dr's kept telling me I was hyperventilating,stressing and so on; by the time I reached my mid 40's early 50's the tachycardia spells were getting so bad,so often I was getting to the point of being disabled,as it came on with no warning more and more often and I ended up at the ER all the time.It was destroying me,my life and my family; finally I got a Dr who told me about ablation and after much testing he said I qualified .. (up to this point I had taken many different meds to help with the tachycardia,but they did little to help) now I was so scared that I prayed about it for a year ! Finally I saw that I couldn't live this way any longer,so had my ablation in 04 and have had only very minor PVC since then and not had to go to ER for it since.Right after my ablation,my heart Dr put me on Betapace which nearly killed me ! With-in 48 hrs of taking it,I was rushed to hosp with heart rate dropping and into the lower 30's when we got to hosp .. was admitted,tested,stabilized,etc.and taken off the Betapace and only take a daily aspirin since. I was semi awake during the surgery,so as to be able to talk to my Dr.But over all,if I had to do it again,I would; because my quality of life was now good at all and although some say you may have complications later on,I have not had any so far.I wish you the best as well as all who are facing this procedure and will keep you in my prayers ...
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