Hi Pete....that was pretty great reading thank you....so am i right to assume that this was a Wolfe Minimaze procedure because of the burning? I do not understand one thing tho.....why does it take a week or so to basically get back on your feet after this procedure? I know with the catheter ablation we were up and around the same day and alot of people go back to work the following day...i know i popped back within a day....is it because of the surgical incisions or the way the procedure is done on the heart? The other question that i guess i have is why so many medications? You said the doc has you on i believe 4 or 5 different meds for an unforseeable length of time...i am just wondering why...i know with the cath ablation no meds are dispensed after the procedure unless we have some rough spots after...and the other question i guess i have is is burning the heart the normal procedure because i know in a cath. ablation the doctors choice of way to go is RF or freezing and am wondering if the incisions that the doc physically puts into the heart has anything to do with the choice to burn. I am so hoping that this procedure will be a success for you Pete....to me no one deserves it more with everything that you went thru...thanks for the education tho......and what the heck happened to Angel_001 she was your biggest cheerleader in your having the maze procedure done.......stay well Pete and go get em..........
I'm so glad to hear that your procedure was a success. I have a question too. From your research, and from your conversations with the doctor, is there more long term success with the five box procedure than with the typical catheter ablation? Also, how do the risks with each procedure compare? I'm sure your doctor discussed those risks with you. I know there are risks with any medical procedure, but I wondered if there were fewer risks with the five box.
Again, glad things went so well for you!
Great summery and very educational! I have a question too: have you experienced any intercostal pain from your incision sites?? I ve heard some patients who have had thoracoscopic surgery via intercostals (thoracotomy) its very painful. I was surprised to see that you had 10 small incision sites. Are they very big or noticable??? My friend who had it done several years ago had 3 on the right and 4 on the left just under her arm pits and you cant even notice them. As far as the BM concerns.......I hear you there! I stayed on an over the counter stool softner and laxitive for 3 mo. after my second child this summer and soo glad I did since the recovery process has been tough. If you are having any thorasic discomfort - taking a OTC wouldnt be a bad idea - it will keep you regular and subside any straining you might have with BM's (esp post anesthesia constipation). You mentioned that you got to talk so some other past patients who had the surgery....what were the pro's/con's that you took away from talking with them???
No hurry on any responses.......get some rest!
Keeping you in our thoughts....
I'll try to answer all the questions you all asked.
The 5 box is more invasive( incessions, anesthetic,) than the catheter ablation, less than the cox minimaze, so it is more painful and takes longer to heal. I chose it over catheter because it has a better " cure rate" for the persistant afib I had than the catheter ablation and ultimately cheaper since I would have in all likelyhood had the catheter at least twice, according to statistics. It is taking me a week to get back because it is surgery. They have cut several areas of my chest to insert the scopes into my body to do the procedure. Combine that with the anesthtic and new meds and it knocks you for a loop, temporarily.
I am on the meds, warifin, beta blocker, diuretic to handle some of the post operative issues, fluids and the help the heart regulate rate and rhythum while it heals. It is going to take some time for my heart to function normally. So during the healing process the meds just make it easier. Cindy, I know 2 people that had catheter ablation that took all of the meds I'm taking now afterward for the same reasons I am taking them. I believe it's just a way to help things along. Also my doctor made the statement about " burning" the heart during this procedure. I'm going to ask him about that, because I think also the freezing is a method of choice these days. I'll let you know what I find out about that.
Annie--The risk comparisons between the 5 box and catheter are answered at ohioafib.com. But my search showed a lower risk, stroke, bleeding and higher success rate with the 5 box. Check it out though.
Angel--I have not felt a lot of pain from the incesion sites yet. Actually the doctor explained and I'm paraphrasing, he actually freezes the incision areas that will paralyze the area for about a month. That way you feel very little pain during the healing process. I couldn't explain it in detail but so far not a lot of pain. I didn't talk to other who have had the 5 box done. I only talked to others that had been under anesthetic for other surgerys. They said they didn't experience what I had. I am also curious why I have the incision across my chest.
Well, I'm still in the healing process, I do have some tightness in my chest which I'm going to ask the doctor about today, I e-mail him daily. He wants to keep updated on my progress. I did take all the bandages off yesterday and Angel, right now, it looks like someone attacked me with numbchucks that had razor blades on the end of them. But I think in the long run there won't be any real noticable scarring. For the most part I'm doing ok. I am an impatient guy and want to be back to 100% now. I'm trying to accept the fact it's going to take some time.
You all have a great day and let me know if you need anything else. This is actually helping me so I appreciate the concern.
Its good to see you still have your sense of humor....numbchucks..lol.
Thanks for the update! Take it easy and keep thinking about that back-swing :)
That's me, mr humor! At this stage it is good to keep a sense of humor. I'm stuck at home recouperating and not really able to do a lot. I want it to be 2 weeks from now i.e. Afib gone and able to do my workouts again!
Well everybody I have told you guys about the positive side of the procedure so far, I week today. Let me tell you about whats been going on the last couple of days.
I am feeling up and down physically. Yesterday I woke up feeling great, for about 1/2 hr. I then felt kinda weak so I sat down. I continued to sit for the next 7 hours. Weak, dizzy and generally felt pretty crappy. In the afternoon my heart jumped up to 108 bpm and has stayed there to this minute. My face is ashn and I am foggy headed.
I'm hoping for an improvement later since my daughter will be home from school later today.
Have you contacted Dr. Sirak or his office to see if what you are experiencing is a normal part of recovery? I think it's worth a phone call just to be sure.
Unfortunately you are a long way from your doctor, so I'm sure you want to catch any potential problem early.
And maybe it's all to be expected, considering everything you went through! But no matter what's wrong with me, I always feel a little better once I hear that my symptoms (whatever they are!) are normal.
Yes I have been in touch with Dr Sirak. He has changed my rythum med to see about getting my heart back to NSR, so far it hasn't worked.
It's 6:52am and I'm feeling a little better so far. Although I'm back in afib the tighness in my chest( apracarditis) I believe is what it's called, isn't as harsh as it was yesterday, so far.
I am so sorry to hear that you are back in afib. I'm sure you must be very upset and disappointed.
Did Dr. Sirak say that this can be expected after the procedure? Because I've read so many postings on this site from people who have had catheter ablations for afib and apparently it is quite common to still have episodes of afib after that procecure. I guess the heart is just so irritated and swollen that it needs time to heal before everything calms down. I've read several postings from people who needed stronger meds or even a cardioversion to set things straight after the ablation. Hopefully your heart will stop being so stubborn and will settle down for you soon!
I'm sure you're also disappointed to be feeling poorly when your daughter is home from school, but this gives her the chance to take care of dear old dad! I'm sure she won't mind and will be glad she is there for you. It will be nice to have someone with you....it's always worse to stew about these things by ourselves! Try to have a nice visit and hopefully it will take your mind off of your stubborn heart!
Hey there, Pete. I can just about say I know how you feel! Had mine Wed morn and juast got oyut of the hospital 2 hrs ago. Have had major shortness of breath and was given lassix. Had chest tightness but today, the 4th day, getting a little better. I've only had 12 hrs of NSR so far but I'm like you...wish it were 2 wks from now. Sounds like we're experiencing a lot of the same. The worst for me is not feeling like I can take good breaths. Just wanted to say, Pete, I'm right there with ya!
Well I think you are progressing faster/better than me. I'm still out of rythum at 108 bpm. Been out for about 4-5 days now. I'm finally starting to feel better just from the fact of the chest tightness has subsided some, not completely but some. I'm really back where I was before all this sh-- happened, except my rythum is actually faster than it was before.
Hope you continue on the road to better health Linda.