I had an EP study and ablation for what turned out to be an AV reentrant tachycardia ( 210 BPM) that was easy to get to, according to the EP doc. I'm happy to say the whole procedure was painless and went off without a hitch although I'm still a bit tired.Is that normal? I guess I thought I'd be immediately "cured" of all arrhythmia but I'm having some palpitations.. not many and none of the rapid flutters I used to feel. I have -- maybe 5 to 10 times a day -- feelings of hard heartbeats ( sometimes 3 to 5 together), a skipped beat here and there, a couple of thumps, especially when I sit down or lie down.EP doc said that i might always have a few palps, to try and ignore them. and he said i might have a "transient" increase for a while in palps. questions.
1. do you agree this is normal? is there hope these palps will get better? are they anything to be concerned about?
2.my ep doc said the tachycardia could come back but it's only 1 chance in "many hundreds". Any comment on my chances of being really"cured"?
3. I thought an EP study was DEFINITIVE for whether you have life threatening arrhythmias but i recently read that an EP study doesnt't always elicit arrhythmias.. can you please tell me something REASSURING.i've been through all this and I'd like to know, bottom line, what an EP study DOES reveal so I can STOP WORRYING.By the way , I went to a very well known medical center that does many, many of these procedures. and i went to a highly experienced EP doc. I want to believe i can relax about my heart rhythm now but I've been scared for so long it is HARD!Thank yo
Sorry for the dely. Im glad to hear your procedure went well.
1) Yes this is normal. Inflammation after ablation can lead to the irritabilty of the area causing extra beats. this should fade
2) Nothing is perfect. Some people with one pathway may have another that is brought out by ablating the other. Time will tell. You however have a very good lielyhood of cure with the one procedure.
The EP study is a electrical map of the heart. It reveals areas of conduction in the heart and abberancies therein. Its not perfect as I mentioned above. For now don't worry. Live life like you are cured. If it reoccurs, there are ways to deal with it.
I, too had a sucessful ablation (a year ago) and am cured completely! For several weeks after, I had some "thumps and bumps" that scared me and made me think that my arrhythmia had returned, but an event monitor confirmed that they were only PAC's. Premature atrial contractions are a normal variant, not an arrhythmia. I still notice them occaisionally. Most healthy people have them from time to time-we just notice ours because of all we've been through! Congratulations on a sucessful proceedure. My life is so much better without meds and worry! Hope you can get confirmation that what you are feeling is normal and go on and live your life with confidence.
Hello, i too had av node reentry and had ablation done as well. I also still get pac and pvc and find that when i worry about them they get worse Md said dont worry they wont hurt me and everyone gets them. I think we just feel them more because of what we had. Good luck to you and congradulations on your ablation procedure you will find that your life will have more quality than before.
Lynn - my cardio over here (the top one in UK, specialising in arrythmia problems) says that palpitations will increase for "about a month" after an ablation. It'll be a long month though, right?? Five minutes is a long time with palpitations!
Congratulations on having your ablation, I'm sure you'll find things improving before too long.
Best Wishes, Linda
I see you've answered questions behind and ahead of this one, so hope springs eternal you'll get to mine. thanks!
I was just eating dinner, relaxed.. whammo.. a hard beat.. ignored it.. same thing happened again within a minute. and then again.
I'm just looking for a little reassurance here... also , if it is true that you can expect palps to be act up after an ablation, what's the mechanism? is there irritation to the heart from the procedure? thanks again.
i had an ablation almost a year ago. Right after the procedure i only had a few skipped beats every once and awhile but over the last few monthes it has gotten pretty bad to where i get them about 100 times a day sometimes and some days i get only a few. i moved and no doctor takes my insurance where i live now so im tryin to get that figured out so i can maybe start taking some meds. a part of me regrets the ablation because i only had tachy episodes once a month and now i live with the skipped and hard beats everyday.
The good news is that the runs of very, very fast beats I was having are gone -- that must have been the atrial tachycardia ( 210 BPM).... when I was wearing the event monitor and sending in my recordings, I could hear my heart rhythm as recorded beating regularly and then, like you turned on a switch, it would go in seemingly triple time for many beats. Then, as if a switch were turned off, suddenly be back at 72 bpm or so.
I hope and pray I'm just having plain old PVCs and PACs which I ALSO had a lot of on the event monitors.. and that maybe they will decrease over time..
Hi, I've had three ablations, two in Oregon( one at Or.Health and Sciences University)without modification and on 9-12-03 had the procedure done at the Cleveland Clinc with a successful out come. Yippy! I am SOooo glad!
I would go into A FIB or Atrial Tach, usually the Tach, pulse would jump to 250-260 range, meds were Flecainide 150mg2X, and atenolol 37.5mg1X daily.
I haven't taken meds since 9-6-03 And haven't had any symptoms other than ocassional(3-5 per day) PACs or flutters, not sure, don't care. The main thing is, no tach and no meds!
Have wondered if some of what Hanstar said isn't valid. Could it be that whatever these flutters are are what triggered the tach symptoms? My wife also has flutters or skipped beats, I've heard them, when she's had too much cafine or chocolate so I think they must be relativly common, but as was mentioned, we're tuned into the 'feel' of the 'trigger'. What is new to me is the sensation of a pounding heart due to stress,ie.public speaking. I used to negotiate for Unions and heart would stay smooth as silk when emotions ramped up, I don't think that would happen now. I think this is normal too. Good luck. Enjoy & Keep the Faith.
It's extremely common to have a new set of "arrhythmias" after an ablation, for at least two reasons: chances are that not all the active foci were ablated (or isolated), so now you will feel skips that were much less apparent before, and of course, for a while after an ablation, the irriation due to the procedure will cause some of these to occur.
Be patient. Be thankful that the main cause of real concern appears to have been eradicated. Tissue injury normally heals up completely within 1-2 weeks, some nervous tissue irritation may persist longer (and this does cause premature depolarizations to occur).
You have been reconstructed. The electrical pathways existent in your heart muscle have undergone a minor alteration (for the good). Your new self needs to settle down and just relax. I used to get afib with exercise. Now I get an occassional "what was that?" that lasts a few seconds, now and then...I don't worry about it. Worry is a killer. It robs you of your life. You used to have something to worry about. You don't anymore.
Thank you both so much! It's as though a button is pushed when I feel a palpitation that causes me to worry and think -- UH-OH! They didn't get the REAL bad stuff... UH-OH.. will I get a bad ventricular arrhythmia..
I know it is NUTSO.. I need to remind myself that, for heaven's sake, my electrical system of my heart has been checked out for " bad" arrhythmias as well as "fixed" for the a-tach.
I think I've been so self-protective for so long --- knowing there was a glitch in my heart and having no one, for many years, LISTEN to me and believe me until I finally got a good doc who put me on event monitors and cared...
yes...i had never felt any skipped beats before i got the ablation. i guess i really dont regret the ablation because before i would get tachy episodes with 200-250 bpm that lasted 5-12 hours. i have had this since i was about 8 and no one ever thought it was anything bad until they caught it on an ekg when i was pregnant. After i had my son i had another episode so i went to the ER, there they gave me adenosin and i went into atrial fibrillation for about 8 hours, the doctor decided to cardiovert me. As i was signing papers to let them cardiovert me with the paddles i got so scared my heart went to 300bpms and then it converted on its own. (thank god) after that day i decided i would go for the ablation. i was in the lab for over 6 hours and they ablated from both chambers....i think they ended up finding 3 xtra pathways.
Soooo down.. was just thinking, well, I'd only had two skipped beats and that things, post-ablation, seemed to be getting better. Then, for no reason, I was standing in the hall and it felt like my heart was beating fast and irregularly for several seconds. this has not happened since the ablation. I am just so depressed... hoping this will not mean the tachycardia is coming back! It only lasted for maybe 3 or 4 seconds but it scared me so much.
Hang on in there Lynn, my cardiologist told me that palpitations would increase for about a month after the ablation. Has a month passed yet? Once the burn settles down hopefully so will your heart.
Best Wishes, Linda
THANKS, Linda.. every little bit of encouragement just means the world to me right now. I am exactly one week and 3 days post-ablation.
Did you feel any flutters or just hard heartbeats or what after your procedure? I have definitely had fewer the past couple of days -- i was so encouraged until the "fluttery" episode!
Thanks, Hank. I suspect you are partially right. They did, I hope and pray, get the arrhythmia that left me momentarily feeling weak and just plain awful. By wearing the event monitor for 2 months, I was able to correlate those episodes with bursts of the atrial tach -- very fast atrial runs -- so that should have been taken care of with the ablation.
I haven't experienced that particular feeling since the ablation UNTIL today -- although it wasn't exactly like what I felt before, more a flutter.
So you are probably right that I am having and will always have some pvcs and pacs. I just want to believe the ablation WORKED on the fast beats..
and I want to believe, as several people and the docs have said, that the other irregular beats will calm down -- even if they won't ever go away - eventually.
Lynn, I haven't had my ablation yet (am waiting) but my cardiologist did tell me when I saw him that palpitations would increase for about a month after having an ablation.
Flutters are so distressing - I simply can't stand them which is why I'm opting for an ablation.
Keep us posted on your progress.
Best Wishes, Linda
THANKS so much for posting. I can't say my palpitations have increased these past almost three weeks ( in 2 days) since my ablation. I'm certainly having fewer than I was pre ablation . But I've had several today, including some "flutters" and two thumps right together -- and I immediately felt SO WORRIED.
My docs ( cardiogist nor the EP) talked to me at all about more palps after the ablation until I called the EP and he did say that was to be expected for a while. Still, I think I've worried so much about the palpitations that it is hard not to. I want them to GO AWAY! and i want to believe the fast heartbeats have been "cured"...
I can say, Linda, that the ablation itself, the procedure , was a total piece of cake and easier than most dental procedures. So don't be afraid and GOOD LUCK!
Hello..I am new to this forum but just read all of your posts. I am now very confused. I am scheduled for an EP study and possible ablation at the end of the month. My confusion comes from the follow: I experience fast heart beats after I go to sleep at night. They wake me with a vengence. A year and a half ago my cardio put me on Verapamil for the above. The Verapamil pretty much took care of those episodes. What is going on with me now is the following: Last Thursday my heart started to beat irregularly but not fast. I am now in and have been in this irregularly beat pretty much 24/7. From time to time it converts to a regular rhythm but dosn't last very long. My heart feels like it flutters sometimes or like I'm having extra beats or early beats. This goes on all day and all night. It is these beats that I was hopeful that the ablation would eliminate as well as the fast beats. What does seem to help these funny beats is an extra Verapamil (fast acting) as my regular Verapamil is a slow release type. I was so discouraged when I read all of your posts about pvc's and pac's going on with you guys after your ablation especially when I was hoping that is what will help mine. I did go to the ER last Thursday and they ran a strip and said I was having PAT's and were not life-threatning. However, I sure do not think I could stand to have these all day long for the rest of my life. Also, whoever says that these are not upsetting is wrong. It is pretty hard to not think about it when you can feel them constantly. I do not have any underlying heart problems. Any input would be appreciated.
If you are scheduled for an EP study and possible ablation, then surely your cardiologist thinks it's worth doing -- consider yourself lucky that you got referred to an EP doc! Be excited that maybe you'll get "fixed" and at the very least you'll get a more definitive idea about what on earth is making your heart beat irregularly and whether it could possible ever be dangerous.
I'm not suggesting an EP study/ablation is "nothing". It is invasive. But from everything I've read and everything I experienced, it's very, very safe in the hands of experienced EP folks. And while I'm still having some heart palpitations and, yes, I'm upset about it, I'm STILL glad i had it done. i feel that after all the years of worrying about my heart, finally I was taken seriously and the electrical system of my heart was studied and at least one area "zapped" that was causes spurts of very rapid beats that, if they had ever gotten going instead of just coming in "spurts" could have caused me a lot more trouble.
No one can tell you what to do -- except yourself. listen to your doc . But don't let fear keep you from having the EP study. It truly is not painful or scary at all.
Thanks for your comments Lynn. I am anxious to have this EP study as I am so tired of these heart rhythm problems. I also am hopeful that at least one of the problems can be fixed (the rapid beats) as the EP doc pretty much assured me he could fix that one. This other problem thats been going on now since last Thursday is really kinda scarry. The ER told me it was pac's, but also suggested an EP study would be a good idea. It is just that I have not been able to find any posts where an ablation can fix that kind of a irregular beat. If it wasn't all the time I would not worry so much. The thing is I am having this possible ablation so that I can go off of meds and now they have me on the same meds for this new heartbeat that has showed up. Have you seen any posts about possible ablation for pac's 24/7? Thanks again and have a great day!
The rf ablation procedures are applicable to a wide selection of arrhythmias, and typically, atrially-spawned ones are the easiest to ablate. You sound like you are experiencing an atrial tachycardia that comes and goes (PAT) and PACs which are essentially close cousins, ie, they both stem from foci active in the atrial regions. My understanding is that rf ablation is fairly successful in knocking out PAT, and with some luck most of your PACs. Having PACs alone is not considered a serious enough condition for ablation.
Good luck with your EP study. I am sure it will reveal the source of your problems and provide you with a potential solution.
And don't be concerned about the PACs...they are a common background noise. If you really pay attention to them, they'll take over your life.
Thanks so much for your post. It made me feel a lot better. My heart has calmed down some since last night so I am feeling much better. And you certainly are correct about this taking over one's life. I have been keeping myself as busy as I possible can. I am also facing surgery for my neck but the neurosurgeon will not do it until my EP study. My neck problem is giving me a lot of pain again. I cannot take strong anti-inflammatory drugs so I am stuck with this horrible pain, tingling, and numbness that runs down my arm until the EP study which is not until the 30th of October. I also had to have gallbladder surgery three weeks ago so I am sure all of the above is not helping my anxiety level. Once again, thanks for your input. I really appreciated hearing from you guys.
I saw a EP the other day and he feels I need a EP study and tilt table test. I'm concerned cause my heart rate with toprol xl 25 mg is about 104 sometimes with palpitations. This has been going on for 5 months where I wake up from deep sleep. Recently ,my anticardiolipid IGG came back high at 26 and I also have LUPUS, so needless to say I'm quite concerned of doing any kind of invasive procedure. Doctor do you have recommendations?
I just had my catheter ablation done on Sept 23rd. I have been experiencing my heart racing here and their and some irregular heart beats. This seems to be a normal thing for up to six weeks or so. Has anyone ever experienced tightness in the chest or pain that lasts for awhile? I was wondering if this was normal also?
What did you get ablated for? Was it for afib or an extra pathway? Would be very interested in hearing your experience. I have not been ablated yet but have read many posts and it sounds like your after effects are normal.
I am 19 now and when I was growing up I randomly had spurts of rapid heart beats. I really didn't think much of it as it would go away within a minute usually. It was usually after exercising heavenly in gym class sometimes.When I was 16 (2000), I was watching Judge Judy and eatting smart food popcorn, when a palpitation started.(4pm est) I figured it would just go away within a minute so I kind of blew it off. An hour later it was still going on and still I disregarded it. (hoping it would go away). About an hour after this it was still going on, very fast. I remember pumping gas into my car and almost blacking out, I knew something was up.
I drove home and told my dad what was going on. He felt my chest and could clearly tell that I had a very fast heart beat. He rushed me to the ER, and they started feeding me with various IV lines, and medications to slow down my heart. My heart rate was between 300-400 bpm at this time, and I remember having a real blur going on laying in the hospital bed. None of the medications that they were pumping into me would slow down my heart any. I remember glancing at the clock in the room and noticed it was 7:35 pm, then it started to get real blurry and I blacked out. Well, I actually had a sudden death situation and they of course quickly used a defibrillator on me and woke me up.
I remember waking up and feeling great. It was like I had slept for 12 hours or something and I felt fully rested. The docters pretty much diagnosed me at the hospital that I had a WPW situation. They put me a plane and flew me 150 miles south to a bigger hospital that had a cardiac care unit. The doctor I had in this hospital recommended that I had an ablation done. So I did, and it went well. Its been 3 years now, and I havent had any similar palpatations from it. I have noticed recently a few arrythmias sometimes during the day. I am planning on revisiting the doctor that did the ablation to have some more tests done to see what could be causing these..
Hi everyone! Remember me? I posted a while back about SVT and I was going to get an ablation, well I did it!!! It turns out I had a left-access pathway, so after they went up and checked inside on the right side, through my leg vein, they had to go up through my artery in my left leg and they successfully ablated it (we hope!) For me it was a 7 hour procedure, my heart was SO sensitive, as soon as the first cath reached my heart, it set off an SVT episode, which they can stop instantly. However, it was a problem because of my sensitivity, every time they would try to position a sensor cath in there, it would trigger the arrhythmia. They didn't want it yet!
So 5 hours into the procedure, they had to sedate me fully but that was a problem, because then they couldn't get the SVT to happen when they were ready. Finally, they did and they got it. I woke up feeling tired, but absolutely better than I have since I was 12. I am 38 now. The past few years I had so many episodes of tach, the long ones up in the 245 range, and the others were sporadic sudden ones that would happen every time I would stretch, bend over, lay on my left side and even hiccup (explains the sensitivity they experienced in there!) I found I ignored much of my symptoms except the 245 runs, and now I am amazed how I feel! I do have some PVC's, but they don't bother me at all. I am used to them anyway. I had to stay in the hospital overnight since they went to the left side, and they gave me some blood thinners, but I felt fine. I had my procedure done at Stanford Univerity Hospital in Palo Alto, CA.
I just hope it is gone for good, HOWEVER, if I have to go in again, I will NOT worry one bit. I was absolutely terrified before I went, and I didn't believe what anyone told me, I thought I would be different and have problems. But I didn't have any discomfort at all, it was easy and they keep you relaxed with some really good drugs. I am hypersensitive to medications, and these meds didn't make me feel bad in any way whatsoever! I highly recommend this, it is a very safe procedure and you will not believe how wonderful and free you feel upon success!
Thanks for all of your support, you guys gave me the guts to do it! Thanks Lynn!!!!
CONGRATS!! I am sooo happy for you! I hate to be an I-told-you-so but I told you so! The ablation itself, for most of us, is a piece of proverbial cake.
I'm about 2 months post-ablation and have had some flurries of fast and irregular beats. i'm trying not to worry but I'm very depressed about it, at least when it's going on. I can say that , most days, the palps are far, far fewer than pre-ablation.
I was interested in what you said about lying on your side, hiccuping, etc. whatever bringing on the fast beats and/or pvcs. it is so weird.. I am still getting palps frequently with arm movements -- rapidly brushing my hair, gently moving my arms over my head doing yoga ( here I was totally relaxed in yoga class and every time I lifted my arms over my head.. bam skip bambam..)
This is one weird and annoying affliction to have. I just want to believe anything dangerous would have been found in the ep study.
again.. CONGRATULATIONS and please keep me posted on your progreess.
Thanks so much. I am just curious, when they were in there did they check for a left access pathway? Or did they find everything on the right side. What you are describing about putting your arms over your head, brushing your hair and such is exactly what part of my problem was. I would get these rushes of fast beats. My big problem was SVT with long runs at 245 bpm, but I also had the shorter episodes ALL the time. This seems to have cleared them up though once in a while I get a flutter that I am sure is normal. If I were you I would talk to them about this, and maybe they can do a holter where you can do all the things that bring it on for them to see. Maybe there is still something there, and since this is a piece of cake if you had to go through it again, it might be worth it!
I hope it settles down for you and goes away. I am sorry you are still having problems. The EP doctors told me the chances of a bad arrhythmia happening are very, very slim and that most that occur post ablation are just another benign one, (still irritating of course!)
I am so glad I had it done. I am still waiting to see if I have another episode. I just can't believe I won't. We will see, but either way if I do, I won't worry this time.
1) what kind of arrhthmia problem you have: SVT with episodes that would last for hours at 245 bpm plus shorter runs of that all the time when I would sleep on my left side, or make certain movements. Also, tons of PVC'S everyday. They found a left access pathway (on the left side of my heart) that was ablated.
2) where you had your catheter ablation done: Stanford University Hospital - Palo Alto California
3) who performed it and: Dr. Amin Al-Amad and Dr. Scott Lee
4) (as of today) how well you think it took care of your problem: I am only 2.5 weeks post ablation, and I feel excellent! Better than I have EVER felt before!! Really, this was so worth it and I would do it again in a heartbeat! ;-)
If you are debating whether to do this, and your doctors think you should, I would advise you to do it. It is really an easy procedure, and it might change your life. It has already changed mine. I felt absolutely fine afterwards, no pain only tired from the meds. I didn't feel like they did anything to me, it was amazing. I felt better right away and my heart was amazingly quiet for the first time since I was a kid.
My advice is to find an excellent electrophysiologist with lots of experience and training. From what I hear, these docs here are some of the best in the world, as well as the ones who did mine at stanford.
FYI: I'm a 60 year old female who began having significant arrhythmia episodes in the year 2000. The EP I've been seeing diagnosed me as having SVT. At first we tried different medicines, but met with temporary or limited success. After reviewing the tracings from a recent hospital stay (due to one of these episodes) and the tracings from a Holter monitor I wore for 24 hours after being discharged,the EP suggested a catheter ablation.
My husband and I have tried to get as much information as we can about this procedure. A lot of it has been found on the Internet. During one of his Internet searches, my husband decided to subscribe to the newletter that's connected with this forum. This led to reading the message board postings about arrhythmias and catheter ablations. As a result, I've been wondering why some people have had successful outcomes from the ablation, while others may not have been so sucessful.
Right now, it seems like "success" is probably due --in part -- to the skill level of those who perform the procedure. Another factor may be having it done in a place where they routinely perform ablations and therefore have the best equipment and care available. So, I posted the message asking for information about docs and "centers" from those who have had ablations done.
I'm pleased that you took the time to send your reply. Now, if you're willing to do so, could you tell me:
1) Which medicines you were taking before your ablation.
2) Are you taking any medicine now that it's been done?
3) How long did your doc say it would be before you're allowed to resume usual daily activities (like driving, going up and down stairs, doing laundry, etc)?
Hi Lynn. I am very interested in what you've had to say so far. I am in my 9th week post ablation and feel that your description of your experience is very similar to mine. I was getting skips and flutters everyday and some alomst felt like palpatations, but now I believe they may have been more than one PVC in a row. I also have been sensitive to body position, particularly laying down and crouching, but not limited to that. Valerie's mention of it depending on which side she was laying on or raising an arm also rang a bell.
Lately I have been a bit better. I still get random skips, but they are not as predictable. Sometimes when I bend down I will get one, but otherwise there doesn't seem to be much of a pattern. The other thing I'm feeling since the ablation, and not before, is a bizarre feeling in my chest. It almost feels as if my heart might skip, but doesn't, and it's usually accompanied but an accute sensitivity to my hearts rhythm. The sensitivity is depedent on body postion and can last for quite some time. Does this sound familiar? I would really like to hear how you're doing now and if your symptoms are getting better. I sincerely hope they are.
>I also have been sensitive to body position, particularly laying down and crouching, but not limited to that. Valerie's mention of it depending on which side she was laying on or raising an arm also rang a bell.<<
Yeah .. this has happened before and after the ablation . I can reach for something and get a palpitation, or look over my shoulder. I would say, oh, that's a coincidence but when it happens over and over it isn't. Before the ablation, i was doing yoga one night and slowly lifting my arms from the floor over my head while lying on the floor, calm, relaxed. EVERY TIME i raised my arms at a certain point -- whammo, irregular heart beats, over and over and oer.
>>The other thing I'm feeling since the ablation, and not before, is a bizarre feeling in my chest. It almost feels as if my heart might skip, but doesn't, and it's usually accompanied but an accute sensitivity to my hearts rhythm. The sensitivity is depedent on body postion and can last for quite some time. Does this sound familiar? << sort of although i'm not sure it is related to body position. I can feel like my heart is "weird", even without an apparent palp..
>>I would really like to hear how you're doing now and if your symptoms are getting better. <<
I've had maybe 4 or 5 episodes today.. same yesterday. The night before I woke up with my heart beating fast and irregular some for 20 to 30 seconds.. have been majorly depressed abou that. I really managed to convince myself the ablation would "fix" me.. i don't know what's going on now. trying to believe it is just pacs and pvcs that will get better.. very, very depressed
High my son had the ablation done for wpw. It has been a couple months since he had it, now it seems that if he does anything active he said his heart pounds, but beats real slow. He is very worried. He just had his appointment, the dr. did an ekg, and said it was normal. Has this happened to anyone that writes in. I read all of what everyone wrote, before my son had his ablation, it really helped him, not be so scared. He was petrified. Now that it's over he said the anxiety before hand was worse than the operation. I am glad that there are sites like this to go to. Thanks Rose
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