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SVT Ablation worth it?

I have a scheduled ablation this Friday. I was diagnosed with SVT and I didn't even know I had it. I get a lot of palpitations and I am currently on 25mg of beta blocker x2 a day. I want to know if the ablation is worth it. Will it get rid of my palpitations? The alternative is to go on 50mg x2 a day. I don't know if I want to be on that much beta blocker at such a young age (23). I think I had an SVT once and that was a year ago playing basketball, I came down from a shot and landed hard and my heart started beating fast and weird and I couldn't control it. The symptom went away in about 10 seconds. What does everyone think?
92 Responses
1423357 tn?1511089042
Ablation changed my life.  I've had nearly a lifetime of SVT until last November when I finally decided to have it done.  It was the best thing I ever willingly chose to do outside of marrying my high school prom date 38 years ago!  I too would get episodes from landing hard which created a jarring vibration.  I use to get them from lots of other stimulus too.  I sisn't say how long you've had it, but to be free of it is truely life altering.  I gave my EP an man hug when I saw him for a followup, and he was kind of bewildered, as he didn't fully grasp how he changed my life.  I can't tell you what I missed out on, or what I could have potentially accomplished if I had had this done (or if they had the technology) 40 years ago.

My experience with a beta blocker (Metoprolol) found it did squat to prevent them.  It did make then easier to convert.  I got 3-5 episodes per month.

Will it be successful?  Well that depends a lot on what kind of SVT it is, and where it's exactly located.  But the odds are in your favor.

Stick around and let us know how you make out.  It's a piece of cake, very little pain, and you're up and around the next day.  If you can get a sedative of anesthesia (as I did) during the procedure, it's even easier.  Good luck!
1423357 tn?1511089042
Sorry for the typos!  I'm typing as well as working.  The inability to edit the post afterwards is maddening!!

"You didn't say how long you've had it......"
Avatar universal
Thanks for posting your experience. I was diagnosed with SVT about three weeks ago. I have been battling heart palpitations since graduating college which is about 3 years ago. I rarely have SVT attacks. I have only had one that I can remember. I have more palpitations now than any SVT attack. I'm glad your ablation went well. Do you get any palpitations still?
1423357 tn?1511089042
I was getting clusters of PVC's (skips) and an occasional short run of SVT which would drop out after 5 or 6 beats.  But the PVC's have been gone for about 2 weeks, and I'm back running and skating, something I would have done with any commitment before.  I was a lot better up until my 40's when it started to get really bad.  Now, I'm even thinking of skating in an age bracket for old men of my age called "Grand Master" which is a nice term for "really old geezers".  I can already tell though that I've still got it.  Maybe a little slower than days of old, but it's still there. Just have to coax it out now....
Avatar universal
That is great! This procedure looks very promising!
1398166 tn?1358874123
At a cost of $80-100,000... is it worth it?  That's the actuarial question of the day - BINGO!

At age 25 (just guessing) - if you promise to take care of you heart otherwise (eat well, don't smoke, exercise, watch your weight, etc...) yeah it's worth it.

Good luck. Do you know what the max out of pocket is for your insurance plan? If not, call and find out... that's how much cash you need on hand.
Avatar universal
Its only a max of a 150$ copay for me.
Avatar universal
Not to be a wet blanket but if I had this decision to make I would first try every non-invasive procedure and medication before irreversibly damaging my heart.  Yes there are success stories but on the other hand there are horror stories and there is NO going back following an ablation. 25mg 2x/day of beta blocker is not that much, some folks are on much more and in addition are also taking calcium channel blockers.  I agree it is a young age but think of all the years to come if it doesn't work out.  That's my two cents on the subject.  
Overly pessimistic view as the success rate for ablation is 95-98%. Lack of success also does not mean ;damage; but may just mean it hasn;t worked. There is only a 1% risk of typical minor operational procedures (infection, bleeding etc.).
Avatar universal
I would have to go on 50mg of beta blocker x2 a day if I decide to opt out of the procedure. I don't want to be on that much beta blocker my entire life. How will that effect me?
Avatar universal
I am on 150mg/day of beta blocker and I am fine...over a year so far.  At least you can give it a try.  Remember irreversible is forever, with medication you can try out different ones to find the best one that works.  
Avatar universal
How about a second opinion?  Remember it is no big deal for the doctor if it doesn't work.
Avatar universal
I had an ablation nearly 7 weeks ago for SVT - it turned out to be AVNRT.  I had lived with SVT for a very long time, started out as a mild case when I was 13, grew progressively worse over the years, requiring beta blockers for the last 10 years.  I had experienced unpleasant side effects from the beta blockers, although not everyone does.

My ablation went very well - after the first couple of weeks, I no longer had any PVCs or SVT and am enjoying living a normal life and being off the medication.  My only regret was not having the ablation done 10 years ago - my primary care physician was totally against it and would not give me a referral to a cardiologist or an EP.  I decided to take matters into my own hands when the beta blockers stopped working in early March and I ended up in the ambulance getting adenosine for a bad SVT event.  I made up my mind that SVT had to go.  I have to say that one of the best decisions I ever made was getting the ablation.  

Each case is different.  Learn all you can about ablations and choose your EP very carefully.  

Good luck to you!
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