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What is the real Cardiac ablation success rate?
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What is the real Cardiac ablation success rate?

How successful are cardiac ablations really? everywhere online says 90 to 95 percent but there are so many failed ablations on this website and other websites so it makes me think that ablations are really not as successful as they say. Can you give me a percentage of success?
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996946_tn?1411467927
Boy, is that ever a $64,000 question.  I think it just depends on the individual and the reason for the ablation, as well as the type of ablation.  My Dr told me my catheter ablation would be in the 70% range for success and apparently the success rate for men is a little higher than for women.  I'm only 6 wks out from mine so it's a little early to say whether or not it was successful.
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree with LindaTX....it depends on what kind of ablation you are having.  When I was going in for mine, the doctor knew I had svt, but said that until he went in there, he didn't know exactly where the issue was originating from.  He quoted me various statistics, depending on the origin of the problem.  As it turns out, I had AVNRT, which he quoted as having a 95% success rate.  I think as ablation success rates go, that is the best one to have.  I believe the success rates are somewhat lower for atrial fibrillation ablations.....like LindaTX mentioned above her doctor quoted her a 70% success rate.

Also keep in mind, the people who have had successful ablations aren't hanging around posting on heart forums! They are out living their lives, quickly making the ablation a distant memory!  Most people come here looking for answers or reassurance when ablations don't turn out quite the way they expected, so this isn't necessarily an unbiased group.  I know I started posting when I continued to have PACS and runs of PACS for several months after the ablation and I was concerned.  This board is a great place to get reassurance if things don't seem quite normal.  I had a follow-up heart monitor and my doctor reassured me that the ablation had been a success, but if someone only read my posts with the questions, you would assume my ablation was not successful.  Just something to keep in mind!

Linda, glad to hear that you are slowly seeing some improvement!
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1137980_tn?1281289046
Hey hey hey Annie yes i am hanging around posting on this heart forum !!!!!  I started out on this forum as everyone else did scared poopless to be polite about it....Jerry, Itdood and a bunch of others were there for me even tho at that time i did not use this moniker....they actually eased my mind and my worries and i took the leap.  I had a super severe case of atrial fib, SVT, PAC's and the list goes on..mind you i really hadn't had heart issues before it all kind of popped up out of no where all of a sudden...so now i pay it forward every single time i post...i had my ablation done a little over four years ago and the 70% that we all speak of is sort of the earmark that docs use to say you want to be in the 70% or higher range for success in having the procedure.  I had it done, it was a success altho i have had a few moments and would not change a thing.  I got my life back, do more now then before i had the issues, and to me it was easier than a root canal even with the difficulties i faced which was definately not the norm.  So in terms of success...like both Annie and Linda said...it depends on what you have going on ...i have never had another case of SVT or PAC's since the procedure so that was a 100% success rate...the atrial fib is being held at bay and still considered to be a 95% success rate....like any site you hear good and bad...depends on the heart issue, depends on the person and how they handle it emotionally, depends on the expertise of the doc....but i would never ever not do it again and if they said i had to go back tomorrow because i needed some sort of tune up i would tell them to sign me up......
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Avatar_f_tn
Ha ha, Cindy, I know you are still hanging around!  :) You helped me a lot when I was going through my scared to death phase!  

But I just meant that, generally speaking, people who are not concerned about having an ablation, and then have a quick, issue-free recovery, usually aren't the ones posting.  I think most people come to this board in the first place because they have some concerns and are worried, either about their symptoms, the procedure, the recovery, whatever.  The support here is great!  But I think in general, you could get the impression that a higher percentage of people who have ablations have some issues afterwards than actually do, because I think, in general,people who have ablations with no concerns whatsoever are not looking for support on a heart board.  They are the ones who I meant are just off living their lives.

But yes, there are also many people who originally came here looking for support and are now doing much better, many having had a successful procedure, who are still "hanging around" to help others!

Just one more thought on percentages.  I had a friend tell me that her doctor told her not to pay too much attention to percentages.  If the treatment works for you, then your success rate is 100%.  Thought that was an intersting way to look at things!
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1137980_tn?1281289046
I thought that was a great post Annie.....you made alot of good points there and i especially liked your last sentence too.....but you are very right...depends on if the moon is full or not when it comes to posting...sometimes you get alot of positives and sometimes no so positive......yep yep i gotta agree with your analogy annie.....
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi,
I have had atrial fib for a number of years.  At first they would shock me back to rhythm and that would last for a year or more.  About 18 months ago I went into atrial fib and they couldn't get it to go away with drugs or shocking.  About a year ago I got a pacemaker, but am still in atrial fib.  I am tired and lethargic much of the time and have gained weight due to my lack of activity.  The doctor has wanted to do the cardiac ablation.  I am troubled by this, partly out of fear.  I had thought the pacemaker was my "cure".  I, also, wonder if changing meds wouldn't help.  I have one of the those jobs where I work long hours and feel huge stress.  I worry about missing work.
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1807132_tn?1318747197
Hello George, you may want to start a new thread if you are looking for people to respond because people aren't more likely to visit an old thread.  I had an ablation for avnrt and the success rate was close to 98% but I know ablations for afib are a bit trickier so I can understand your apprehension and the success rate is a bit lower I believe around 80-90% for afib and reoccurance is also more common but if you are having difficulty functioning you might want to give it a try.  The procedure itself is really not that hard on the patient.  I had 2 full on surgeries and was awake for the cardiac ablation and would do it again though you may be put to sleep for yours due to it being for afib.  Anyways it is a tough call and from everything I have read there isn't much that meds really do to completely manage people with heart rhythm issues.  They can help but they are a sure fire way to control anything.  But I wish you much health with which ever path you decide to take.  Take care and keep us posted on how you are doing.
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1569985_tn?1328251082
Your doctor should be able to give you your odds, and they vary depending on the patient.  I was told 50-50 the first time, perhaps 70% chance of success the second time because I have some atrial enlargement.  I think if you are considering it you should look into it sooner rather than later because it is my understanding the heart gets used to the new way of beating and it is harder to fix the longer you wait.  There have been great success stories here as well as problem cases with ablations.  You should check out Jerry_NJ's story.  I am staying out of afib with Norpace XR for over a year now.  You might check meds out and find out what your personal odds are.  Your experience is very common, afib can be a tough situation.  Good luck to you.  
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996946_tn?1411467927
George, by what i've been told, you can't get an ablation if you have a pacemaker. Are you taking a beta blocker? That might explain why you are so tired all the time. As I had posted above, my EP had told me 70% success rate but i did have to have a second one in May of this year and I immediately felt better with no re-ocurrence of a-fib. I think he said 95% on the 2nd one.
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1569985_tn?1328251082
Linda -- You had really good odds -- congratulations on your success!  I am so glad it all worked out.
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996946_tn?1411467927
Hey, thanks Delta...good to see you back!  I hope you are doing well too!
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