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I'm a 67 year old male in decent shape and have been in persistent a-fib for 1 1/2-2 years. I'm in a-fib about 50% of the time. Was wearing a monitor recently and had a 15 hour episode with HR from 50- 140 with average of 73 and did not notice it. I have never really been symptomatic. I'm taking Xarelto 20mg once a day and 120mg of sotalol twice a day with no side effects. My HR is averages about 75-80 bpm and my BP is 120/80. My left atrium is moderately dilated now at 47ml/m2 and my EF is 63%. My cardiologist has referred me for an ablation consult. I'm torn between staying on meds or doing the ablations. I will likely need two, due to the length and persistence of my a-fib. Anyone else been in this situation? What did you choose, why, and how have things worked out since your decision?
Thanks for your input.
AHAModerator, May 3, 2021 8:54am EST
Thank you for reaching out to the MyAFibExperience community and sharing your story. We are glad you are here! I encourage you to interact with others in this community and hear from them as they share support and advice. As you wait for others to respond, I can share some resources with you about a Study on Ablation and more info on Non-surgical Procedures for AFib. Unfortunately, I am not a medical professional so I am not able to offer medical advice but I hope that through hearing other people's experiences, you are able to come to an easier decision about which option is best for you in this situation.
Please keep us updated on which path you decide to take, as it may help others that are dealing with the same issue in the future.
jameskelly, May 3, 2021 12:49pm EST
I will be at the 6 month mark since my Ablation on May 9th. So far, so good. Like you, I am on Xarelto 20mg, and 80mg of Sotalol. My next followup is the end of May. My doc said that MAYBE I can come off Xarelto. As I am not a Doctor, I would seek out an EP, and discuss with Him/Her. There have been good results with Ablations. I have had to make some modifications like cut down on alcohol consumption, and drink lots of water. I'm OK with two glasses of wine a week. Please keep us informed of your situation, and good luck!
DkinAA, May 4, 2021 7:50am EST
Please let us know what you find out. I've had paroxysmal afib for about 5 years, not as bad as yours, and symptomatic but tolerable. I have been wondering how you tell when it is time to go for an ablation. I'm interested in what your consult reveals. Lots of people on t his forum have had good results with ablations, though some need more than one. Good luck!
Thumper2, May 4, 2021 8:38am EST
NealM, I'm glad to hear you are going to consult about having an ablation. They are sometimes described as the closest thing to a "cure" for AFib that exists. My experience was that I was in persistent AFib with few symptoms for almost 10 years. But in the meantime, my heart was slowly degenerating. I was seeing an elderly cardiologist, not an electrophysiologist (EP --a cardiologist who specializes in treating AFib). By the time I got to an EP, my heart was in bad shape, and ablations did not fix the problems (long story). So I always urge folks not to "live with" their AFib, even if their meds are doing well (since the effectiveness of meds often diminishes over time). Do some research on AFib (I always recommend going to StopAfib.org and taking advantage of their resources), and you can develop a list of questions to ask your consulting physician (who, I trust, will be an EP). Ablations are not a difficult procedure to undergo, even if you need more than one! Let us know how the consult goes! (BTW, if you go for an ablation, be sure to have it done by an EP who has done hundreds of them successfully). All the best,
NealM, May 5, 2021 5:43pm EST
Thank you for your comments. I've read that ablations aren't as successful for persistent a-fib but I will likely choose that option.
jameskelly, May 5, 2021 5:47pm EST
Good luck! Keep us informed. We are all in this together! 👍