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What to expect post-op SVT ablation surgery

OK, I am gettin ready to have ablation surgery for SVT. What should I expect post-op? I am seriously freaking out about this. I have never had SVT until 9 months ago when I took Sudafed. My doctor says that I was born with SVT and that the Sudafed just triggered it. Does anyone have any words of wisdom?
179 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi Chris,

Thanks for posting your story. My story is much like yours, however have not got the courage up enough to go through with an ablation procedure. My holter showed 8,000+ PVCs for one day and I think they caught me on a good day. How are you doing now? Are you happy with the results? Any new complications? My doctors are trying to talk me into taking Flecainide first before doing a procedure. Had you tried an antiarythmic first before doing the ablation? I think this medication could be just as risky as doing the procedure and I am afraid of either. I think I would prefer the ablation over the medication. I am only 39 and don't wan't to add a crazy dangerous medication this early in my life. I do need to take a risk and do something thought. My ticker is in good shape now and need to fix this before my heart enlarges. Thanks for your post!

Avatar universal

I had SVT ablation 2 dys ago and I feel absolutely brilliant!  The whole procedure was painless and quick.  It took about an hour.  Recovering now and feeling great.  No issues or complications.  I have never been in hospital before for an operation or for anything come to think of it.  I didn't want medication everyday for the rest of my life either.  Nothing was scary about the whole thing. Very good aftercare from the nursing team and home in the same day.  I cannot fault the staff and surgeons at Chorley hospital (UK).
Avatar universal
Hi Folks:
Lotsa varying info here. I had RFA yesterday with 6 burn sites. I had a 20+ year history of events that had escalated recently and caused me to stop flying as a precaution. (I'm 61 and in good shape.) My procedure was at Emory in Atlanta GA and I have to say that after 10 other various surgeries, this was by far the most "pleasant" experience I ever had for ANY medical procedure. The staff, techs, facility and MD couldn't have been nicer. I went in at 10 and was on my way home at 4:00. Meds used were Versed and Fentanel (sp?) and were just fine. No real pain or discomfort today (little groin soreness, some very slight chest pain but not needing any pain meds.)  Only hitch was waking up last night with a brief event of SVT. I first tried to walk it off which didn't help and then used inversion technique noted below which stopped it immediatley. Not sure if that is common post-op for awhile and will check with MD today.

A tip I can pass along: while the Valsalva maneuver, oculocardiac reflex (pressing on eyes) and carotid reflex (pressing on carotid sinus in neck) can slow or reverese an event, I found the best method for me was an inversion table typically used for low back pain. If I could get on it within a few minutes of event starting, it stopped it 95% of the time.
Avatar universal
Update: called facility and was told that some post-op episodes were common as heart heals and to give it a few weeks but also to log events for MD f/u visit.
Avatar universal
Yes I have the same symptoms. I had an episode that lasted one hour a couple months ago and I was very exhausted for a week as well. I have also heard that the ablation is a very productive procedure from my cardiologist and am considering it but I am pretty nervous.
Avatar universal
On perhaps 5-10 occasions during the first 36 years of my life, I had what I now realize where episodes of SVT – extremely fast heartbeat and dizziness when trying to stand.  Without knowing what the problem was, I simply kneeled down and held my breath and the symptoms went away.  

The symptoms started again while I was on vacation in July 2011, specifically, while I was swimming in the ocean.  This time the symptoms continued all day.  An EKG measured one episode at 250bpm.  I could always stop the episodes by holding my breath (rather than bearing down), but a few seconds or minutes later they would start again.  They lasted for months in this manner and then, suddenly, went away for a month or so.  I had an ablation procedure scheduled in March 2012.  But the doctor’s office called to reschedule the night before.  Because my symptoms had gone away at that time, I took this an excuse to put off the procedure indefinitely.

My symptoms returned the next time I went swimming in the ocean in April 2012.  On some days in this later series of episodes, my symptoms would go away completely.   But more often than not, I had symptoms all day.  And this time, unlike previously, the rapid heat beat kept me awake at night.   Sometimes the rapid beating was fast and powerful and I sweated profusely.  Sometimes it was lighter and merely annoying.  I didn’t measure my heart rate then, but still it was fast enough to keep me awake.  

Ultimately, the lack of sleep is what forced me to have a catheter ablation yesterday, May 25, 2012.  I didn't want to do it.  I thought I could just avoid swimming in the ocean.  But the doctor told me that while the trigger now is swimming, it could easy be something else in the future.

I arrived at the hospital at 9:00 for what was scheduled to be a 10:00 procedure.  The procedure before mine, however, took longer than expected and my procedure didn’t start until 12:30.  I waited hooked up to an IV.   I was told not to eat or drink anything from midnight before the procedure, so I didn’t expect to have to use the restroom.  But the IV necessitated three or four restroom trips.  This was not an easy thing to do while wearing only a hospital gown and toting an IV station.  Asking the nurse the turn down the drip helped a little, but I should have thought to schedule my procedure first so there would be no delay.

When the time came, I walked into a cold room with overhanging instruments and a bank of computer monitors.  The room was so cold, I was told, because the cold temperature helped some of the equipment.   Once I laid down, a team of technicians and assistants in masks and gowns moved quickly, strapping me down, fitting me with various monitors, shaving, wrapping and otherwise preparing me for the procedure.  The last thing I remember is the anesthesiologist asking me what sort of music I wanted to listen to.  

The next thing I remember was waking up in the recovery room around three hours after my procedure started.  I had a stuffy nose and a scratchy throat - I think mostly due to the constant air conditioning required to give the room positive pressure which wards off any drifting bacteria.  I also had a headache, but I was told that that was normal.

The doctor came in a few minutes after I woke up and told me she had the found the problem.  There was an aberrant bit of tissue on the left side of my heart which created a short circuit in the normal electrical impulses.  There is a more technical description of this, but that’s the general idea.  I was afraid that because I didn’t have symptoms for a day or so before, they would not be able to find the problem – but they were able to activate the problem pathway.  They had to go through the wall between the right and left sides of my heart, but that presented no special problem either.

The only complication was that one of the groin entry sites continued to bleed after recovery.  A nurse had to press hard against the incision for 15 minutes.  He apologized for the pain in advance – and it did hurt – but it was bearable and after 15 minutes the problem was fixed.

I went home at 7:30pm on the same day with four large bandages and covered in green dye – which I think was some sort of antibacterial treatment placed around the incision sites.  I was told to be a couch potato for the next two days, after which time I can take up some light walking and chores.  I can jog in a week.  I feel perfectly fine right now; the restrictions are to ensure that the incision sites don’t start bleeding again.

My heart has not raced since the procedure.  I was told to expect that I would occasionally feel as if I were going to go into SVT again but it would stop there – at the initial feeling with no actual SVT.  That has happened a few times.  But otherwise, I don’t even notice the beating of my heart anymore.

The worst part of the entire process was the anticipation, fear of the unknown, walking into that cold, strange room and surrendering all control over what happens to me.  People with more experience as patients are probably used to this.  But it was new to me.  In any event, there was no need to worry.  I have nothing but the highest praise for the professionals – from the doctors to the technicians to the admissions personnel – who played a role in the procedure.  It still seems like magic: I went to sleep and when I woke up my heart problems were fixed.  I can’t begin to imagine all of the medical science and technology that went into making the procedure so routine

The day before the procedure the hospital’s financial consultant called me to go over billing and insurance matters.  The total cost was about $27,000.00.  While that doesn’t seem like too high a price to fix a man’s heart, I’m thankful that my insurance covered most of it.
Avatar universal
Had my ablation at Penn Presbyterian on May 23rd. Have been in and out of rythym since september of 2010...a result of undiagnosed sleep apnea. Stayed in rhythm  till december of 2011  Had a cardioversion. All was good for two moths then wham. An arguement with my husband sent me right back into rapid unrythmic heartbeats.  My cardiologist sent me to a well-known EP in hopes I would qualify for the procedure.
We got there at the prescribed time. They did an INR and my coumadin lvel was 1.8 so he decided to do a TEE to see of there were any clots in my heart. The op room was frigid. I got into theop room at12 ish and never came out until 8:30 pm. My body felt like it was hit by a truck.
Avatar universal
Had my ablation at Penn Presbyterian on May 23rd. Have been in and out of rythym since september of 2010...a result of undiagnosed sleep apnea. Stayed in rhythm  till december of 2011  Had a cardioversion. All was good for two moths then wham. An arguement with my husband sent me right back into rapid unrythmic heartbeats.  My cardiologist sent me to a well-known EP in hopes I would qualify for the procedure.
We got there at the prescribed time. They did an INR and my coumadin lvel was 1.8 so he decided to do a TEE to see of there were any clots in my heart. The op room was frigid. I got into the op room at12 ish and never came out until 8:30 pm. My body felt like it was hit by a truck from being frozen on the table for all those hours.  Mythroat was the real victim fromthe TEE and the esophogeal tube. Even my teeth hurt. Still!  I am not feeling bad if i am sitting doing nothing but moving around makes me winded and then anxiety kicks in making me worse. I am hoping to get energy back and not be breathless real soon.  Have felt some occasional lightheadedness. And have an irritating cough - especia.ly when sleeping or
trying to.  Can anyone tell me when im goingto feel like a functioning person again?  My main complaint is that no one tells you how you're going to feel afterward and what to expect.  Im even afraid to take my pulse in case its still weird. I understand only 80% are successful and am afraid i'll be in the 20%ers. Is thisbreath problem normal after the op?
Avatar universal
A brief follow up.  Significant bruising/discoloration appeared near the incision sites a few days after my procedure.  It isn't painful, but it is very ugly.  No bleeding, no pain.  I can now walk around without worry and mow the lawn.  I find myself very tired in the evening.  I think it is from the surgery but it may be from finally being up and about after almost a week of lethargy.

Still no SVT symptoms.  So far so good.
Avatar universal
Well to be honest I must disagree. I'm going for an ablstion next week for my svt, and mine never last for over 10 mins. But 10 mins was enough time for me to lose consiousness driving home from work and crash my car. If you get palpitations at all and meds do nothing for them, insist to your cardiologist for an ablation. They might not be dangerous themselves, but they can lead to very dangerous situations.
Avatar universal
After 11+ years of infrequent bouts of heart palpitations and two times wearing a Holter monitor, which yielded no results due to my heart not going into arrhythmia, I had another 30 day monitor about 2 months ago.  It registered an event, and it was diagnosed as SVT.  I am a Kaiser patient in CA, and my doctor immediately put me on Diltiazem and advised an SVT catheter ablation, which I had yesterday.
I reported to the hospital at 8:30am, had the procedure between 10am and noon, was back in recovery where I had to lie flat for 4 hours.  When I finally got up and walked, I started bleeding from the wound.  I lay down again, pressure and a sandbag were applied for 30+ minutes.  When I got up again to walk, all was okay, and I was released at 5:15pm.  I was told I had a routine AVRNT, which took 2 burns/zaps to correct.  I went home, ate dinner, took a nap and went to sleep a little earlier than usual.  I feel good today and will take it easy for the next few days.  So far, so good.

I would add that there was some discomfort during the procedure due to the cold room and the shivering I felt during the procedure, which was due to the drugs I was administered to trigger the arrhythmia so the doctor could find its location in my heart.  The other discomfort came afterwards in recovery when I felt an ache in my left scapula area, which made it difficult to doze off.  After I was able to stand up and move around, it went away.  I asked the nurse and doctor about it, but I got no definitive answer as to why my back was bothering me.

From my experience, I would recommend the procedure to anyone suffering from SVT.  Time will tell if the condition was completely corrected, as expected.  
Avatar universal
Wondering about the problems the procedure created for you all..Not sure if I should have the SVT ablation yet....I had a PFO closure 3 years ago, not knowing that the implant would now pose a bigger problem. It's made of teflon coated titanium and nickel, which if heated at 240 degrees gives off gases that are toxic, perforations, etc.
Plus, not many surgeons are experienced with them. I had a pediatric cardiologist do my surgery because of his record.The episodes of AF are mostly when driving, so this is pretty upsetting. Anyone have experience with implants and then needing ablation? I'm so confused and the doctors are pressuring me to have the surgery soon. One more point~ how many surgeons HAVE DONE an ablation after PFO closure? It's so new (PFO implants) that its not so easy to find one even here in New York. My parents want me to find the best surgeon, but how? I almost wish I didn't have the PFO now. Maybe I should have had open heart surgery instead. My migraines were instantly helped though, and I'm glad I have my life back.I had no idea something else would go wrong .... Any suggestions?
Avatar universal
So I am supposed to get the ablation done soon for SVT and I am wondering  if I should, do the benefits actually out weight the risk or should I just deal with the SVT. I've had 4 episodes of SVT this year, I've had it for over a year now and when I do get it, it does not go away until I go to the ER and the they give me an IV with medicine that stops and restarts my heart, so this is a very serious issue so they say. My doctor said there is a 1%t chance that after the operation that I would need a pace maker...that does not sound good at all. Now I'm starting to wonder if it is the right thing for me to do. I need help deciding.
Avatar universal
I'm suppose to have the procedure done soon.  I too was afraid until reading all the comments on the subject.  I've been having episodes 3 to 4 times a week lasting some times 5 to 15 minutes.  My question is, is it heredity? My family is concern about me, but they also want to know where it came from and if they have to worry about it.  My daughter has been having some episodes also and also my sister.  Does anyone know if it is heredity?
Avatar universal
I had an ablation in Dec. Of  08 after I started having problems thr day afteramd once went into a fib they said my heart was just swollenfrom the procedure and after being in icu for a week after the procedure I was doing okay butbthey put me back on toperol or hoe ever u spell it. Now recently 4 years later I'm having problemsnot so much episodes but my heart just feels like its pound real hard... my whole stomach moves when my heart beats. Ialso stomach problems ulcers and stuff. Butmy resting heart rate is high usually around110 bpm  . I haven't had an episode but I was wondering if anyone experiences this too or if its a sign that it wasn't completely fixed.  I will randomly get chest and arm pains too and sometimes I feel like I'm having premature valve contractions . Can anyone relate or maybe know if Therese are signs that my svt wasn't completely fixed or maybe just a bad case of anxiety any remarks would be helpfullythanks
Avatar universal

I had my ablation about a month ago in London. Doctors and nurses were very good, they said 'it was successful' but... I passed out after the op when tried to go to toilet, and a month later I still feel pretty unwell...

I'm 39, I had supra-ventricular tachycardia. I took amiadorone for about 15 years (doctors in Portugal told me I should take it all my life when they diagnosed me with SVT); 3 years ago, doctors in London told me to stop the Amiadorone immediately and they've put me on Beta-blockers which didn't really stop the tachycardia episodes and would put my blood pressure really really low, making me tired and without energy. So I decided to make the ablation.

After the ablation, for the first 11 days I could not stand up, I couldn't walk at all! I would try but my legs were so shaky and painful that I would just start to cry. Then I started to walk very slowly, like a baby and then, when I could, I started learning some Tai Chi Walking exercises, which helped to gain strength, now I'm using ankle weights, and I can now walk nearly normally.

Since the ablation, my heart felt also very weird, odd beats, pressure and constant pain.

About two weeks ago I thought I was having an heart attack and called an ambulance. Doctor found out I had an inflamation of the muscles around the heart and I have been taking Ibuprofene which really helped with the pain. The heart feels better now, not so much odd beats anymore and had NO SVT.

But no one could explain why I couldn't walk at all...

I can go for small walks since last week but I feel very overwhelmed with sounds, cars, people etc, generally I'm just exhausted all the time and it's really tiring to do any activity. Had to cancel work and just staying mainly at home and in the garden.

Also since I started to go out of the house I notice my eyes really hurt and get tired (in particular doing small little movements, like in the supermarket); eyes get blurred, I start to sweat and have to leave. Now I notice this is happening also on computer, can't deal with facebook and browsing the internet, writing or reading is extremely tiring.

Does anyone had any of this? I called the doctors and they say it's not normal, that I should be fine after a week... I wonder if some of it could be related with side-effects/detox of the tablets I took for so long...?  

Also, I read here many people saying that realistically it takes up to 3 months for full recovery. Is this what I should expect?

Many thanks


To build up my energy I started to take Ginseng tincture, and for circulation taking Ginkgo Biloba, plus Garlic pills, started these 3 days ago and I do feel some improvement.

Also it's great to find this forum, thanks everyone for sharing your experiences!

Avatar universal
I have had SVT my entire life!  I didn't know that I had anything wrong with me, because it would only happen when I lay down at night to sleep.  Then my heart would race!  At about 44 years old, it started happening at different times of the day, so went to the ER, then Cardiologist.  After a month on an event monitor, I was diagnosed with SVT.  Was put on Atenolol, which slowed me down to almost a standstill.  Quit taking it.
Just 3 weeks ago, my supervisor took me to the ER because I had it at work for almost 4 hours.  Tried the face in ice water method, but didn't work this time.  
New Cardiologist suggests ablation, and I am going for it!  My sister has a fib, and it didn't work for her, but I am told with the SVT there is a 95% success rate.  I will be calling the electrophysiologist today for an appointment.
My husband was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and I think the added stress is causing this to happen more often.  I am a cancer survivor, almost 7 years in remission, so hope that doesn't complicate anything, but can't wait to have this done.  :)
Avatar universal
have to undergo Supraventricular tachycardia - catheter ablation.
Is it life threatening risky ? any major complications?
Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeease suggest...Pls
Avatar universal
I had ablasion surgery at st. Luke's along with dr. Paulo Angelini from the Leachman cardiology group in Houston Texas. Call texas heart and they will recommend and guide you to health. With a genetic defect and not being able to walk and in pain, I was diagnosis with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy obstruction. We packed a suitcase and flew from Florida to Texas late Sunday night in February 2012. Scheduled testing office on Monday early morning, Tuesday we met the doctor at 8:30 a.m. And took the elevator to st. Luke's and at noon dr. Paulo Angelini was doing an alcohol ablasion. Scared, an induced heart attack and two blockagesinnthe chamber of my heart I was extremely lucky to have made 56. A temporary pacemaker, a leg brace to make sure my restless legs didn't move the wires of the pacemaker I layer awake all night hoping not to die. Made it through the night with fabulous care and ended up in an MRI for 2 hours and with fabulous results was discharged on Thursday afternoon. I had so many extra beats in my chest but was told come back in 6 months. Longer for theses beats to stop, debilitating wasn't even a strong enough statement. We flew back to see the doctor in October 2012 . Scheduled tests in office and an appointment with the doctor the following day. Scared out of my mind, the doctor prescribed coreg cr, well not convinced as to what would happen with this beta blocker after trying a beta blocker from my Florida doctor and feeling like I was going to go into a coma, I felt I had to try. Dr, Angelini promised the 20 extra beats per minute were not going to kill me and there are several time released medications to stop this madness of beats banging like the forth of July in my chest and back. With samples in tow I ran to water fountain and swallowed this tiny capsule and figured lets see what happens while I'm still in Houston and the doctor is 2 blocks away from my hotel. Well let me tell the world of readers, get your hands on this drug! It's now day 7 and the heart must be bathed in glory, as the pounding, the fireworks, the jiffy pop popping is faint, the back pain gone, the fireworks gone, the fear of being stopped dead in my tracks gone. It's not perfect , I still have a little bubbles in my throat but mt lord the rest has quieted down and I almost feel so normal that I don't know how to act.
Coreg cr is a beta blocker chosen for me in a time released cr. run don't be scared, I'm so greatful I ran and tried another beta blocker and didn't stop although scared that my pressure would drop and I'd go into a coma. I feel almost normal.ni feel excited. I feel less scared. I feel hope and joy after months of despair and devastation. Run , see your doctor, you too can feel happy and safe and relieved and start living life!
Avatar universal
I'm having SVT ablation done tomorrow morning and I'm freaking out. I've been suffering with SVT since I was maybe 8, and now I'm 26. How long is the recovery time and was anyone awake during the procedure.
Avatar universal
Hello. I had similar surgery in 2006 after finding I was born with this hereditary heart defect.
I had 2 pathways that both would trigger. Through-out my life I may have had fast heartbeats,not sure, I know I had palpitations, tho didn't know it was unusual. about 1999, I started having several health problems and also diagnosed with m.s. so that I was having spasms in my chest plus the svc,& aided in mis-diagnosis I believe. So, it's what 4 different hospitals and many many Doctor's called it, until the "unknown Doctor in my absent Cardiologist's office" saw my face that day, then asked me a few questions, wrote a name on a piece of paper with a phone number & sent me on my way! The name was to the Best Heart Surgeon, at St. Bernardine's Medical Center who knew the real problem. These attacks just hit at any time triggered by some things & more often than not without a reason, & Out of the blue "wham"! my head seemed to hit the ceiling, sick instantly to my stomach,(sudden drop in blood pressure)adrenaline shooting thru me, even paranoid-like at times tho to quick-going to care,and my heart would take off! Blood pressure at times bottomed out, by the time paramedics asked questions finally getting the thingy on my finger I was almost out! The first time paramedics were called for this, I'd laid down on the floor & my entire body was literally bouncing up and down from the fast heart rate, someone saw & called 911. Being alone mostly & not knowing as I said there were other health issues,I would pass out not realizing it was from my heart problem. Symptoms changed a lot. The 2 months with the Surgeon's pre op care, they gave me the correct medicine after 8 years of the wrong medicine, plus told me what symptoms to watch for saying they will change so pay attention etc.Being specialist's, when they asked questions,I didnt check boxes on a list, it's unbelievable, at least to me when the Doctor asks questions that I could answer & symptoms I had weren't ignored, the problem & care/ by these Professional's fit like a glove, the only time in 57 years I knew the Doctor cared, & I had total trust in him, & got  the care & problem fixed! They asked the right questions, knew what I was told by Other Doctors & inquired so that I told them what they expected I'd been told/taught by the other Doctor's, so they cautioned me,explained why, & didnt have me do any of it again, scheduling surgery ASAP.  This problem was severe From 1999 to August 2006. I went to the Hospital by ambulance only after the paramedics had to do a "push IV" to stop my heart/convert it then proceed to the e.r. at least, & "Honest to God", over 150 plus times at 1 hospital, but there were 4-5 or 6 different ones., even from work. It was scary, very dangerous, & I couldn't live a normal life, or work finally either. The ambulance paramedics didnt bring ekg/machines back then, plus when they couldnt get any veins they didnt know it was from going to the hospital this same way, poked prodded, abused & abused some more, & apparently one time the medic put in the report I was shooting drugs causing the problem. after the lumps,no veins(hard to get veins when no pulse,blood pressure adrenaline etc, am not the medic & could figure that out, You are OYO!).Later the hospital I went to the most often apologized to me for treating me/stabilize me that is & throw me out many times because I was labeled for shoting drugs. Finally they had faxes in the ambulance,because I heard the radio & the hospital e.r. hollering "where are you" then she proceeded to advise them to the iv thing, what was needed, being a regular & all...Several times, as there are many different paramedics/ambulance co.'s, so these guy's would be shaking, nervous or even shocked when finding out it wasn't routine or anxiety, or SVT! Some even stayed hours at er until I was stabilized after putting me through things some of these not so well knowing people put me through. Got apologies & saw them care, & one things for sure, they got a good hands on lesson!Still, it was dragged out too long being called svt,tachcardia,shooting up drugs to my heart, accusations, bad care and hurried e.r. rooms, only mis-diagnosed my condition. The Cardiac Doctor thought similarly plus I do have m.vp. slightly and another issue. My regular Cardiology clinic couldn't get an ecg/ekg that showed anything since once it's converted,or paramedics stopped/started by IV push, there's nothing to show because the rythym was normal & nothing comes up on the tests! By chance I was being shoved aside at an e.r. that I drove myself to, so I about crawled across the street to the cardiac Doctor's office and seen by a Doctore before the receptionist there closed her door on me,insted of listening to me or looking at me because a Docotor I didn't even know walking up to the recept. desk saw me as she shut her little door, He hollered "get her in here", next thing I knew they laid me down put the ekg wires on my heart which seemed to immediately convert by itself, blowing my eardrums out I felt like, one of the worst EVER, and they got the 1 and only ever scg/ekg that showed the problem after more test than I could begin to count. That Doctor asked me how many times I had gone to the Hospital & by ambulance, he didn't even blink an eye when I told him over 150+ times just at the regular community hospital (they used to say how many times is this Teresa, & kept me up on the amounts too! LOL). 2 months later one of the best days in my whole life came when I went in to get the 2nd path (burned or what they call it). Next day, I knew it was true for sure,I had always had the problem. I turned 51 years old that same month. I was not scared, I was ecstatic & ready to get this done! My Surgeon was wonderful, he changed & saved my life!  I would do it all over again.
Avatar universal
Hi Kristin,
I had an ablation done for Atrial Fibrilation and SVTs at 250 as well.  The ablation helped me, I have no more palpitations and no SVT.  I have to be on Beta Blockers to slow my heart rate down.  After surgery it was at a normal rate for about two weeks and then I had no choice but to take the medicine.  Good luck Katherina
Avatar universal
I had my ablation done March of 2012 to try to cure my A-Fib.  I have Paroxysmal AFib like Bruce and my episodes lasted anywhere from 10-30 hrs before converting back to normal rhthym on its own.  When they first started years ago, they occurred once every year/year and a half.  During the entire year of 2011 I averaged one episode a month.  My cardiologist changed my meds from the "pill in a pocket" method of treatment to daily meds.  After that my frequency increase to twice a month.  In Jan of '12 I decided to go through with the catheter cardiac ablation.  I researched it online and initially saw only side effects as risk of clots, puncturing the veins/heart, stroke, bruising, etc.  After the procedure, I started to have extremely painful swallowing.  My cardiologist "cleared" me to return to work saying my heart was normal, but referred me to an upper GI specialist about my swallowing.  Several visits to the other doc and a endoscopy to look down my esophagus, it was found that I had a severe ulcer in my upper esophagus immediately adjacent to my heart.  I found out (after specifically searching for esophageal damage associated with  cardiac ablations) that this can occurred in 5-14% of all ablations.  This also can cause a fistula (please look that up as according to medical studies is fatal in nearly every case it was diagnosed.)  The cardiologist basically burned via the HF radiowaves through my heart wall and into the side of my esophagus.  My ulcer was so severe that it eventually tore causing fluid from swallowing to leak directly into my chest cavity.  All of this was unknown to me until the inflammation from the increase fluid put pressure on my lungs and heart making it extremely painful and nearly impossible to breath.  An ambulance trip to the ER and 28 hours waiting in pain for them to try to diagnose and fix the problem was not fun.  I was eventually transferred to a more "reliable" medical facility where they found the tear and had to perform an emergency thoracotomy to fix the tear.  3 chest tubes and a 17 day stay in the hospital later I was back at home 20 pounds lighter than before it all happened and looking at 4 months of physical therapy to return to health.  I was 9 months AFib free and was back to my former running form (3-4 miles/run) when I started having episodes again.  

I say all this to warn you of "additional" risks/side effects that are not listed on most websites or even in your hospital paperwork.  Will I risk ablation again?  Only time and AFib frequency will tell.
Avatar universal
Yes I also have S.V.T. What you should have been told by your doctor as well is that every time you have an event there is an enzyme that leaks out of your heart (after causing unfixable damage to the heart itself) that they can draw your blood and look at the levels. I wish I could remember the name of the enzyme it starts with a "T" and it requires them to draw your blood 3 times a few hours apart. Also, I hate to tell you this but having an S.V.T. Attack is really having a heart attack.
When you heart is in a rapid heartbeat situation your blood pressure drops because your heart is not able to ever do a complete pump action which means it is not able to effectively pump the blood through out your body.
Believe me I know how frightening this is to go through. My last episode lasted a little over 2 hours and on the heart monitor my highest beats per minute were at 190ish. That one was very different from the regular ones that I have been living with for years they usually for me are over within 30 mins. and I had made up my mind along time ago to not even worry about the B.P.M.'s . The only other really bad one that I had I was in the hospital about 6 months pregnant and with that one I was according to the heart monitor at 280 beats a minute. That time they put me in ICU for 3 days and then 1 week on the cardiac floor. This was a very long time ago before the option of surgery and all they could do was put me on meds that do not work and make every food a pregnant woman craves off limits. So my advice get the surgery I am going too. Then you will never have to deal with it again. I hope that my post helped you and others in some way. Good Luck to everyone out there dealing with this.
Avatar universal
This was my experience.  Much easier to vlog than to write out.  Good luck! You'll be fine :)
Avatar universal
I dont understand to all of you why you have to have 2-3 abalations?? It scares me that they cant get it right the first time? And then you all have some symptoms or more symptoms. After the procedure.  Im confused.
187666 tn?1331176945
Many people go in, have an ablation and are good to go. That's why they say ablations are so successful. And people who are cured the first time in have no real need to come to a forum like this any more.

In my case, I have several different types of arrhythmias going on. That makes it a bit more difficult to correct. Like someone who falls and breaks his arm, gets a cast put on and in 6 - 8 weeks is healed compared to someone who had his arm crushed and needs multiple surgeries and treatment to fix it. It's just more complicated.

My cardiologist didn't realize the first time in all the problems my heart had. From the monitors I wore it looked like plain old PSVT. But then they found some other nonsense going on. He said it was like the 4th of July. LOL Plus, as sometimes happen, they do the ablation, can't trigger the tachy and it looks like the ablation was successful. Only a few months down the road, the tachy shows up again. That happens on a rare occasion. I just got lucky.  LOL again.

Hope that helps explain.
Avatar universal
Hi I was dignost with Svt 2 years ago when I was 19 now I'm 21 And on medication .the medication seems to help a bit but I sometime have episodes .before I was dignost with Svt I was getting dizzy spells black out and tingly all through my body to the point the when I all that would accrue at the same time I would have like a hot flash go though as well I felt like that for several month and couldn't take it anymore So I went to the doctor and hospital in two different city's which the told me that I had panic attacks that was causing me to do that . About a month it continued and same episodes continue and went to the hospital which the we doctor told me I had Asma and perscibed me an enhailer about a could of weeks after It was getting worse where I was admitted to the hospital that they couldn't get my hard rate down from 245 they injected 9 medications in to the IV and with in each time they put medication into my IV within 5sec my heart rate went up they had to fly my to Texas Methodist hospital which I was admitted the and was in icu for about 5 days had so many test ran that day that they also told me that the enhailer they gave me made everything worse then it was sometimes I hate my life cause I go to doctor visits knowing am I the only young one here older people just stare at me....I'm am still having episodes everyone I'm awhile and also feeling much more tired ...I just sometimes don't know what to do no more.?!
Avatar universal
Hi I was dignost with Svt 2 years ago when I was 19 now I'm 21 And on medication .the medication seems to help a bit but I sometime have episodes .before I was dignost with Svt I was getting dizzy spells black out and tingly all through my body to the point the when I all that would accrue at the same time I would have like a hot flash go though as well I felt like that for several month and couldn't take it anymore So I went to the doctor and hospital in two different city's which the told me that I had panic attacks that was causing me to do that . About a month it continued and same episodes continue and went to the hospital which the we doctor told me I had Asma and perscibed me an enhailer about a could of weeks after It was getting worse where I was admitted to the hospital that they couldn't get my hard rate down from 245 they injected 9 medications in to the IV and with in each time they put medication into my IV within 5sec my heart rate went up they had to fly my to Texas Methodist hospital which I was admitted the and was in icu for about 5 days had so many test ran that day that they also told me that the enhailer they gave me made everything worse then it was sometimes I hate my life cause I go to doctor visits knowing am I the only young one here older people just stare at me....I'm am still having episodes everyone I'm awhile and also feeling much more tired ...I just sometimes don't know what to do no more.?!
Avatar universal
Ive had SVT since I was 10yrs old. At 27 yrs old I finally braved it and went for the ablation because I wanted to start a family next year and my cardiologist said it would be safer for me and the baby if I had it done. my only symptoms were the palpitations. I used to get the attacks once/twice a month or if I had a cold and sniffed a lot (a bad habit) then sometimes up to 3 times a day. But I learned to control them with the 'valsalva manoever' well worth looking up. I could get rid of them within seconds of them starting, hence I had no need for hospital admission of medication or ablation until my GP visit. I was petrified about being awake through the whole procedure. But my consultant gave me pethadine and diazemols before he even started anything. I was awake the whole time and heard everything but felt nothing! it was weird almost 'outer body' experience. I went down at 1030 and was in the theatre for 3 hours because my SVT was stubborn to get started but he got it in the end. I am only 5 days post op and the bruising in the groin is going down already, should be back to work in 5 days times. ive got a 6 week follow up app but so far so good. DEFO RECOMMEND it! the risks are minimal and the benefits can be life changing. I can only wait and hope it has worked first time. but if not I will have no worries having it done a second time if needed. I had my surgery in England which from the posts above seem to be more successful????
Avatar universal
Avatar universal
I had my second ablation done for SVT a couple of weeks ago. The first one 4 years prior cured me of all symptoms for about a year and then it came back. The first episode I had after the ablation was when I was in very high altitudes and that one was debilitating, I couldn’t walk so I sat on the top of the mountain until it was time to take the ski lift back down. From then it pretty much came back.  I had the second ablation done after a particularly difficult summer where the humidity seemed to trigger it and I can't avoid humidity unless I move. Anyway, I'm still having symptoms after the second one. The most recent one was today and triggered by food, some foods will absolutely trigger an SVT, high fat, salt, wheat etc, (all of which I had for lunch) and surprisingly caffeine does not seem to trigger them for me unless it's a large amount of dark chocolate. So I'm starting a journal on what specific foods I should avoid.

Allowing the episodes go on for a long time is very unhealthy so if you don't already do this, try bearing down, you have to actually squat down and can't do this sitting down in a chair or whatever, so you squat down with your feet spread apart a little, you put your chest comfortably against your knees and just breathe, most times I can feel the heart "reset" itself, it's really surprising how well it works. It's funny because none of my doctors told me to do it, noooo, they much prefer to write prescriptions. I found this on my own. I did use beta blockers once or twice but my doctor didn't recommend them to be taken every day only when I have an episode and those work too but I just don't like to take any medication at all.
The procedure itself was done under general anesthesia and I felt excellent the next day with the exception of some groin pain only made worse by my kicking toddler. My doctor gave me a sript for 10 Percocets and I laughed, I didn’t even need Tylenol. I was told I couldn’t lift over 10 lbs for a week but that proved impossible with a 30 lb toddler who wanted mommy, nothing happened probably because my body has been lifting him every day so I was not straining to lift him, it was easy.
Let’s hope my SVT goes away once all heals and good luck to all of you!
Avatar universal
When I was 8 the doctors all told me that nothing was wrong.  Now I'm 16 and the cardiologist just looked at the recordings that my heart monitor took, my history, and my symptoms and new right away that I had SVT.  

Sometimes my rapid beats last for 20ish seconds to 3 hours.  Once my heart just raced for 9 hours and I couldn't make it stop.  I almost fainted and I lost my sight for 10 seconds.  My chest was so sore the next day because of the rapid and hard beats.  

I have another meeting with my cardiologist on the 22 of July in Wexford.  Then an ablation scheduled for the 11 of August at UPMC Childrens Hospital in Pittsburgh.
Avatar universal
When I was 8 the doctors all told me that nothing was wrong.  Now I'm 16 and the cardiologist just looked at the recordings that my heart monitor took, my history, and my symptoms and new right away that I had SVT.  

Sometimes my rapid beats last for 20ish seconds to 3 hours.  Once my heart just raced for 9 hours and I couldn't make it stop.  I almost fainted and I lost my sight for 10 seconds.  My chest was so sore the next day because of the rapid and hard beats.  

I have another meeting with my cardiologist on the 22 of July in Wexford.  Then an ablation scheduled for the 11 of August at UPMC Childrens Hospital in Pittsburgh.
Avatar universal
I just had this svt surgery and ,yes it did suck. my question to everyone is , how is it that so many of us are suffering from the same physical problem? It has been pondering in my mind that so many people are having electrical mishaps in their hearts. Has anyone stopped to think of this , or am I just over thinking it?.
Avatar universal
Just wondering if you're still on this forum and which EP you saw in melb
Avatar universal
Do you have metal fillings? Do you get vaccines and flu shots every year?
Avatar universal
I am so terribly sorry that you are going on without your father. Thank you for sharing with all those on this site. Your dad must have been strong to go through the accident and all that followed. I have baby SVT in comparison, and I don't like it even at such a small degree.
Avatar universal
they give you a strong sedative you wont remember a thing. Good luck
Avatar universal
Ive had 3 Ablations, 18 cardioversions and still AF AND the rest keep coming back. But if yr one of the lucky ones yr first Ablation wil be successful. Good luck
Avatar universal
I read yr post with interest, had a Ablation 2 wks ago and its my 3rd and yes!! its made things a whole lot worse. Heart rate with AF rarely went above 90 now 156 and climbing, breathless. wish I never had it. Had 18 cardio versions and they have always worked for me. wish I could turn back clock, Ablations aren't half what they are cracked up to be. Last resort for tired drs I think!!!
Avatar universal
bloody hell that's terrible !!! ive had 3 Ablations and they don't work still in AF AND FAST heart rate. messed up or what!!!
Avatar universal
I had SVT about 3 yrs back. My heart would go up to 200+ beats per minute and i was having it so frequently like 2-3 times a week. It usually lasted really long each time. My GP taught me a few ways to try to slow down my heart, and it worked most of the time, I only had to go to the ER to get adenosine injection and it was fine after that.

I went for the ablation surgery about 1-2 months after i got diagnosed with SVT. The op lasted about 2-3 hours i think. I was conscious and and it was extremely successful. I didnt have problems with bruising of the groin area, just slight discomfort. I recovered quickly from the op, my movements werent that limited as well. 3 years later I havent experience any similar symptoms.

My advice would be to get an experienced doctor who has done many ablation surgeries before to minimise the risks! But definitely do consider the ablation surgery if you get fast heartbeats very frequently like i do!
Was any type of anesthesia used? Mine took 2-3 hours and I really had a hard time with the pain of the prodding because no anesthesia was used. Was not able to ablate bec could not map the source of the problem. So disappointing to have gone thru all of that in vain. Recommendations for my second experience soon?
Avatar universal
hi, could you pkease share what your gp taught to slow down your heart?
i have svt once or twice a year, due to wpw, im 40 years old and have a 3 year old son, i struggled with endometrioses, had 2 operations to remove it and took us around 10 years to get pregnant. Today i was told by a doctor that if i dont do an ablation i may "drop dead" that were his own words.
i am scared as i dont want to leave my son without a mum but i do want to hear a second opinion, i have been to other cardiologists before who told me i could control the condition taking medication, they prescribed propanolol and didnt reccommend any surgeries.
the doctor i saw today said that i cant control the condition with medication...
does anyone has any thoughts or any story to share?
it is a hard decision having to chose between the surgery or living with a racing heart...
There's two techniques. The first is beating down like your pushing a baby out. That works really well I've found. The second is the vagal maneuver. This is where you gently massage the artery in the right side of the neck.
Sorry should read * bearing down
I know this is a old post but if you see this. I have had episodes of svt for 35 years ever since I was 12. For me it has become worse and recently had it documented. Some ways to calm it down is try to make yourself throw up or dunk your head in ice cold water. I have been just put on medicine and seems to helo. Get a second opinion on the surgery. The Dr could just be surgery happy and put another notch in his belt.
I really recommend to have a Cardiac Ablation. In 2009, I started having SVT's about once every 2-3 weeks. Later, it became worse and I had the episodes 2-3 times a week. In 2010, I was also diagnosed with AF and I have pulmonary embolism. Since I did not have health insurance at the moment, I wasn't able to get the Cardiac Ablation done right away and I spent 2 years with beta blockers that didn't help much. On 2012, I finally had my cardiac ablation done and it worked! The SVT's and AF were gone, but I ended up having PVC's very regularly but I was able to live a normal life. Then, in 2016 I got pregnant and the PVC's became worse and one day, I stated feeling the same symptoms of SVT, but this time the episodes lasted less, not more than 30 minutes. I was on Sotalol 25 mg a day during my pregnancy, but when I had my baby, I wasn't able to take that medicine anymore because I am nursing. My doctor gave me metoprolol 25mg 12.5mg twice a day, but it did't work well. I was so worried because I was feeling horrible almost everyday and I wasn't able to look after my baby well. So I went to see my electrophisiologist and I told him about my symptoms. He asked me if I wanted to wear a monitor holder (for the 1000th time!) for 30 days to see what type of arrhythmia I was having, or if I wanted to go for another cardiac ablation. I was very scared to have it again because I was thinking "what if I die? What is going to happen to my baby? He is only 5 months old." But at the end I didn't another option and I said yes to the cardiac ablation. I had it done on the 15th of February of 2017, 2 days ago, and it is unbelievable. I feel great! After the Doctor finished ablating my heart, I actually feel great. I was able to breath well and I wasn't feeling the palpitations on my chest and neck anymore. 2 days after, my heart feel great (it's actually  regular!) and my blood presure is good as well. I hope my heart continues working the same way in the next days and I don't have any complications. So far, in my case, the cardiac ablation was successful. My doctor said that he got rid of the SVT and that he tried to fix the PVC's but that if I continue having the PVC's will not happen so often and I can treat them with Sotalol. So far, I haven't feel SVT's. In regards to nursing, the doctor and nurses told me not to give breast milk to my baby for 48 hours because all the medications they gave me during the procedure, that's it. I really recommend this procedure.
Avatar universal
Dr. Hrantisky at Wake Med Heart Center in Raleigh NC is one of the best at this type of surgical procedure I just had it done on July 3 and he is affiliated with a Dr. Horton from Texas.  They are considered the best in the country.
I just had an ablation by dr. Hranitsky two days ago. After two failed ablations, I'm praying he got it this time. I heard he was one of the best! Hopefully no more AVNRT.
How did it go?   I'm considering making an appointment with him to discuss the ablation procedure.  Thanks!
Avatar universal
I've just had this done. Check out my http://youtu.be/swNLAQA2mUk
17868039 tn?1461237645
Is this forum still active?
I Hope so! Made for an interesting read.

I'm in the process of being referred too for the ablation surgery.
U will be fine I had mine done yesterday
Amymarisol, was anesthesia used? How long was your procedure and were you aware of the process? On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate the experience. Suggestions for getting through it with having to be so still for hours?
Avatar universal
HI, I just had a SVT Ablation three days ago. I'm not sure but reading other peoples experience, they give you local anesthesia for A-Fib Ablations.
For SVT Ablations it's different. They will give you very very little of something to relax you but you're awake the entire time for your SVT Ablation. They will make two incisions in your groin area, then feed catheters on both sides. When they get them ready and the monitors are all set, they will increase your heart at a very fast pace. It feels horrible and scary. They speed-up and slow-down your heart to find the electrical short-circuits.  When they find the problem areas, they will map each bad spot. Then once all mapped, they will catheterize them.
During this process, my chest felt very heavy, then my left arm had sharp pains and my left hand went numb. When they were in the burning process, it felt like really bad gas all around my chest.  I had uncontrollable shakes but is wasn't from being cold. I was from what the Dr was doing to my heart.
Its amazing to me how much your heart can take. The entire process took three hours.  
The thing you have to keep thinking about along with praying is the Dr has more than likely done this process hundreds of times and know exactly what to expect. I've heard the process is safe and always successful.
After it was all done, you have to lay very straight for about 3 hours so your groin cuts can heal up a little.
To me it was well worth it because the SVT itself when you least expect it was not a fun way to go through life.
Is it normal for me to feel ectopic and fast beats a day after having a ablation done
I was recently diagnosed with SVT. After ER visit with heart rate at 260+ and meds I was sent home to f/up with ep. I assumed this was connected to the Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (broken heart syndrome) heart failure from a 1 1/2 years ago. Not related. He wants to do an ablation, but left it up to me to decide. He was clear that this would happen again and increase in frequency until I had the surgery. Like you, I don't want to be blind sided by another episode when possibly home alone or driving with my three little boys. Terrified of the procedure. Terrified not to have it. Any life changes after having it regarding diet, exercise, wine???!!!
Had my SVT ablation 3 days ago. Had to lay still for 5 hours afterwards (that was the hard part!) Went well overall & was told to stop taking Metoprolol.  Just having a little lightheadedness now and then. Hope this will pass soon.
Avatar universal
I had an AF ablation in 2011 after getting diagnosed in 2007 . I was awake for the whole thing but sedated I remember them hitting 160 watts. In August 2015 I found out I had SVT and my heart was 250 beats I was given adenosine which brought my heart back to 110 that was one weird experience in February 2016 I had an ablation on my SVT and I had the same consultant than before I asked for him seeing as I knew him because he had operated on me in 2011. At the time I was a single mum and my daughter has dealt with it very well as well as been scared she's had to call an ambulance once all the other times has been me. It got to the stage where all the staff that work in A&E knew me by my first name I had been that many times. I am getting married in August and I feel great it's the best decision I made having the operations. I am off all medication now and discharged from cardio.
Avatar universal
I was given metoprolol at first, slowed beats but all I did was hold down a recliner for a year. I was sent to Omaha, Nebraska to Dr. Hass and given bisoprolol. I got my life back for the next 5years. The pill slowly ceased working.
  I just had ablation for SVT. I am a hypersensitive fibromyalgia patient. Dr. went above c-section scar on right, below on left. My ablation set off svt but also a hyper ventilating breathing that no one believed before.
They gave me Ativan to start. I became very chatty lol they gave me Versed. I have issues with laying flat and still, my spine and pelvis ache. Getting louder the longer I lay. They also gave a pain med which I can not remember...When the Dr. hit the spot I started breathing deeply and uncontrollably, with my heart running 200 beats per minute. First time anyone connected the hyperventilation breathing with the SVT.
  I am 4 days out and have had a fair amount of pain on my right side entry point. I have only had 4 small flutters, several more "feelings" of going to start wild ride, but never doing it. So far, I'm tired and am taking 4 or more naps per day. I am not sleeping all night through yet.  Dr Arteaga, Sioux City, Iowa did my ablation.
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