Nov 18, 2010
Nov. 16, 2010
I had a successful ablation procedure performed today for WPW (Wolff Parkinson White). I thought I'd write down some observations while they were still fresh.
I went down to the cath lab around 8:45am. Just before rolling me away from my wife, they hit me with a syringe of Vallium. By the time I got to the lab. I could barely focus, it hit that fast. I slid onto the table had an mask place over my mouth and nose and started to breathe O2. That was the last I remembered until I was roused by the anesthesiologist. When I pointed to my wrist (time), and he said it was 1:40pm
By 2:15, I was back in the short stay cube and was trying to shake out the fuzzies. Dr. Rosenthal, my EP doc visited me shortly afterwards. He confirmed that it appeared I had WPW and that it was really easy to ablate. He said that I went into SVT very easily, and that it took no time to find the right area and begin the ablation process. I think he said that he made 17 burns. Apparently I had a very wide conductive muscle area that required multiple burns to bridge the width. He showed me strip charts of the tach dropping out as he burned the areas. Afterwards, they paced the heart at diffferent rates trying to antagonize the tachycardia, but could not succeed in doing so.
My problem was in the left and right atriums. To get to the left atrium, they typically puncture a hole between the upper chambers with the catheter. In my case though they had another route. The hole between the ventricles that we all have as a fetus did not seal up as most do. In a about 2% of the population, the hole comes together like sliding doors, but doesn't seal. They probed that area and found the crack in the door, and used that route instead of the puncture.
Both femoral veins were use, with the right side used more extensively. That left a hematoma and a large lump on the right side which is black and blue now. The nurse said it looked typical. I discovered that they don't surgically open the leg but rather insert the catheter "funnel" like a large needle. So there aren't any sutures.
My resting pulse is presently elevated. At the hospital, it was initially 130, but slowly dropped to around 100 at my release at 5:00pm. It is now in the low 90's, 6 hours later. I was advised to monitor to minitor my pulse rate and call if it didn't drop to normal levels.I was ordered back on my full dose of Metoprolol (100mg/day) at least until I see my EP one month from now for a followup.
Since my release, I have experienced about a dozen wesk skips or perhaps a short run of tach. I not sure because that don't have that THUMP! that I'm acccustomed to.
If you discount the anxiousness I experienced, the entire procedure was very simple and fairly painless. The most pain I've experienced, is actually in my throat from the intubation along with a burning sensation at the tip of my penis when I urinate. As a final insult to my dignity, a Foley catheter was inserted into my bladder prior to my awakening form anesthesia. I was shocked to find this because no one has gone there before! But there's a first time for everything I guess. Removing it was an interesting experience to say the least, and some something that only males will experience!
So my EP says it was a successfull ablation procedure. I'm a pessamistic type of fellow, and want to give it time before I concur. But so far, so good!