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Avatar universal

Catheter Ablation

I had my third ablation in February for recurring Atrial Fibrillation, since then my condition has worsen, to where I have had a incident of fibrillation once per week in the last 2 months.  The medication I have taking is Norpace, which has become ineffective, so that I require Cardio conversation to return to normal Rhythm.  My choice of a different drug are limited due to a natural low heart rate in the 50-60/minute. without a pacemaker.  So my choice is a 4th ablation or installation of a pacemaker along with a new drug to better control my incidents of fibrillation. My second ablation was very successful in that I was incident free for two years with no drugs. Also due to increase age 74 the condition of my left atrium has continued to deteriorated.  So the question is there sufficient benefit to try a 4th ablation and if I do, what drug do I use after the ablation to control the irritation.
10 Responses
Avatar universal
I would go for another ablation or look into something like the mini maze. Just curious, where did you have your ablations done? You live in the next town from me. I had my one and only ablation for a-fib and flutter in January 08. So far so good. I've been NSR ever since. Good Luck on you journey to NSR. Wishing you well, and wishing you enough...  Jan
612551 tn?1450025775
Like twinbee I wonder where you had the ablation done, she didn't mention where her's was done either.  My interest in that detail is because I too am living in NJ, Flemington area.

I had open heart surgery done at the Doylestown Heart Institute in PA in November 2007. That was to repair a mitral valve, and as I also suffer from AFib they did a mini-maze while I was open.  The maze didn't help, I returned to AFib 30 days after surgery.  

I guess many who suffer from AFib really suffer.  In my case the doctors say they do not recommend an ablation for me as my symptoms are too mild to take the risk.

Avatar universal
I had my ablation done at  Univ of Penn.
Avatar universal
I had all my ablations at Univ of Penn in Phildelphia, by Dr F. Marchlinski.  I had been on Norpace but just changed to Sotalol.  Any experience with the Sotalol ???  .  Also has anyone had any experience or comments on the department at Cleveland Clinic, They are rated #1 in the country.  Leoanrd834
Avatar universal
I had all my ablations at Univ of Penn in Phildelphia, by Dr F. Marchlinski.  I had been on Norpace but just changed to Sotalol.  Any experience with the Sotalol ???  .  Also has anyone had any experience or comments on the department at Cleveland Clinic, They are rated #1 in the country.  Leonard834
Avatar universal
I was on Sotalol for awhile and then I was on Sotalol and Cardizem. It worked okay for me for alittle while. I had no side effects except for alittle fatigue. Cleveland Clinic is good, but I personally do not consider them #1 anymore(for ablations that is). Dr Natale no longer practices there. He is now in Austin, Texas and San Fran, Califormia. So if you want the best, you need to travel to TX or CA.
Avatar universal
Where did you get the information about Dr. Natale ?  I have been checking for good
ablation surgeons in the local and NYC area.  Any Ideas or sources of information.  You seem to be have done alot of research. Did you use Dr. Marchlinski team? . Also  if you don't mind me asking who is your Cardiologist ?  Mine is Dr. Beauregard.  I am really looking for all the ideas I can, since I am back in fibrillation again with the new drug of Sotalol
Avatar universal
Small world! Yes I did use Marchlinski team at Univ of Penn. However, my outcome was much better than yours. So far I've had a very successful ablation for both my a-fib and a-flutter. And, I also see Dr. Beauregard. I love her. My ablation was in January 08, however I was told in 2006 I needed an ablation because my a-fib was a very rapid a-fib and it kept breaking thru the meds. I also had a very severe reaction to Rythmol, so I was running out of options. So I did do alot of research between 2006-2008. Dr. Natale is considered the best in the US and one of the best in the world. Check out the web site afibbers.org or afibsupport@yahoogroups. In NY there is a Dr. Larry Chinitz at NYU. He is considered a good EP.
612551 tn?1450025775
I've never had an ablation but I did have open heart surgery to repair a mitral valve and a mini maze at Doylsdown Heart Institute.  My surgeon was Dr Aturi, very good...but not a ablation doctor I assume.

What is it about AFib you can't "live with"?  My doctors say that getting me back into NSR does not improve my prospects of longevity, and as my symptoms form persistent AFib are mild other than some tiredness and the inability to return to running, which I did up to April 2007.  I had surgery in November 2007.
Avatar universal
Hi, Leonard834

You questioned the validity of having a 4th ablation or having a pacer implanted... I have had both.  The pacer was implanted between the second and third ablation.  The fourth ablation took out the AV node so that I am now paced 100%.  I do not really feel the AFib anymore nor do I take meds.  If my heart rate is under 80 bpm, I generally do not feel AFib events.  That is wonderful.  I do have to have my pacer interrogated a bit more often but that is an easy appointment. I love being off the drugs.  All in all, the fourth ablation was a good move for me.  I wish you well in your decision.

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