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I recently found out I have AFIB. Never really experienced it before and dont know anyone who has had a procedure done. I am in my 40's and concerned about getting the procedure done. Can someone please contact me regarding the AFIB procedure. Even though the DR explained it to me, I am not sold on having the procedure. HELP FROM ANYONE PLEASE. YOU GUYS CAN EMAIL AT KARAGIOSIAN@YAHOO.COM or call 818-307-8942. Thanks
Spencer, January 7, 2019 7:25pm EST
KARAGIOSIAN - No worries. We have all approached this disease differently and all of us had concerns. My first surgery, and yes in my mind its surgery if you come after me with a mask, scalpel and funky liquid in a syringe, I was fearful. I never had any surgery before, the doc was unable to explain what was going on, and I was in the middle of military medicine where the word choice is like showing Dracula the cross. This board and those that haunt it will be here to help you. Tell me what specific questions do you have? What concerns? What is the procedure the doc is recommending?
In the Sunlight
Edhammer, January 7, 2019 9:52pm EST
welcome to this forum. Sounds as though you may be asking about a acardiac ablation. I was diagnosed with afib about two weeks after a heart attack in October 2017. It was paroxysmal. I was seen by a cardiologist for the heart attack and referred to an electrophysiologist(EP) for the Afib. I was put on a rate control drug as well as an anticoagulant for potential stroke risk. The first EP didn’t mesh well with me. After six months dealing with the unpredictability of the Afib, I found a different EP who I meshed with. He performed both a cyroabalion and RF ablation. After two minor hiccups a couple of weeks after the procedure, I have been episode free. Initially, I had opted for a conservative approach with my cardiologist. After multiple episodes, which seemed to always come in the zero dark 30 time frame, he referred me to another EP, who walked me thru the options; which for me included different meds, which had real downside, living with the anxiety of the unpredictability or having the ablation. I chose ablation and have no regrets whatsoever.
Obviously, not everyone responds the same to the procedure. It strikes me that the procedure is a lot of art mixed in with science.
This is just my experience. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.
Spencer had a tough journey. Mine was easier. You will find a range of responses here.
My best advice is to find a good EP and talk to him about your options.
depotdoug, January 8, 2019 3:51am EST
Wow you have come to the right place especially with Spencer and Edhammers experience. Even an email and tel #’s ... I’ll respond after my next Specialist Urologist Appointment today and before my AICD/pacemaker Cardiac device replacement next Thursday. I have some experienced s too. With ablations, Cardioversion s many and EP labs soon to be my 6th it’s to EP
lab #1 or #2. We all have journeys and medications and nurses and trials in our cardiac complicated lives. Sometimes other Cancer fighting medications can even change your heart rhythm. More to come.
DkinAA, January 8, 2019 8:05am EST
Afib is very individual, but it seems like most docs try drugs first before going to an ablation procedure. I was diagnosed with paroxysmal afib about 4 years ago. It was very bad for the first couple of years and now I have a mild episode once a month or less. I had been referred to an EP right away and he ordered up a monitor and sleep apnea study. I started on CPAP for the apnea, lost some weight, and changed diet. I may need an ablation in the future but so far, no problem. Dealing with the anxiety is hard- afib felt like a panic attack to me. But relaxation meditation can help with that. Tell us more about your condition and you will find others here on a similar path.
kenneth631, January 8, 2019 11:08am EST
I'll add my two cents to the excellent advice you already have received. I put up with very symptomatic paroxysmal afib for many years. The episodes became longer (up to 14 hours) and more frequent (several times a week) and resistant to flecainide, whether taking it steady or when needed (pill-in-pocket protocol). My quality of life suffered and it was getting to me. After consulting with three electro docs, I decided to have the ablation done. All the docs stated that I was an excellent candidate and it would be as close to a cure as possible. I was advised that afib usually progresses to the persistent and permanent form, where it becomes difficult or impossible to treat; "afib begets afib" they all advised.
I chose the EP with the most experience who has done thousands of them. He is the department head of a heart center and is a recognized expert and the go to guy other EP's recomend. Had it done in May, 2017, procedure took a total of a few hours and involved a two night hospital stay. Not a big deal and I'd do it again in a heartbeat (no pun intended) if a "touch up" becomes necessary. I had one short (and distressing) episode a week after it was done, but since then NO episodes. Every so often, I'll feel some irregular beats for a few seconds and then gone. Also, I used to experience many PAC's on a daily basis, some of which would precede an afib episode. Those annoying ectopic beats are now gone, a side benefit of the ablation.
I am on and probably will continue to take eliquis and low dose flecainide as a precaution. No side effects, thankfully. Had to give up a planned celebratory motorcycle purchase, so I treated myself to a new Mustang instead! My quality of life has returned and we can travel again and enjoy the grandchildren. My wife tells me I am a different person (for the better) since the ablation.
In my case, it worked out beautifully (so far) and I'm glad I decided to have it done. If you do go for it, chose an EP who is high volume, has the most experience and is considered an expert. Best chances for "one and done." Also you want a doc that does it fast, to limit the time you're under fluoroscopy if that's what used for imaging during the procedure.
Good luck and best regards,
P.S. Just rec'd this item as a result of my google news alert re: afib. I'm sure you'll find it enlightening and informative...