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what to do with my AF

I am 74 and in good health except for my AF which began seriously about 6 years ago.  By now, it occurs every 5-10 days and its last between 24 to 36 hours, typically.  I can tolerate my AF but I am concerned about the risk of having a stroke (due to clot migrating from the atria to the brain).  I am taking 100mg of Cartia aspirin but I have avoided taking anything else (such as Warfarin, Dronedarone, etc) because of possible adverse side effects.  I have also examined the possibility of an ablation procedure but consider a success rate of 75% too low.  

I would like have an assessment of my condition and suggestion as to what I should do next.  I am open to any rebuttal of my observations on the treatment options I have looked at thus far.

Thank you.

1 Responses
612551 tn?1450025775
COMMUNITY LEADER
I am 71 and have been in permanent AF since December 2007.  My symptoms are minimal unless I want to exert myself physically, e.g., walk up hills, ride my bike fast or on hilly terrain or jog.  I did all of those things before the permanent AF.  In normal walking around and doing light chores (yard and house) I am mostly fine.

I take a beta blocker and a calcium channel blocker to lower my (ventricle) heart rate and I take 5 mg of Warfarin and a half 325 mg aspirin a day to reduce blood clot risks.  Both my long time cardiologist and the consulting EP do not recommend an ablation; they believe my risk/benefit results are too high....risk too high for the possible benefits, and assumed % of successful results.    Of course they are making a "benefit" evaluation form the third-party perspective. I am inclined to think that the low Medicare payment rates make the procedure less attractive to the surgeon (EP) as well.  If they are that busy ablating people who pay higher rates and/or have a lot worse symptoms it may be a reasonable decision.  I think it is going to get a lot worse in the USA (especially at advanced age) going forward.  Said another way, in a few years you may not have a choice unless you are willing to pay out-of-pocket the "full rate"... just my reading on where his country is headed.  
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