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Home from my first ablation
I have finally had my ablation after a year+ wait and a postponement in January.
My history is fast paramoxysmal AF since December 2018; on BP med and Eliquis, propafenone prn (as needed). Under general anestheric, the doctor ablated the 4 pulmonary veins and was pleased with how it went. I was kept overnight but continued to be very weak and couldn't walk without help. Several hours later after some etcopics I went into full-on AF for 5 hours. My heart kept racing (as high as 170) and the doctor was phoned several times. At one point I felt extremely nauseous, weak and sweaty and I nearly blacked out. My BP had gone to 80/50. I was given an oral metoprolol, to no avail, later two propafenone. I ate a leftover sandwich and then converted. The nurse explained that the doctor believed my high heart rate had caused a lack of oxygen to my brain and thus the drop in BP and near black-out. The next morning I was much improved and able to walk without help.
I'm back home, no pain except weakness, periodic headaches and some visual disturbances which can be expected.
I'm curious about what you think. I was only able to talk with the doctor's assistant afterward and he said what happened at night was normal. I don't agree. I'm glad I was in the hospital because I needed to have help.
My theory is this. I have Sjogren's, an autoimmune disorder, one characteristic of which is dryness. The doctors were aware and discussed it with me. My procedure was to be at noon but was delayed. By the time I was in recovery I had been without anything to eat or drink almost 18 hours. I had no IV hydration that I know of. Maybe I did and just needed more. I suspect it was dehydration, at least partly. If someone else has experienced this, I would be interested in what might have contributed to it.
What do you think? Or could it be something else? I have had a near black-out at home after prolonged AF with a high heart rate so maybe it wasn't dehydration.
Thanks for your impressions.
MarthaE, April 3, 2021 8:02pm EST
Hi, I have had two ablations and have never experienced any of that. Both of mine took around five hours, I stayed the night, and after both lines were removed was able to walk. I have also been on both meds you mentioned. I did have an IV of saline, thought that was standard so a line was in for emergency. When I went home next day was just tired.
Good luck with everything!
Elise, April 4, 2021 9:08am EST
I fainted several times during AF episodes, which didn't seem to surprise my EP. I don't know what the exact physiological sequence is, but I have always assumed I wasn't getting enough blood to my brain. Fortunately it hasn't happened since I started on Tikosyn.
I was unable to walk the day after my second ablation. I have lots of spinal issues and lying flat on my back is very painful. I have always assumed that the walking issue was related to temporary nerve damage from lying flat for so many hours. It took several days before I was able to walk without assistance.
dsavoie1953, April 4, 2021 10:50am EST
Wow! Hope you have a great cardiologist - ASAP! Your EP concerns me. Brain lack O2??? Low BP and back in AFIB! Wow! Serious!!! EP did not visit you? I guarantee my EP with Texas Cardiac Arythmma of Texas would be there. I have his personal cell number! My cardiologist with Baylor would be engaged and on the phone with him.
dsavoie1953, April 4, 2021 10:52am EST
After my RF Ablation I went home!
Canada, April 4, 2021 3:43pm EST
All of this concerns me too. I told them about my Sjogren's, they discussed it. Still - no IV going into the EP lab, no IV coming out, None. Ever. With other surgeries I've always had them. None with my Bp crash. Then to have the assisting doctor tell me this was normal?? I have an EP with a 5-star rating. And he has always been sharp in our phone consults (virtual). So I'm going to count on a good recovery. I'm also going to read his report very carefully and question carefully. In Canada we don't want to lose a doctor, especially an EP.
Hopefully my experience will at least help someone else.
I plan to enjoy the rest of my Easter Sunday and have a great recovery!
Canada, April 5, 2021 9:47pm EST
I had a chance to speak with a retired ICCU nurse today and it was very helpful. She believes some of what I experienced was virus related. No IV poles in the OR - risk of virus. Nothing but therapeutic touching (needles, etc.) so that's why I couldn't have help going to the bathroom - virus risk. She believes I was not dehydrated or I would not have needed bathroom breaks. She believes I was given more med than my system could handle, therefore I couldn't arouse properly and struggled afterwards. Also that my Sjogren's played a role. She believes the doctor needs a letter with some questions. She would have given me more help. Also, if some of these things had been explained it would have made my stay much easier. Surely it wouldn't be that hard to slip a note into patient instructions to explain some C-19 protocols.
I wanted to send an additional note to explain. I am continuing to recover well.
Thumper2, April 6, 2021 8:01am EST
Canada, I'm glad to hear you are recovering well. I hope you have a notebook in which you are writing down every question and comment you will have for your doctor(s)! Eventually you may benefit from a second ablation, and you'll be better prepared. And you also may want a "second opinion" (perhaps a different EP). But I do hope this ablation will keep you in NSR! Keep us posted.
Canada, April 6, 2021 2:09pm EST
Thank you, and I appreciate your insights. Your support means to much!