After suffering with afib for the last 11 years my cardiologist has decided to try a atrial ablation. I do have mild to moderate CHF with a ejection fraction of below 35. My bmi is 42 which as you know I'm a pretty big guy. One thing that concerned me was the Cardiologist at the university hospital they sent me to said that after being in afib for so long it lowers the success rate? My current heart rate goes between 90 bpm and 140 bpm . I do have concerns about the length of the procedure? A pacing device was also talked about being necessary. I guess my concerns were the success rates with anyone with similar conditions? I am finding a lot of information in the forums and glad this site was here!
I'm sorry to hear about your heart issues. The success rate for ablation varies. . I had an ablation in November for frequent PVC's that were beginning to lower my ejection fraction. I was given about a 95% success rate. The procedure was supposed to take 2-3 hours, but they had a very hard time finding the area that my PVC's were originating from, so it took a bit longer than expected. (They weren't able to access the area, so my ablation ended up being unsuccessful) I was awake for the procedure, but with the drugs it felt like the time flew by, and I never felt any pain, just a little pressure where they were running the catheter up. The only pain I ever experienced was from the bruising at the catheter site, and that only lasted a few days.
I know you may have some concerns about the success rate, but the ablation is a wonderful cure if it works, and it beats taking medicine for the rest of your life. I know my experience may not relate to your afib, but I hope it puts you at ease with the procedure itself. Good luck with everything!
In AFib for 11 years ?? I assume you mean in and out of AFib.
I have been in chronic AFib since 2007 when I underwent open heart surgery - I also have an enlarged left atrium. My EP study said an ablation was unlikely to succeed. Thus, not worth the risk. My AFib symptoms of high HR are managed with beta blocker.
That said, I am almost certain that in the years I have been in full-time AFib the muscles in both of my atrium have undergone fibrosis - no way to get them working again... thus I am a "lifer"... I think that is the concern about being in AFib too long, fibrosis of the atruim muscles.
Obviously your doctors know all this and they are the ones to estimate you chances of success, your risk/benefit you can't get that here.
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