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thinking about ablation...
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thinking about ablation...

I'm a 23 year old, female that has been dealing with SVT for about 3 years now. Been taking digoxin since being diagnosed. I am pretty sure I have had svt all my life, I do recall having attacks when I was younger, but three years ago is when it go bad and more frequent. My cardio told me at first that he things surgery is a last resort for me. I am tired of dealing with the episodes. I feel lucky that their not that bad and that they are tolerable. I am just worried about having the ablation and coming out worse than what I am now. Iv only had to have adenosine 3 times in these three years, I have heard about people having episodes 2-3 times a week and having to have multiple adenosine shots EVERY time they have a epi. I do feel lucky I'm not that bad, but I feel my quality life is not good. I am limited so much to what I can and cant do. I think its mainly due to the digoxin. So I was wondering if anyone out there has been on the digoxin and switched to something different. While on the digoxin did you have severe heat intolerance? I haven't been able to tan in 3 years or go to the beach. Pretty much all summer activities during the day I can not do. I get so dizzy and disoriented in the heat that it actually causes me to have attacks. I had one BIG attack in 90 degree weather once on lake shore drive that scared the sh*t outa me to completely  turn me off from going outside when its that hot. I cant even take a hot shower, I have to take baths and even then I cant sit in the hot water for too long. Also for anyone who has had an ablation, how fast do they race your heart? I have heard they put a tube down your throat or something?
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1701959_tn?1399378594
I have not had an ablation but I have heard wonderful things about it especially for people with SVT. I have heard it can be very very successful and people are indeed very happy with the outcome.

Most docs try to control with ablation only because it is invasive so there are always risks as with any surgery but from what I understand it is very very minimal. Good luck and please keep us posted!
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1423357_tn?1412963997
My gosh, Digoxin is a very old drug.  There are many new anti-arrhythmics available that you could try these days.  I took Digoxin back in 1957, and it did little to stop mine.  I eventually went unmedicated from my pre-teens until my early 50's.  I finally had mine fixed by ablation as I neared 60 years of age.  I highly recommend it.  It's relatively painless, you may have general anesthisia as I did and experience nothing.  I was in at 6AM and out by 6PM , and recuperated for a few days before returning to work.  If it becomes frequent or problematic, I push for it, or change to a cardiologist that will help you inthat direction.  You should not have to live with it and have it disrupt your life as it did mine!

Read the journals of formum member Jannie411 for details on the entire procedure; very good reading!
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm really surprised they have you on Digoxin, especially without trying anything else out.  That's kind of a heavy duty drug and can have some pretty adverse effects and the therapeutic window is pretty small on it.  I would say that an ablation would be the first thing I would want if I was you as it could potentially solve the problem completely.  I had one almost 2 years ago for SVT and it wasn't bad at all.  I had anesthesia for it, so it was like I blinked and it was over with.  I didn't really have any pain afterwards and was back to a normal routine fairly quickly.  As far as other drugs to try other than Digoxin, there are beta blockers and calcium channel blockers that I would ask my Dr about.  I'm happy to answer any questions you have about having an ablation.
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4356842_tn?1353315809
Well digoxin is the first med they put me on from the very start. I had to have adenosine for an attack 3 years ago and was in the hospital over night, that's when I got diagnosed with svt. They gave me a double dose of digoxin while I was in the hospital. It took me 3 years to finally figure out that my severe heat intolerance was being caused by my digoxin. I do have a appointment with my cardio on dec. 10 so I am going to try to talk to him about something else to take. I still have attacks just not as frequent or as severe.  
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4356842_tn?1353315809
thanks for the reply. I am mainly just worried about freaking out when they are doing the ablation. I have a very strong mind and lots of anxiety.
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Avatar_f_tn
I would imagine if you discussed with your doctor about your anxiety, then they would likely have you asleep for it and then it's a piece of cake.  It's like you blink and it's over.
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4356842_tn?1353315809
Well that brings up a couple of other problems, 1. I heard its very hard to get the svt started if your fully knocked out during the whole thing. 2. trying to talk to my doctor about anything is difficult. for exampled on September 1st of this year I had a really bad attack, I HAD to call an ambulance. I could not for the life of me get it to stop fully. it quit for a couple of seconds and then hit again stronger, I finally decided to call 911 when my arms and legs started to tingle. I tried everything. I ended up having to get adenosine in the ambulance right out front of my house. I had a follow up with my cardio later that week. I told him my dig levels were low because they checked while in the hospital. he told me sometimes that happens, and to keep doing what I'm doing and stay in school. it was total bs. I tried to get a second opinion in the summer, but that cardio was a b*tch. after talking to me for 10 minutes she was like " I feel your best option is the ablation" I was so upset. I wanted to walk out. Like she doesn't know me, has no info on me what so ever except what I told her and I didnt even get to tell her all of it. and her actual office nurses were very rude and very unprofessional. I just don't know what to do, I am such a sissy when it comes to any kind of surgery
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1423357_tn?1412963997
It can be more difficult to get you heart going if you're under anesthesia as you are in a state of profound relaxation.  However a good electrophysiologist will gauge the number of events that you're having and have a pretty good idea if he can get it going.  They will also pace your heart at different rates in an attempt to get it to drop into SVT.  In my case, the catheter merely touched an area of the heart wall, and it took off.  I of course was out and experienced nothing.

Also, a good facility will give you something to calm you, even if you don't have general anesthesia.  I had a hypo of Vallium just prior to being pused away from the short stay cube to the cath lab.  I remember kissing my wife, and saying to the attending anestheologist, it's not working!....it's not working!  By the time I got to the lab, I could barely scoot onto the table I was so groggy.  They put a mask on me, propped my arms into a comfortable position, and that's the last I remember. A shot of Vallium...good stuff!

Electrophysiology studies have become so commonplace today, that their risks are lower than what you face playing with various medications and dosages.  Unfortunately the procedure is many, many times more than a bottle of pills; and can approach or exceed $100K (US).
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1423357_tn?1412963997
The other thing I wanted to mention to you is if you don't lke you cardiologist, do not hesitate to find another!  In most cases, you have no "connection" with them.  You are merely a another case, so leaving them for another means nothing to them. Move on if you don't like the one you're going to.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had a ablation a month ago and i must say it was the best thing i have done. I was diagnosed with WPW earlier this year after dealing with it all my lift, but luckily i hardly had SVT attacks unlike some poor people who have them every month. But i kept having the other symptoms such as dizzyness, fatigue and palpitations. The ablation procedure was scary at first but after i had it done i felt like a whole weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I'm only 26 and the fact that my SVT was causing me to not beable to live life to the fullest was enough for me to think enough is enough, get it fixed.
If you feel ready for it and your Dr agrees that it is a good option for you then go for it. Why live with something when it can be potentially cured. All the best.
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177337_tn?1310063499
Atenolol works great for my svt.  Like Tom said, there are many beta blockers and calcium channel blockers to try.  If it were me I would ask to be taken off Digoxin.  I still get svt attacks but most are just very brief bursts (like 10-15 beats) every once in a while.  I haven't had a full blown svt attack for years.   So try another beta blocker or calcium channel blocker and if they still don't work, then ablation.  I was your age when I started the Atenolol and 1/4 of the 25mg is all I needed.  Now, 20 years later and dealing with peri menopause I have had to up the dose to 1/2 in am and 1/2 in pm but it is still a low dose.  I know a lot of people say go with the ablation because you don't want to be on drugs at your young age but it worked for me.  However I would have never taken Digoxin for svt.
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4356842_tn?1353315809
at the time I was just doing what I was told as far as how to treat it. I am going to talk to my dr about trying a different med because this digoxin is alright for the most part but i still get attacks not as small as yours but less than a minute. I really don't like the heat intolerance, and how it overall makes me feel. I want to be able to go to the beach next year and actually get a tan! thanks for the advice
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