what is the reason ablation works for some and not others? a family member has VF and was told the problem is at the bottom of his heart. they did ablation and it didnt work. they are considering doing it again but if it didnt work the first time why would it work the 2nd time?? im so scared for him and I really dont understand any of this. hes the only one in the famiy that eats right and takes really good care of himself .hes 40yrs old and otherwise very healthy . his heartrate goes up to over 250 and he has to go to the ER to get it slowed down.,but seems like each time he has an episode its a little worse than the one before. can someone explain this illness to me? he travels in his line of work to diff. states. the doctors told him if it dont slow down after 5 min to go to the hosp.but what does he do if hes at a place that it takes a little while to get to a hosp? Is there anything he can do to slow it down himself?
Maybe he can try some of those "vagal maneuvers" to stop the tachy's... although i'm not sure if for some people the vagal maneuvers can make them worse.
Other than having another ablation i can't see anything else he can do besides than learning how to be very very relaxed at all times,
and perhaps even living a less stressfulllife... changing job... etc.
It is very common for it to require two or more ablations to be successful. I don't have the percentages but I'd be surprised if more than 70% are successful on the first ablation.
The reason is the methods don't guarantee the doctor/surgeon will be able to locate all the problem areas. Those undetected areas some how hid when the "error" path is being sought.
There is no guarantee that a second ablation will be successful, ask the doctor for his estimate of success. If the doctor sees it very likely, say better than 80% I'd think it worth the risk as there is nothing better than a cure. Medication just limit or control the symptoms, they usually don't fix anything, medication do not change the electrical connections in the heart.
Good luck, be positive ans optimistic, that too may help.
What you are describing about your friend is very very normal and as Jerry says it is not uncommon for a second ablation to be done. The issues are the electrical pathways and firing of the heart which is what makes our heart pump...it does not mean that anything is structurally wrong w. your friends heart just that it is mis firing. The reason that the doc may not have been able to get it the first time may simple be that he/she was not able to coax the problem areas to the surface and with some that is pretty normal too. The doc has to generate the bad areas to the surface area so that they can zap the area so that the heart follows the right electrical pattern firing however if the issue was in the lower part of the heart and imbedded deeply it is a little difficult to get to. Also like Jerry says sometimes medications like beta blockers are using to treat the symtoms but do not get rid of the problem...beta blockers will relax the heart and block out the runs of adrenaline which is usually what sets the episodes off....again it is a treatment when an ablation is a cure....big difference. I would not worry too much for your friend..an ablation is a no brainer and usually pretty successful as long as the doc says that he is in the 70% or higher range for success...
They usually dont't reoccur if the ablation was a success,,,,,i had mine done 4 years ago and have had no SVT or PVC's basically since....like i said to Barbara it is a cure not a treatment.....long term studies have shown that in the majority of cases they never return altho some may need a little boost to help out thru the rough periods after an ablaiton w. a low dose of beta blocker....
I had an ablation done last Saturday and the doc said it is a 50/50 chance that he may have to go in again. The reason being that my pathway was in a difficult spot and after ablating 10 times decided to stop. He didn't want to risk an AV block. He said to wait and see, and maybe in 1 month we will know more. He also said he had burnt enough to make a difference to the pathway but there is a possibility that after the scar tissue forms that the pathway may grow back. That's why a 2nd ablation is good as it clears up the loose ends as they say.
As for myself I was so terrified of the procedure, the thought of being awake, with no meds at all was enough to have me running in the opposite direction. Afterwards though it wasn't that bad at all. No sedation, no relaxation and no pain meds. I for one am a wimp when it comes to pain but I would do this procedure over and over again. Prefer the ablation to a gatroscope anyday.
I just wanted to say Janpes that i thought that was a great post that you did......i too was a wimp when i had mine done and agree wholeheartedly....even with the issues i had which were not normal for 90% of people having the procedure i wouldn't hesitate for a minute to do it again....i got my life back....
Thank you cindy707, just wanted to let everyone know that it isn't all that bad and if I can get through it then you all can.
After the ablation I was getting some really bad paps, it seemed as though they wanted to set off into SVT but some how stopped. As the days have gone on (on day 4 since the procedure) they have lessened and lessened. Today only 2 small ones so far :)
The cardiologist says it take time for the heart to heal and only waiting will tell.
I do have to say though that I am so tired, but I guess that is side effect from the procedure. Also as I had been panicking about the procedure and sleeping very little in the run up to the procedure I guess it is a common complaint to feel tired afterwards.
I myself have had a pretty bad year, in April I went in for gallbladder surgery and 1 week after that ended up with DVT in my left leg. Finally started to cope with that and the rat poison warfarin, when the paps started to get worse. I just hope that I can soon put all these illnesses behind me and get on with the rest of my life. One day at a time is something I stick to nowadays.
Friday I will fly with my hubby and kids to the UK for the weekend to see family. Cardiologist thinks I will be fine flying so soon after the ablation. This is the 3rd time I have booked a flight this year, the other two had to be cancelled due to gallbladder then DVT, so I am defo going on this one.
sometimes it just doesn't work for various reasons - they may not know what's wrong with him and are doing like with me - treating symptoms and alleviating problems hoping it will correct the problem
it could be other factors they have no clue of knowing about until something happens - I was told the bottom thin part of the heart is usually the place that is most dangerous to work on and can indicate genetics being a part of the problem
if an ablation and meds do not work, another option is a pacemaker/icd that has dual pacers to help both high and low HR's and will regulate his heart a bit better - I had this done and after a bit of adjusting, it seems to help
your brother? I think it is, should get a copy of his test results, sit down with a doctor and ask questions like this - why, why didn't it work, will anything else work and should he go to a larger facility like Cleveland Clinic or Mayo that deals with more intricate cases
Make sure you get on that plane janpes and making sure you get up and walk every 45 minutes during your flight. Yes what you are going thru we all did..as days go by it will become easier and easier on you w. less and less episodes...its funny today is your day for and today is my 4th year anniversary after my ablation....i couldn't be happier at the gift i was given in getting my life back and these extra four years so far.....mine was difficult to say the least but i guess i still have things to finish here...have safe trip and do not worry...remember if something pops up that scares you all it takes is a simple phone call to take care of it...i doubt it will happen but i know for me it made me feel better....have a wonderful trip and welcome back to your life janpes......
Thanks for the encouraging words cindy. I intend to get on that plane, wild horses couldn't keep me from going this time. As I am taking the rat poison I should be one of the safest people on the flight :) (something good from the rat poison at least)
Some annoying paps today, almost feel strong as though they are gonna take off into SVT but I take a deep breath and it ends there.
If it is still occuring at the end of the month then I will call the doc and schedule a repeat ablation so he can tie up the loose ends.
I am so looking forward to the trip, but am glad it is just the weekend too. I don't think I have the energy to be there longer.
I also am looking forward to getting my life back. I was very active before my paps started and have now been off work since March. It is not great when you have your own business.
My groin has healed great, but I do have pain in the IV sites especially the failed attempt at trying to put one in my wrist!!!! Told him it wouldn't go and the best place is on the back of the hand, but would he listen? NO, had to do it his way.
Due to being on the rat poison I am used to blood tests and needles but this nurse was soooooooo ****. Just goes to show that even with private health care you don't get it right.
Right back off to cleaning the house and packing for our trip, we leave Friday and back Tuesday early hours.
Have a nice weekend to everyone reading this.
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