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Pacemaker Experience with Atrial Fibrillation
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Pacemaker Experience with Atrial Fibrillation

I recently had a St. Jude Pacemaker installed to lessen the incidents of my Atrial fibrillation. I was having attacks once per week and I am very symptomatic.  My cathleter Ablations had not resolved the fibrillation.  I am currently using Sotalol in conjunction with the pacemaker. I was wondering what other people's experience with pacemaker was ???
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I also recently had a St Jude pacemaker put in but it was for pauses and slow rate. I also tried an ablation but it was not successful. I have sick sinus syndrome. I am trying to adjust to the pacmaker but it is hard.
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I am a long way from a pacemaker, I think, for my AFib.  My EP and cardiologist both recommend I just live with my AFib, not go for an ablation.  Then too, I have an enlarged left atrium of 5.4 cm diameter, so the odds are not particularly good, and given the lack of success in these posts it seems the odds are good in any case.

What do you experience in your "attacks"?  I would not describe my condition as being anything like an attack, but then I have continuous AFib, i.e., under a constant attack. But other than a need to control my HR and use of an anticoagulant...some fatigue, I really don't suffer much, that's why my doctors say no ablation.

What does a pacemaker do for AFib?  I understand a pacemaker can take control only if all natural signals are "shut down", is that what was done?  If yes, how can you still have an attack of AFib?

Just trying to learn, sorry I could be of some help.
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Avatar_m_tn
The only reason for the pacemaker in my case was to allow the use of more and different drugs to try and control the AFib.  I have a natural low heart rate, so the only drug I could  use was Norpace, which work for 10 years, but as I got older it became less effective.
So the pacemaker now allows my Dr. to use a host of other drugs.  Unfortunately the pacemaker with the drugs only controls the frequency and occurrences of AFib, not the cause but I will take it since I very sympotmatic in AFib.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am on my third Medtronic pacemaker, recently upgraded to a biventricular pacemaker with defibrillator.  I too have had AFib for which I had an ablation, twice.  The second ablation took.  I am paced 24-hours now (though not pacemaker dependant...yet) and I am pretty happy with the device itself, though I still have severe rhythm problems.  I have found that the device managers at my clinic are wonderful and whenever I feel "strange" from being paced I call them up and they can look at my EKG through a phone transmission, which saves a lot of time going back and forth.  I would highly recommend this for you if you don't already have one (a home monitoring device).  It can also keep track of your battery life.  It took me years to feel comfortable with my device, mostly because of the fear of being shocked, but nonetheless, anything in our bodies used to help our hearts can be a little much to take at first.  I wish you the best of luck!
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