Why do we get irregular heartbeats after an ablation?
I was told that this would happen after ablation and at first my heart felt very strange. Now I get a few odd beats a day, which I'm assuming are PACs and PVCs, though I've never identified my irregular heartbeats.
How do people know what sort of beats they are having?
Since I've been reading this forum I've been amazed that so many people seem to know exactly what type of heartbeat they have had.
Throughhout my life with WPW I only ever knew, 'fast racing, or fluttery, or lurching or skipping' etc. That was just they way I identified it myself if I told someone about it, but I had no idea what type of beats they were or what they were doing. Usually I put them all in the category of palpitations as that was really the only medical term that i knew for them
Mostly I didn't even try and name them, I would just notice them and then they were over and I carried on with what I was doing.
I know now from my reading here, that many people have far more severe symptoms than those that i had so maybe they have more input from the medical profession?
I had no clue what my pvc's and svt were before July 2009 when I wore a 24 hour holter montior. Since I kept notes of what I was feeling during the test; I compared my notes to my monitor and explained things in detail to my EP which he confirmed what they were by the test results.
After the monitor it was alot easier to know what the difference was. To me my pvc's feel more like a horse kicking me in the chest; whereas pac's/svt feel like a fluttering more in the upper middle of my chest/throat area and then my heart races like mad when it goes into SVT (220 -250bpm) episodes.
Sometimes my VT/NSVT episodes will feel like my heart's stopping and I faint because my hr will go very fast (300 - 425) with pvc's and almost go into sustained VT; then terminate.
I keep a journal and have since my abltion of dates, times and symptoms and compare it to my ICD they implanted due to my VT & fainting episodes.
I believe there is a rise in ectopic beats for some after an ablation simply because the heart is irritated by the trauma of the ablation. The heart is very resilient but because it has to keep pumping regardless of what it has been through it can take a while for it to calm down. Unfortunately though once the ectopic beats start flaring off they always have the potential to go off. I also surmise that we simply notice them more once the ablation has been done. I actually use to put all my symptoms in one bucket. I thought it was all the same thing so I actually had a very tough time emotionally when I went into an ectopic storm after my ablation. No one informed me that it was a different issue so when they went crazy I just freaked out not knowing what was going on. I know they will keep the fact you have ectopics from people because they are benign and scare people needlessly more than anything else but if there is a high chance they could be problematic after an ablation I think it is better to inform people so they don't freak out like I did not knowing what was going on. But it is all water under the bridge now.
Anyways, as mom explained you kind of learn as you go. I actually thought I was hyperventilating not having a rapid heart beat. I thought my heart was racing because my lungs weren't working right and not the other way around my breathing was labored because my heart was racing too fast. And then any symptoms I felt, twinges flutters odd beats I thought were all residual affects of having a hyperventilation episode. I wasn't able to really know what all was what until I was told what I had and things got separated out. Once the svt was gone I was able to notice each of my pvcs because they are kind of followed by a fizzle feeling that use to cause me to fall into tachycardia. So initially and still a little to this day when I feel one especially strong I find myself holding my breath waiting for the tachycardia to sneak in. But until you are informed exactly what is going on with you you will tend to describe your issues as a feeling and may even do what I do put it all into one bucket thinking it is only one issue when it may in fact be a few different issues. Ah for the days when you didn't notice your heart.
I am going to try and get copies of my cardiology note so that I have a better understanding of my condition. I don't even know how many burns my ablation took, or much about my accessory pathway except that it was on the left side of my left atria.
The irregular beats that I'm having are not anew feeling but as you wrote, Michelle, I always identified them as part of my WPW.
They aren't too bothersome, just a bit unnerving as I don't know what my post abalation heart will do.
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