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Cath ablation for 4yr. old
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Cath ablation for 4yr. old

My son will be 4yr. March and has been recommended to have a cath ablation. I am very scared about this after reading all the complication for his age group. He has SVT AVNRT. He has tried 3 different meds. Has anyone here had any children in this age group to have a success with ablation? My son is only 37lbs. I'm tempted to take my child and run and not have this and take my chances. Please help!
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Hello and welcome to our site. So far I have not come across anyone on this site whose child has had an ablation at the age of 4, however, I have seen parents whose children have had this done, including my own daughter who has had the proceedure done several times. The first one my daughter had done she was 7 years old and at that time the only place in the world that was doing ablations was The Texas Heart Institute in Houston. Back then it was done as an open heart surgery and your child was in the hospital for ten days. Medicine has come a LONG way since then and all of her other ablations have been done in the cath lab as opposed to an operating room and the ten days she was in the hospital for have turned into an outpatient stay or at worst, an over night stay. If your son has tried 3 different meds without sucess, he has a pretty stubborn arrhythmia problem. As long as he is going to a good children's hospital with a good cardiology department, you probably don't have too much to worry about. ( I know that's a hard pill to swallow for a mother). There are always risks in anything you do, a person could bleed to death having a tooth pulled, but what are the chances? I'm not sure what materials you have been reading on the internet, my advice is to forget about what you are reading; the only really good source for that type of information is through the medical journals and you have to have a pretty good background in medical terminology to even understand what you are reading. The internet is a good source overall, but can also downright deceive. Truely, the main downside to ablations, which is probably more common than anything else and they don't tell you about, is the ablation may only parcially work or may not work at all and he may have to have the proceedure repeated. The reason for that being is because the electrical pathways that are causing his problem would have to be 'electrically active' on the day of the ablation in order for them to map it and then ablate it. In your son's case, that probably would not be a problem. An ablation would probably do a world of good. You are mentioning complications; what about the complications due to the drugs he is taking? They are certainly there. Arrhythmia problems can lead, over time, to congestive heart failure, that's a real plus for doing an ablation. I'm not saying that is GOING to happen to your son, but the possibility is certainly there. Running away is not going to protect your son and it's not going to fix the problem; returning home you will be facing the same problems. I know this is hard for you, try and focus on the good which is that he does not have structural problems with his heart or that the muscle of his heart is diseased, they are far worse things to deal with and not as easily treated. I wish you well; come back anytime to the forums here to vent your fears, we would be more than happy to welcome you back.    
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My son will have his ablation at Children's Hospital Boston on 3/22/11. Thank you for your advice. I will keep you posted. You are so right, you don't see a lot of information about this age group getting this procedure. He developed this soon after open heart surgery back in June 2010, for ASV, and PAPVR repair. The surgery was also done at Children's in Boston.
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Well he will be going to a top rated hospital. If he has already had an open heart surgery, then that is much, much harder to deal with. An ablation for you should be a walk in the park by comparison. I do understand your fears, feel free to come back to our site as often as you like. :)  
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