I have a scheduled ablation this Friday. I was diagnosed with SVT and I didn't even know I had it. I get a lot of palpitations and I am currently on 25mg of beta blocker x2 a day. I want to know if the ablation is worth it. Will it get rid of my palpitations? The alternative is to go on 50mg x2 a day. I don't know if I want to be on that much beta blocker at such a young age (23). I think I had an SVT once and that was a year ago playing basketball, I came down from a shot and landed hard and my heart started beating fast and weird and I couldn't control it. The symptom went away in about 10 seconds. What does everyone think?
Ablation changed my life. I've had nearly a lifetime of SVT until last November when I finally decided to have it done. It was the best thing I ever willingly chose to do outside of marrying my high school prom date 38 years ago! I too would get episodes from landing hard which created a jarring vibration. I use to get them from lots of other stimulus too. I sisn't say how long you've had it, but to be free of it is truely life altering. I gave my EP an man hug when I saw him for a followup, and he was kind of bewildered, as he didn't fully grasp how he changed my life. I can't tell you what I missed out on, or what I could have potentially accomplished if I had had this done (or if they had the technology) 40 years ago.
My experience with a beta blocker (Metoprolol) found it did squat to prevent them. It did make then easier to convert. I got 3-5 episodes per month.
Will it be successful? Well that depends a lot on what kind of SVT it is, and where it's exactly located. But the odds are in your favor.
Stick around and let us know how you make out. It's a piece of cake, very little pain, and you're up and around the next day. If you can get a sedative of anesthesia (as I did) during the procedure, it's even easier. Good luck!
Thanks for posting your experience. I was diagnosed with SVT about three weeks ago. I have been battling heart palpitations since graduating college which is about 3 years ago. I rarely have SVT attacks. I have only had one that I can remember. I have more palpitations now than any SVT attack. I'm glad your ablation went well. Do you get any palpitations still?
I was getting clusters of PVC's (skips) and an occasional short run of SVT which would drop out after 5 or 6 beats. But the PVC's have been gone for about 2 weeks, and I'm back running and skating, something I would have done with any commitment before. I was a lot better up until my 40's when it started to get really bad. Now, I'm even thinking of skating in an age bracket for old men of my age called "Grand Master" which is a nice term for "really old geezers". I can already tell though that I've still got it. Maybe a little slower than days of old, but it's still there. Just have to coax it out now....
Not to be a wet blanket but if I had this decision to make I would first try every non-invasive procedure and medication before irreversibly damaging my heart. Yes there are success stories but on the other hand there are horror stories and there is NO going back following an ablation. 25mg 2x/day of beta blocker is not that much, some folks are on much more and in addition are also taking calcium channel blockers. I agree it is a young age but think of all the years to come if it doesn't work out. That's my two cents on the subject.
I am on 150mg/day of beta blocker and I am fine...over a year so far. At least you can give it a try. Remember irreversible is forever, with medication you can try out different ones to find the best one that works.
I had an ablation nearly 7 weeks ago for SVT - it turned out to be AVNRT. I had lived with SVT for a very long time, started out as a mild case when I was 13, grew progressively worse over the years, requiring beta blockers for the last 10 years. I had experienced unpleasant side effects from the beta blockers, although not everyone does.
My ablation went very well - after the first couple of weeks, I no longer had any PVCs or SVT and am enjoying living a normal life and being off the medication. My only regret was not having the ablation done 10 years ago - my primary care physician was totally against it and would not give me a referral to a cardiologist or an EP. I decided to take matters into my own hands when the beta blockers stopped working in early March and I ended up in the ambulance getting adenosine for a bad SVT event. I made up my mind that SVT had to go. I have to say that one of the best decisions I ever made was getting the ablation.
Each case is different. Learn all you can about ablations and choose your EP very carefully.
I'm booked in for an ablation on June 23rd, after 2 years going to a heart hospital in London, UK. I've never even been offered drugs - they told me the side effects far outweighed the benefits as I'm otherwise healthy and it's not life-threatening.
It took me the whole 2 years to get any progress with several cardiologists, i had a few holter monitors and some cardios would tell me they saw an arryhthmia but they couldn't see the trace well enough, others said they couldn't see it (mostly locum docs who said that), but now that my symptoms are almost constant it seems worth trying the ablation as I hate taking meds and they seem very confident in it being successful.
I have SVT, flutter, palps, my heart races randomly at least once every day and the flutter makes me feel very odd. I've had several time where my lips have gone blue and I've spent a few hours unable to stand up, before going to hospital, by which time the ecg comes back normal even though my bp is 190/100.
I'm interested to see a few successes here as most of the forums I've seen have indeed been horror stories!
I think in the UK they only do things if they really think they'll work because it's free and I don't go private...
1) Comparing beta blockers by referring to their dosage weight is pointless unless you reference the drug. 200mg of one might be fine while 200mg of another will lay you out.
2) Regarding the success of ablation therapy. If you take ablations for Afib out of the statistics, the procedure has a very high success rate; in the high ninety percent for SVT.
3) If your heart's "malfunctioning", it's not going to fix itself. The procedure is safe, almost routine, and the risk very low. Is your quality of life worth that fact that its "forever"? Personally. I don't get it.
4) This is directed to "littlegreenman1". My heart was repaired at 59 years of age. Does the fact that I'm of perhaps advanced years qualify me less that someone who is perhaps 30 years younger? I've paid my monthly insurance premiums just like the 30 year old. I am most certainly entitled to the same treatment! So tell me, is the fact that I'm 60 make it not "worth it"? You often quote the raw cost of treatment. I would think that most of us here carry health insurance. In Massachusetts where I live, health insurance is mandatory and we must provide proof of insurance when we file our taxes. My procedure was done at a university hospital at a total cost of $76,900 (US). My total contribution to the procedure was $280; $250 for the hospital and $30 for the physician. How much of the remainder was actually paid is inknown, but I suspect there is a lot of negotiating. It might be $76,900 on record, but I'm thinking the amount of money that ultimately exchanged hands is somewhat less.
My life was restarted twice. The first time was was the night I first put on my CPAP mask which I wear religiously even today. The second time was when I opted for ablation therapy. Both of these procedures restarted and renewed my life, and Barry I think you're going to do fine, dude.
"I'm booked in for an ablation on June 23rd, after 2 years going to a heart hospital in London, UK. I've never even been offered drugs - they told me the side effects far outweighed the benefits as I'm otherwise healthy and it's not life-threatening....."
I was also advised of this when my cardiologist and I were discussing changing drugs. Remember the "horror stories" you see here are because folks with problems come here for answers. The other ninety-some percent of successful ablatees move on with their lives. In the seven months that I've been a member, I can think of only one person, Janpes who has reported difficulty after her ablation for SVT. The other dozen or so have moved on, or still hang around here to hopefully offer hope. and proof that it works.
My co-pay was many thousands, but based on other plans available to me and my usage of health care it's basically a wash. I'd guess the typical person is going to outlay a few thousand. Anyway, heads up, know what that number is for you (others)- be prepared to pay it.
From an actuarial point of view, if drug treatment was working for a patient, then no: I would be of the mind from a BUSINESS DECISION to deny the procedure at ANY AGE, especially if it's being used to treat a non-lethal SVT.
As a nation we need to control health care costs. We all agree on that: until it comes to controlling what's spent on us as indivuals. Insurance IS socialist medical care cost deflection. So controlling spending *****.
Tom - I hope you make 100. 41 years of good heart beats would be awesome AND a good value!! ;-) But in all seriousness... where moral meets fiduciary meets tort? I don't know.
Oh - I'm another ablation success. Worked for me. 100%.
My HR is now very linear vs exertion from 50 to 205 BPM and recovers quickly.
I'm thankful not to have a chemical dependency problem. (Metoprolol - which I HATED.)
But that being said: I'm a walking conundrum. I didn't give drugs a chance.
Even though I am now going through some "issues" after my ablation which was done 8 months ago, I can honestly say with hand on heart that I do not regret the ablation at all. It was one of the best things I have ever done. It cured me of the fear of having a huge SVT attack.
The issues I am having now are small compared to the attacks, infact it seems the SVT is trying to kick in but is failing miserably :) :)
Yes I MAY have to go back for another ablation, but I knew that straight after the first one. My Cardio was very straight in telling me that it was a difficult one to ablate, so in that sense I knew I may have some issues afterwards.
It also may be that I am still in the "recovery stage" and that my heart is taking its time to heal and to rewire itself mentally. I really don't know.
The one thing I do know though is that my quality of life has improved significantly. I now go for long walks alone, go to the gym, go to spinning and aqua jogging. Most of these I couldn't do before as after the exercise the dreaded SVT would kick in.
For me as Tom said also Life has started again, it is like being reborn and the best thing about it is that I am not scared anymore.
Please don't let anyone put you off your decision, it just may be that you are in the 90% of people that are cured the first time round.
Good luck and take care
Interesting discussion! I'm still trying to decide whether to have the ablation or not. (I see the ep dr. tomorrow) I wonder if my conditions is as serious as many of you in the post were before your ablation. I've only had 2 serious svt attacks this year with lots of little ones. However, there have been many times (weekly) when it feels like one is coming on. I'm constantly evaluating what I eat or don't eat or don't drink or if I'm getting enough rest or if my vitamins and supplements are triggering the flip flops, and skips. (I guess those are the pacs and pvcs?) If I could figure all of that out I wouldn't have the ablation. Tonight my heart aches and is fluttering because I didn't read the label on my salad dressing before I used it and it has msg which i know effects it and I'm tired to boot! It would be nice not to have to worry about all of these things constantly. To those with successful ablations: do you still have to worry about all of those things I mentioned above?
I've read a lot of the negative comments about ablations for weeks now, and I'm glad, Tom, that you've clarified the difference in success stories between afib and svt. I have avnrt svt and I'm glad to know that it has such a high success rate. But, if I only have a serious svt attact 3 or 4 times a year, is it really worth the risk of this procedure? I'm struggling with that. My ep told me that if my short circuit is around my av node, and he gets the burn too close, I'd have to have a pace maker immediately. I really struggle with that possibility.
Hi, my SVT (AVNRT) started suddenly last year, I do think I have had them in the past but they were so small that I didn't understand them.
I only had 2 big attacks and one adenosine push to realise that enough is enough. I did not want to live with the fear anymore of if and when will it happen.
Your EP sounds a little freaky to me, telling you about the pacemaker etc... I would let him get in and see first before painting the wall black.
This procedure like any has some risks, but the risks are so minimal that it certainly is worth a shot at living a normal, scared free life enjoying all the things you couldn't eat/drink earlier.
Another thing too, the SVT may get more progressive as you get older, especially due to hormones, preganancy/ menopause etc... so maybe it is best to take that chance and sort it out now before it does get that you don't want to go anywhere.
Hi - No, I have no restrictions on what I can eat or what I can do. It is a good feeling when I get up in the morning to know that I don't have the constant worry about SVT anymore. It's been 6 weeks now, my heart settled down after the second week post ablation, no more thumps, flutters, or flip-flops at all.
To be on the safe side, I have not had any beverages containing caffeine or artificial sweetener since my ablation and don't intend to start drinking them again. I wasn't told that I couldn't have these things, but now that I'm feeling so good, I've cleaned up my eating habits quite a bit and focus on healthy natural foods, lean protein, vegetables, dairy, and fruit. Caffeine used to be one of my SVT biggest triggers....I drink hot water with a little lemon juice every morning instead of caffeinated beverages. In between meals, I drink plain water or flavored seltzer water.
I also had AVNRT. My EP made 11 burns but had to stop because he felt he was getting too close to the AV node and didn't want me to end up with a pacemaker. He said that although he wasn't able to destroy the short circuit completely, he had damaged it sufficiently that I would likely never have problems with it again. He was extremely careful and since I was awake through the entire ablation (which was MY choice), he came over several times during the procedure to check on me and make sure I was feeling ok. After he had completed the ablation, he tried to trigger the SVT again several times and wasn't able to, so he considers the procedure a success.
I was warned by my EP about the possibility of a pacemaker prior to the ablation. I believe the doctors are probably covering themselves legally, and also morally they feel they have to advise you of everything that could go wrong. Not necessarily that anything will go wrong.....as I mentioned in quite a few of my posts, my EP said the success rate for SVT ablation was 95%.....but as with any surgical procedure, there are always risks.
I had been on beta blockers for the past 10 years. They stopped working in March. I had an inkling that they were no longer effective as I had a small SVT episode I was able to abort in November 2010 and a few "almost" attacks before the big one hit in early March 2011. I wasn't willing to go back to having constant attacks or take more medication (side effects from meds were pretty bad) so I had the ablation. I still think it is the best thing I ever did, healthwise.
I too was informed of the possibility that a pacemaker could be required if the AV node was damaged in the procedure, although that possibility was "very, very remote". I had AVRT which required 17 burns to break the accessory pathway, and I was under general anesthesia.
Alright, Heres my pickle. I was told by my EP that I may not have SVT because of the ecg recording sometimes isn't very clear so he could go in and find nothing. I have been off beta blocker for a few days and honestly I feel the same. Same amount of palpitations as before and it seems like the beta blocker doesn't even work. I did have a symptom like SVT that occurred a year ago playing basketball where my heart got stuck in the fast beating rhythm and I stood still freaking out and it went away in 5 seconds. That was the only time I think I have had an SVT. What determines that you have SVT? I mean it could be anxiety right? Or is there a certain heart rate amount that concludes that you have SVT?
Barry, when you get classic SVT, you know it! If it starts at rest, your heart jumps from a normal rhythm of perhaps seventy-some beats per minute to 200 and beyond in one beat. Normal sinus rhythm is restored in an instant as well. There is no ramping of heart rate with SVT. If your rate ramps up and down, it's not SVT. Anxiety will not change your heart rate in an instant. The duration of an SVT episode can be anywhere from several seconds to indefinite. 99.999% of my episode would spontaneously convert. I 'd had to intervene to stop them. That was just the nature of my physiology. Once the accessory pathway was established, it conducted very well. Fortunately, it was very receptive toabrupt vagal changes, and Valsalva worked all of the time.
Thanks Tom, My heart doctor said I had SVT but I think it might have been me getting into an argument thus making my heart rate increase dramatically. Can SVT be misdiagnosed with an ecg? I have never had the SVT problem at a resting rate but I did have it when my heart was racing and I landed and the hard landing caused my heart to beat very fast and it felt "locked" and I stopped moving and held my chest until it went away. no dizziness or pain.
"Is it possible to have SVT and not know it? My doctors are confident that its SVT but I find it very weird that I don't really notice when its happening."
I don't know honestly know, Barry. I think most of us ALWAYS know when it "goes off". It has awakened me from my sleep on a few occasions. I think most of don't like the feeling you get during an episode. It beats hard and I personally had a tightness in my chest during an event. It's not a pleasant feeling at all. But overall, it beats hard enough to feel the drumming, and to actually see the skin below your sternum beating. I had mentioned above about landing flat-footed and starting an event as you just mentioned.
To Barry: Like the others, you know when you have a svt no doubt about it. The first time it happened to me I was sitting in a meeting at school and out of no where my heart start going crazy on me. I thought I was having a heart attack. That was over 20 years ago. The 2nd one I had, just a few months after the 1st, I was helping a student with math. I didn't know about vagal maneuvers at that time, so the ambulance was called. The student thought he'd done something wrong. (I can laugh about it now.) They caught the episode on tape and it was going 225 bpm. I was diagnosed at that time with afib.and was put on lanoxin for maybe a year and gained a lot of weight so I went off and didn't have problems for a long time. Through the years I've had many episodes. If I had been told after that first episode I needed an ablation, and didn't have another for as long as you, I would also have many questions. Good idea to cancel the ablation if you're not sure that's what it is. You've got time to figure it out. However, if you do find out it is SVT, and something could fix it while you're young, it would certainlly be worth considering. For all of those years I thought I had afib and was even told 10 years ago, based on that earlier reading, that I wasn't a candidate for the ablation. I then went on another med called tambocor and felt lethargic and again gained weight so I went off and I avoid meds as much as possilbe now for everything. I've learned how to survive with these attacks and to accept them as just part of life for me. There have been other symptoms associated with this through the years, and I've gone to the er or to the gp and have had many ecg's. My worry through the years is that I would have a heart attack and not take it serious because I'd think it was afib. I've also worried that each time I had an attack, my heart would be damaged. In Jan. I had a pretty serious attack that I couldn't get to convert back for awhile. BAck to the docs again and I was finally referred to an ep. I didn't even know what an ep was. I had to google it. I had an attack caught on a king of hearts monitor and was finally correctly diagnosed with SVT (AVNRT). He asked why I hadn't been sent to him before and that he could fix it. Oh, how I wish I'd had the correct diagnosis years ago and had it taked care of. It has really affected the quality of my life.
Thank you Janpes, Jannie, and Tom for your words of encouragement. Jannie, I actually cried when I read yours. And Tom, I'm so happy for you that you have so much hope for the rest of your life to have a better quality. I'm ready to be set free of this! I made the decision after seeing my ep today to go ahead with the ablation next month. We discussed all of my concerns. I told him I didn't know if I should have it because I don't have them on a regular basis, maybe 3 or 4 times a year. He looked at my monitor results again and said my SVT was 250 bpm and that I really needed to have the ablation because that was just too fast and that if I had an episode again I needed to go to the ER because each time an episode is recorded, it would give him more information for the ep study. I told him how I've tried to figure out the triggers and he just smiled and said, "and you can't figure it out, can you. I'ts just the way your heart is and that's all." He reassured me that they would make accomadations for my 3 herniated discs. I asked about my av node, and he did say it was a risk, about 1 in 1000. I asked if he felt confident he could do this without hurting the av node and he reassured me he was very confident. That was very reassuring for me to hear that! My cardiologists told me earlier that he is a very respected ep in his field. He used to teach other ep's how to do these procedures at a university so I think I'm in pretty good hands.
Janpes, I am getting older, 59, and the episodes are happening more frequently. I wish I'd had this done a long time ago. I was 37 when I had my first attack. It has been a roller coaster ride through the years, some good years with hardly a skipped beat to years of wondering when the next attack would come and this has been one of those years. I am ready to go forward and live a SVT free life.
Thanks again for all of your help and advice and for giving me hope. I'm so glad I found this forum where people really understand and are willing to help.
Good luck with you procedure. As you may know, I was also 59 when I had my heart done. The EP looked at my trace, looked at me, shook his head and said "You should have come to me years ago."
Go into the cath lab knowing that there are experts there to insure your safety. In the event of a problem, there will be right there to aide the electrophisiologist. For me, it was 100%, without a doubt worth the risk. I could have gone thru the rest of my life taking medication (which really did nothing except slow me down), waiting for the next episode (which occured about once every week and half), hearing my cardiologist's advice that as I age, one of these events could result in heart failure. Or I could accept the risk factor, and do something about it, and enjoy the remainder of my life doing the things I wanted to do years ago, becasue I was weighed down with this problem. Your ablation will set you free.
Thanks everyone for you help this far! Everyone has been so helpful. A lot of you really helped me understand if I have SVT or not and I think that I do not have SVT at this time. If I do have SVT it is very minor and happens once a year.
I talked to the NP today and said what convinced her I had SVT was a recording where my heart went from 100 bpm to 170bpm. I strongly think it was due to anxiety and having a panic attack.
The NP now has prescribed me with a calcium channel blocker. I will see how this goes.
I have been taking amlodipine in addition to metoprolol and benazepril for about a year and my blood pressure/pulse is under good control. combination of drugs doesn't noticeably reduce the PVC's. seem to tolerate the drugs with no problems. what info are you looking for? All part of blood pressure control and each one functions differently.
I'm trying to reduce my PVCs and beta blocker doesn't work. With my PVCs I get couplets and triplets. Anxiety meds help tremendously and Im on 20mg of citalaphram. My NP just put me on Diltiazem 180mg to help with my PVCs.
I am approaching treatment for my episodes of PVC's from a different angle - I get what feels like pressure in my upper abdomen and from reading other postings and discussing with my doc - exploring GERD - while I have GERD symptoms an initial trial of Prilosec OTC seemed to reduce the frequency of PVC's.... as you already know I will try anything that is non-invasive. I hate the bi and trigeminy. my motto - to palplessness.
Interesting. "non-invasive" Are you saying that calcium channel blockers can be invasive?
My PVCS are more frequent when I'm nervous. One weird and strange cause of them which I can't get an answer or explanation from my Dr, is that when I take a deep inhale, it triggers many of my palpitations. It is very strange, I would say that 50% of my palpitations are triggered when I am inhaling(Deep).
Just a thought - deep inhalations tend to reduce heart rate, reduced heart rate can lead to more PVC's.... I guess I wasn't clear....I will take drugs before surgery. As I mention in an earlier post ablation is irreversible while drug therapy I can experiment with. My 2 cents.
That was another thought I had. I was going to suggest not taking real deep breaths but figured that was much too obvious. Triggered by nervousness is probably anxiety related and adrenaline release. No matter what we do they just seem to be there.
Alright I think I am almost done with my questions. One last question though. I was prescribed the calcium channel blocker, should I wait to take it and try and see if I get an SVT? Or should I just start taking it and see what happens?
Reason being is that If I can eliminate a problem with my heart at an early age that would help me live a better life. If I go with out any medication and see how my heart does, maybe I could catch an SVT and get it fixed.
Like many meds I think it takes one to two weeks for a CCB to build up in the system to effectively block the heart receptors. Are you anticipating problems taking a CCB? Best to ask doctor or pharmacist. I am not sure I remember the details - do you have episodic benign PVC's with a rare SVT? benign PVC's aren't usually treated with ablation. metoprolol for BP control? why the CCB? I agree that no meds is the best option, however once again from my perspective a small dose of BB and CCB to keep BP and pulse rate on the low side would be my choice vs ablation for an rare episode of SVT. Good Luck moving forward.
I am not familiar with the classification of episodic benign PVC's, are there different forms of PVC's?
I do know that I have PVC's from the doctors telling me. I have been on BB for a while and I recently went off of it for my scheduled ablation. I currently am still off of it because I haven't seen a difference in my palpitations being off of BB. I do think I may have a rare SVT that happens maybe once a year.
My NP said to try CCB as an alternative to BB since we decided the BB had no effect on my palpitations.
One side note: When I started BB it seemed to work. Throughout the year I did start Anxiety meds, 10mg of Citalaphram and recently been boosted up to 20mg. Maybe the anxiety meds are helping the palpitations.
Episodic meaning that they come and go - I can have no symptoms for days and the out of the blue I get episodes of PVC's that last for minutes or hours, then they disappear -reappearing whenever they feel like it. Benign meaning no coronary heart disease. BB do not treat PVC's and if your heart rates gets too low that can encourage PVC's, once again a no win situation. After I was evaluated by a cardiologist both he and my PCP agreed that an ablation for benign PVC's was unnecessary unless they become debilitating. Risk out weighed benefit.
Is the risk to ablate PVCs greater than SVTs? and can ablation actually be done to eliminate PVCs? Also I have the same situation as you. Some days are amazing and others are horrible. I have a normal healthy heart.
Wow, you've gotten a lot of interest in your post! All pretty good information.
I'm a 45 yr. old active woman and I started having SVT episodes about 2.5-3 years ago ONLY when excercising strenuously (boot camp). It seemed to flare up when running hard or doing long jump type things..with hard landings. Up until then, I did not notice anything except some palpitations which of course, freaked me out. I've always been very active. not to say this will happen to you, but the episodes are happening more and more often, with moderate activity, which ***** and has had a really negative impact on my life. SO, I've decided to have an ablation on June 27th. I think it's a great idea to meet with your EP again just to make sure it is SVT, or maybe another EP for a 2nd opinion? I did, and it just concreted my decision for the procedure. Not to say I'm not scared to death, but I'm hopeful to be like Tom and Jannie and GET MY ACTIVE MY LIFE BACK!! Let us know what you decide and I'll post something after my ablation next month! Best of luck to all!
SVT's are not something I've done much research on...wikipedia has a good bit of basic info - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supraventricular_tachycardia ..from a quick scan of article seems that not all SVT's are the same so that's something to discuss with your doctor. As mentioned before ablation has its risks, the biggest one being it's irreversible - something about destroying my heart cells really bothers me and I would only consider it as a last resort. From all the information available random episodes of benign arrhythmia especially PVC's will not kill us. At least let's hope not. take care.
".......Is the risk to ablate PVCs greater than SVTs? and can ablation actually be done to eliminate PVCs?..."
I don't believe the risks associated with the procedure are any greater than the procedure for the AVRT or AVNRT. The question should be, what is the success rate for PVC ablation therapy? The answer is the success rate is lower and the return rate is higher than with the two tachycardias types that I mentioned. It's probably no higher than 80-85%. That said, is it worth a try to improve your quality of life. Failure only means that you're left with the problem. It doesn't meant that you're left with a damaged heart.
I've said this before on many other posts, and I'll say it again. Regarding SVT, and this is a direct quote from my cardiologist, along with my Electrophysiologist, a noted expert and professor in this field. They said, and if I could bold it and make the font larger, I would:
"The exploration of different types of drug therapy. and the discovering wihich dose level works best, carries a greater risk, with more side effects than ablation therapy".
I was never told my exact diagnosis - they just said 'an arrythmia' and the ep showed me my graph with a sudden crazy heartbeat (middle of the night).
I have almost constant palps and flutters and it's those I notice far more than then svt's now, i concur about being able to see the heart beat under my ribs! If they go on all day I get very tired and faint, it saps all my energy.
I haven't found any particular trigger yet, i have coffee every morning and it never happens then, if i eat a large meal it happens but i generally eat very healthily and msg isn't in anything I eat so I have no idea if that affects it.
In this situation I feel I have nothing to lose having an ablation, I'm 31 and want to have kids fairly soon, I get the feeling a pregnancy would make my symptoms worse and I don't want to be unable to cope with a newborn...
I'm hoping against hope for a rebirth!!
The Daily Mail are also doing a piece on my ablation, so hopefully I can increase awareness about SVT's and related conditions :)
In review of my medical records today, I decided to do some research and came across your posting. I hope your procedure went well! Hopefully, all your questions were answered.
I had the ablation procedure for SVT in 2006 when I was 21 years old. I'm so happy that I had the procedure done instead of staying on Toprol. I have yet to encounter long episodes. My heart rate does raise quickly when I work out, but it's manageable with a polar heart monitor. 3 years after my surgery, I had chest pain, but everything checked out to be okay through LifeWatch. My friend has similar issues. I found it to be helpful to see a counselor to help me manage my families and my own anxiety associated health issues.
How did your ablation procedure go? I am scheduled this month and of course have a lot apprehension but am so tired of not being able to do strenuous exercise or any other activity that gets my heart pumping. I hope it went well!
You say, "something about destroying my heart cells", and when I went to my EP doc this was never mentioned in fact he said for my type of SVT it will not damage the heart. I am already nervous but now more so. I assume you have not had the procedure done, right? I've just heard that for A-fib there are greater risks and the success rate is not very high but that for SVT it is up to 95% which to me is worth it to be rid of the episodes. I have to believe in my doctor and that I've contimplated this for several years and really want to at least try it. Sometimes we just have to have faith that it is the right thing for each individual I guess and know it isn't the right thing for everyone.
Unfortunately some of these prople are no longer active, so you may or may not get an answer.
Make no mistake, the RF or cryo ablation procedure destroys living heart tissue; absolutely it does! It's burnt and gone and it's permanent. But it's tissue that you don't want. What you need is faith in the EP that he can distinguish which tissue needs to be destroyed. That's the risk..... Some folks will live out their lives dealing with the day to day disruptions that their particular condition creates, fearing the possibility of what could go wrong. Others, like myself felt that we had dealt with enough and decided to something about it. I was willing to take the risk and trusted my electrophysiologist quite literally with my life.
The success rate for A-fib isn't as high as it is for SVT. But if it's even 70% (I believe it's much higher), is it worth the risk? What are the alternatives if it fails? Does it "failure" just mean leaving you with A-fib, or with something potentially worse that what you when in with?
I can't find fault in those who steer clear of the procedure. I wonder though if their decision is based on their own perception of the risk involved when in actuallity it may be routine to the electrophysiologist.
Thank you for responding to me. I am scheduled for 12/29 and still have my days of doubt and being nervous but I heard the confidence in my doctors voice and truly feel he can fix this. I just need to stop reading all the stuff online and believe in my decision and that it is the best one for me. I am tired of worrying about not have a good workout or having a cup of coffee or having a glass of wine or a beer. I feel as I've gotten older it has been controlling my life more and I want to start the new year as a new person with a normal heart rhythm. My doctor does over 100 of these annually and has been doing them for over 18 years so I feel good about his ability assuming my SVT will go into an episode while I am in the EP study.
Thank you again for your response and I will post once my procedure is completed and successful!!
I've suspected of having SVT on 2 stress test and i also had slow n iregular heartbearts n slow n sometimes its iregular n slow to below 50beats/min and my cardiac says maybe i had electro imbalance n my SVT attacks after i exercise like play badminton or going to gym on atreadmil half way of recovery my pulse will shooot up but the original heartbeat i felt its about 120 - 130 but my pulse was at about 190 - 200 its strange that i dun feeel exhausted or faint or dizzy just feeel it beats fast its just the reading makes me uncomfortable stay at 200/min n after lie down for 15 to 20 minutes it will go down to 109 n back to 80-90 Is it advisable to do the RFA
But i now had iregular heartbeat n slow besides exercise n sometimes normal so quite confuse whether to do this RFA procedure or worth a try
Hoope to get some advise n respond
I couldn't advise you one way or the other regarding an EP study. The symptoms of SVT are unmistakeable though. It starts and stops instantly. Ther is no ramping up and down of your heart rate. If you are exercising, your heart rate may be naturally elevated when you go into SVT, and be so when you drop out of it. But the feeling in your chest is unmistakeable.
I am with Tom. You would likely know you were having an svt episode. It feels totally different than exercise induced fast heart rates. They start and stop suddenly which it sounds like your heart eases down from the high rate. You would also likely feel dizzy and light headed if you were in svt. Since you don't it is likely something else. That said, the fact that your stress test noticed irregular beats and slow beats you may want to get an EKG and echocardiogram done to check the health of your heart in general. If you are very active the slow heart rate may not be anything to worry about as well the irregular beats may mean nothing of consequence as well but it is always good to get your symptoms checked out to ensure your heart is structurally normal and healthy. Take care and keep us posted on how you are doing.
Thks Michelle n Toms for some guidance on this SVT , As for my case ths SVT will attacks when i exercise n i got prolonged QT Undertermined Rhythms Righward Axis , Incomplete Right Bandle Branch Block
My Stress Test results outcome very bad commend from my dr.
This 2 weeks i had very rare fluactuates heartbeat iregular n my blood pressure reading also sort of funny ups n down sometimes 125/80 sometimes when my heart rate below 50 it when down to 102/59 very low
n i got skip beat slow beat n 6th beat i very hard .
its like 1 2 3 4 5 and 6th for 2 seconds then 7th beat then the 11th will get slow and sometimes 2 beats in 1 time very strange heart rhytms
I went to a few hospital in my coountry n did 2 stress test ECG CT SCAN
CARDIAC enzymes ECHO TEst Ultra Sound
The ultrasound my hear muscle thickening a bit
CT SCAN quite normal
ECho test shows my heart when beat fast is faster then normal people
when it gets slow its so slow my cardiologist also said its my electro problem thts why she refer me to a Electro Physiologist
this is the link that doctor wanna perform on me i hope u guys go n read is it the procedure u guys were doing anyway my RFA its on 8th Jan so still got 9 days to go i need some real advise whether i do the right decision Thank You very much
Boy I am really not qualified to comment on your test results. They do however, in my limited knowledge on the heart, seem to me as though you may have some heart disease or have had a heart attack at some point. But again I am not qualified so I am not sure if your results are mild or severe. The fact that you don't present with dizziness or fainting makes me wonder how severe your case is?
The link you sent appears to be in reference to an ablation for afib. If you had a heart attack you could very likely have developed afib and the bundle branch blocks noted in your tests. The Long QT is the most concerning bit. It is generally an inherited disease but can be induced from medications. Medications that can lengthen the Q-T interval and upset heart rhythm include certain antibiotics, antidepressants, antihistamines, diuretics, heart medications, cholesterol-lowering drugs, diabetes medications, as well as some antifungal and antipsychotic drugs. Are you on any of these medications and have you been on them for a while? If you are you may want to try and eliminate them and see if it corrects the long QT problem.
That said, long QT is not something to mess with so it needs to be taken seriously. I can't tell you whether you should or shouldn't do the ablation. It is a serious procedure, especially if they will be ablating your ventricles. The success rates for that type of ablation are inconclusive, meaning it is likely hit or miss whether it is going to work. And they can actually create other problems that you didn't have before. So I would first find out what they are ablating, your atria for afib or your ventricles for long QT? Since you don't have severe symptoms is it possible there are some medications you are taking that could be causing your problems because I would definitely try to eliminate them before going to the extreme of having a ventricle ablation. Do the doctors think that your condition will get worse over time? Have you had a second opinion done on recommendation for the ablation? Have you talked to your doctor about the pros and cons of this procedure? But if all avenues have been exhausted and your prognosis for long term health is in jeopardy I personally might consider the ablation but you really have to go by what your instincts are telling you. I do wish you luck in whatever you choose to do. Please do keep us posted on how you are.
Just a comment - you have an RBBB which in itself is a conduction problem usually of no consequence. Has any determination been made as to the origin of your arrhythmia? unifocal PVC's are the best to have since they originate from one place in the heart and can be ablated reasonably well. What was your calcium score (CT scan) - determines level of hard plaque in heart... did you have CT angiogram to check flow through heart vessels? I would do all these tests first before an ablation... ablations are permenant. good luck.
Well I am on the other side of my EP study and it turns out it was an atrial SVT. I was pretty groggy when my doc talked to me but have lots of questions for him when I talk to him. He said it was NOT a-fib and once he cauterized the area that was acting up he couldn't get it to do it again so he is pretty confident he got it. So I have to say I am very happy with my outcome. Like you have said it may not be the solution for everyone but so far I am happy with my results. Of course, I had it done on 12/29 and it has only been 2 days but aside from a little pain on the site they inserted the catheter I feel great today!
Thank you for your encouragement and for sharing your story. I appreciate it! I will check in from time to time to let you know of my progress!
Happy New Year! I look forward to a much more active 2012!!
Great! Glad the procedure went well, and that you're on the road to recovery! The insertion area will be tender for a week or so, and it isn't uncommon to walk with a little limp for a couple of weeks. Using it though is the best medicine. Good luck, and keep us aprised of your condition. And don't be afraid to be a spokesperson for one of the many success stories. A lot of people show up here looking for advice when an EP procedure fails, and it really appears to reduce the actual success rate. Here's to an active 2012!
Dear Michelle n Curmudgen ,
Thanks for the comment i've had my CT SCAN done calcium
The reports says as below : -
C.T. Coronary Angiogram :
The total calcium score is 0 , which places the patient between 0th and 25th percentile for his age group. Right dominant circulation noted .
Right Coronary Artery :
The originin of the right coronary artery is in normal postioin. No mural plaques are seen in all the segments nor branches of the right coronary artery .
Left Coronary Artery :
The origin of the left coronary artery is in normal position . There is no mural plaque at its ostium nor main stem.
Left Anterior Sescending Artery :
There is no evidence of atherosclerotic disease in the left anterior descending artery nor the diagonal branches . Myocardial bridging of the distal segment is noted .
Ramus Intermedius :
There is no mural plaque in the ramus intermedius .
Left Circumflex artery :
No mural plaques are seen in the left circumflex artery nor the obtuse marginal branches .
Normal examination .
NB : 1 . This test does not predict the probability of plaque rupture resulting in mycordial infarction .
2. The presence of calcifications may preclude accurate assessment of arterial lumen .
This is the CT SCAN report
ANyway i really have very irregular n slow heartbeat that sometimes make me feels so odds n confusion i got a friedn who did this RFA he says after doing heart rhythm is normal back n no more shock circuit of the heart he advise me to do n not much pain n worth it this RFA procedure can permanently cure alll types os fast or slow heartbeat n iregular .
I just wanna back with my active life n can exercise normally without any SVT attacks. Anyway i am so glad this forum i get advise n guidance from all of u .... Happy New Year do advise me maybe the United States the Heart Surgeon or Knowledge is More advance .. so i need some guide .
Well now i had discomfort chest feeling very weird n odds especially when its slow n iregular ( Bradycardia ) and when i exercise its SVT my cardiologist told me mine case where quite strange thats why they ask me to go for RFA n they diangose my case as more to Electric shock curciut kind of stuff ...... and i did 2 stress test n the both test also show when recovery thats SVT and when i exercise especially after playing badminton it will suddenly pop up hte pulse to 200/min and my neck especially its like frog neck popping sometimes scary so i lie down for 15 to 20 minutes is slowly cool down and i would have lots of stomach discomfort n lots of burping n sometimes the wind like stuck in your throat that part is scary thats why i am really hope there is a cure hope the EPS + RFA can cure it permanently or at least give me a 80 - 90 % back to normal recovery .
Michelle i am on Co-Approval 300mg/ 12.5
1/2 tablet daily for my slight hypertension
And simvastatin 20mg for my cholesterol ( 1 tablet )
My LDL and overal cholesterol quite high
LDL > 4.5
total Choles > 6.8
Mind both doctors says my electrical system of the heart is quite abnormal
and they put me on ISOPTIN RETARD 240mg ( 1/2 Tablet 120mg )
daily but my blood pressure n heartbeat seems lower a lot thats why they ask to stop and try this RFA procedure to cure this Electro Imbalance things . ANyway i still have 8 days to get some ideas n comment before my 8th JAn RFA ..... A bit nervous as Michelle u told me its permanent and dunno any other odd things will happen or positive side i will be cured n fully recovered taking some risk just also desperately need some opinion but i know my ECG is bad results CT SCAN NORMAL : -
Sl ight thickening of the heart muscle ( ULTRA SOUND )
Echo Test : - Very strange fast n slow heart pumping
Do you know there is a doctors section on this site. If you go to the top where it says forums choose Doctors Forums and the heart rhythm section there. I am not certain how often questions get answered but that would be your best bet for more professional advice. Good luck with whatever you decide to do and keep us posted on how you are.
I am in the same boat as you are. I had an unsuccessfull ablation done 3 years ago and have had 3 SVT attacks since, which are now very scarey. They were not full blown attacks as before the ablation, but scarey because I also get panic attacks right after for fear of dying. I just saw my heart doctor and he said he wanted to do another ablation, this time using the burning technique rather that the freezing technique. When the tried to freeze the "bad cells" during my first ablation, he said my heart was too small to attempt the area where the bad cells were. I'm so sick of worrying when or if the next attack will happen. Very Scarey. It is nice to know I am not the only one for sure.
I had a laser ablation done in 2000 and during the procedure I had an episode of atrial fribrillation. It did not take care of my SVT and today I am experiencing high blood pressure with the SVT ... I am currently on Lopressor 100 mg and 25 mg spironolactone. I still get heachaches,chills and fullness in my head along with right side numbness. I also am taking other meds for pain management for back injury at work. On the light side boy I wish I had a new body.
Did you have the ablation? I am 31 yr old female and I just found out yesterday I have SVT:(. I'm a mother of 2 young children and I'm already tired so the thought of a BB causing more exhaustion is more than in appealing. I'm going to the dr tomorrow to discuss my options. I just can't bare the thought of being on something FOREVER!!! I'd love to hear about your experience and how you are doing ow after ablation.
Two years ago, I had a successful ablation for near lifelong, unmedicated SVT. I had begun taking a beta blocker about 5years prior to the ablation for an unrelated reason. Afterwards, I continue to take a somewhat lower dose as a precaution against hypertension and heart attack survivability, something that must be considered as I crashed through 60 years of age. I regard my daily multi-vitamin, and my micronutrient supplement as something that I will take "for life". So why not add the beta blocker in as part of the daily morning ritual? I don't consider this as a burden, but rather a part of a routine. I do not suffer any side effects from it, so the daily process is automatic. There are a multitude of possible beta, calcium, or sodium channel blockers to try that offer different benefits and side effects. You just have to find the right one and the right dose. I'm 62 and extremely active for an old guy. My beta blocker doesn't slow me down in the least!
She give a very good account of the process, if you're interested in knowing what happens. After a near lifetime of SVT, ablation gave what remains of my life back to me. I would encourage you to consider it.
By the way, we never heard from Barry after his last post above. We can only hope his ablation was successful and he has moved on with his life. I prefer to hang around and offer hope to those who experience ( I detest using "suffer from") SVT, and the interruption of normal lfe it creates.
First of all, let me tell you an interesting point; we are the same age and taking the same medicine for the same problem....I started to take metoprolol succinate 25mg....after a few months about 5 my cardiologist realize that it was not helping much so he increase the dose to 50mg then my eletrophisiologist increased to 75mg.....after the few months I took the 25mg I experience some problems with my lungs; my airways were narrowing and my pulmonologist thought I had COPD. thankfully I don't my lungs are totally find after 1 months I recovered....however, after the increase to 50mg the shortness of breath cause for the narrowing of the airways returned but only occasionally but when it was increased to 75mg it was a 24/7 shortness of breath until i lowered myself to 50mg now im feeling a little better and made an appointment to see my eletrophysiologist in 4 days......bottom line, go for it bro this beta blocker may help you with this problem but ultimately they will damage other organs but before you do check the doctor's background don't let anybody mess around with your heart....Im also considering an ablation because i have heard that the rate of success for our problem is about 94% and my eletrophysiologist is the director of the most experience hospital in my state so Im pretty sure Im going for it as soon as my doctor give me the green light so good luck I will pray for you we are too young to be stopped by this so keep it up
I'm in same boat. Worst part of my SVT is that it was 5+ years befoe I finally caught it on a loop monitor. Did holters, ran up steep hills on hot day - nothing. Then I'd be totally relaxed playing golf, ground my club and boom, full 220 episode - no monitor or course. Naturally arrogant cardiologists just think your another whack job until they see a test result. I've had this for ~10 years, I'm 43. I can run 3 miles, lift weights normally without issue. I'm a finance guy so I treat this like a business case and look at risk vs reward. Right now at 43 I can tolerate episodes well and thru vagal maneuvers can normally get out of SVT in 10 seconds max. When I hear this is non life threatening I'd say that depends on age. Everyone develops som level of coronary artery disease. So if you opt out of ablation then the plan for me will be tolerate as long as possible (woulld ahoot for 60) and then commit to meds. But in back of head I thinking I want ablation before 50. I gave up hockey and don't want to give up anything else. FYI I was prescribed metoprolol as a 'pocket pill'. So what I do is take a minimal dose before golf and it's worked very well!! I've also used it ahead of impt meetings (work for large bank) and it's amazing for calming u down.
Hi my names coltin I'm 15 ige had palpitatiins for 4 years and noone could figure oit what was wrong until as of 2 months ago and I've decise to do the ablation because the odds are in ky favor and I get 3 a day and that's a crap load plus I'm young ajd they tend to get worse
I was really unsure about this SVT procedure and was really dreading the procedure. You all have gave me some peace of mind. I go in the hospital tomorrow to have mine done. Will try and fine this site again and let you all know how it went. thanks again Chris
Hey barry. My names Brad and im also 23 and have SVT. Yesterday (may 23rd) i had my first ablation. Before my ablation i was terrified! Ive never been "put under" or had and procedures or surgeries in my life
I asked in the procedure could kill me several times, several doctors and got the same answer "no" yadada "worst case you leave with a pacemaker". When u go under, can u imagine hearing and seeing 10 people hovering above u? Its scary. Then all i remember is words saying "hes dieing get the paddles ready hurry!"
Well during my ablation i "died" 2 times and was brought back via shock paddles. The doctor never spoke to me and when i asked for him he never came. He told my mom i was fixed, my hearts like brand new, yay! Its been almost 24 hours since the proceadure and ive counted a total of 27 irregular heart palpitations. One of those while typing this. Prior to my operation i had a 20% fraction rate to my left atrical valve.
What they do is go into your heart with these tubes. They trigger every possible heart problem they can. Then they try to stop it. After they find the problem, start and stop it, then they ablate it.
Theyre playing an arcade game, galica. Remember? Youre a lil ship at the bottom (there camera and burn tool) shooting at the ships getting closer (your heart)..
But from what you explain, your condition is like how mine was when i was about 12. Currently i get rushed to the ER 1-2 times a month bpm of 250 easy every time. It takes 2- 12mg adinocard to convert me. And the idea of shock paddles were mentioned every time but, ive been tased. Its not fun so when they brought up shock paddles i would refuse.
Im not tryin to scare u out of the surgery.. Im tryin to let you know what will happen if u wait to long
Catch the s*** early before its to late!
I lost out on a baseball scolarship to LSU cause i cant get cleared by a doctor. And im living off of an SSI check cause simple s*** like standing up from a desk will make my heart race..
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