- 18 replies
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- 7 followings
To Ablate or Not, That is the Question
I wanted to share this video I just found on the web which, in my opinion, is a simple, logical approach to treatment of aFib, especially for newbies and those of us considering ablation as an option.
I particularly like how it is emphasized that ablation is only an option for those of us whose quality of life is adversely affected by aFib symptoms and may not be the best option for others who have not tried other options such as meds, lifestyle changes, weight reduction, diet changes and screening for sleep apnea.
Regards to all,
MellanieSAF, June 9, 2018 2:06pm EST
It is so important to recognize that Dr. Gupta from York Cardiology is ONLY a general (consultant) cardiologist, NOT an electrophysiologist. He has no specialized knowledge of afib or other arrhythmias, nor the heart's electrical system. Afib patients should be getting advice from EPs, not general cardiologists. (Additionally, NHS (UK) consultant cardiologists may be incentivized to avoid referring patients for procedures that the NHS does not want to pay for, like insurance companies do in the US.)
Anyone with a "platform" can get on YouTube or a blog and preach, but that does not make them an expert, nor does it make them someone you should listen to. I got five minutes into this video and could not listen to any more misinformation. Dr. Gupta OBVIOUSLY does not attend afib medical conferences and is not someone with sufficient expertise in afib or ablation that you should be taking his advice.
I am going to leave the link here, but in the future, may find it necessary to remove links from unreliable sources.
Jeanamo815, June 9, 2018 2:49pm EST
Mellanie, I stand corrected on Dr. Gupta's qualifications. I knew he was not an electrophysiologist, but have still found some of his videos concerning the heart to be worth watching. He has many followers. I realize that he is just giving his opinion which could involve misinformation and that there are many varying opinions in the field of cardiology and electrophysiology on many issues.
In light of your response, I am deleting my previous post as I would not want anyone to be misguided by the subject video. As one who has had 3 ablations (which I do not regret having), I certainly do not want to give the impression that the ablation procedure is not an important treatment for a-fib.
(My A-fib Experience Community Leader)
MellanieSAF, June 9, 2018 3:44pm EST
I was not commenting to you or Patrick, but to everyone to be careful of self-designated experts. Dr. Gupta is young and not very experienced, which is why the AHA and StopAfib.org bring you the REAL experts, the ones who speak at medical conferences. Those that seek celebrity and fame online for themselves (i.e., Gupta, Mandrola, and others) typically do so because they are not respected researchers or highly-enough considered to even be considered to speak at medical conferences, so they create their own celebrity. Most of us would be well served by avoiding latching onto what these self-designated experts say because it is usually contrary to prevailing wisdom from the REAL experts. I spend a lot of time reversing the damage done by these so-called experts who are not real experts.
patrickg, June 9, 2018 9:07pm EST
My bad. Call me a naive newbie. Although I’m relatively new to this forum and the aFib world, I found this video on another aFib forum (not sure if I’m allowed to say the name here so I won’t), but on that forum this video generated a spirited discussion which I was hoping to do here. Actually, it was originally posted by an “admin” like you, Mellanie. Perhaps that other forum does not have the expertise we have here, but none of the responses mentioned the age or inexperience of Dr. Gupta, let alone discredit his knowledge about aFib.
All things considered, not a bad idea IMHO to examine different perspectives as we all continue to expand our knowledge base of aFib. Doing so will help us discover and steer clear of the “self-designated experts”.
MellanieSAF, June 10, 2018 12:28pm EST
If you are referring to either of the two main Facebook afib groups, the Atrial Fibrillation Support Forum or the Atrial Fibrillation Information Exchange, that video was posted by a newbie in both places, not by the moderators (Debbe/Kathy or Kevin - all are friends of mine).
Much of the discussion on the Atrial Fibrillation Support Forum was about his lack of credentials (cardiologist, not an EP) and one of the moderators said that he is a personality, like Dr. Oz, and that you should be listening to your doctor, not a YouTube personality.
On the other forum, Kevin talked about what we know about stroke prevention, and focused on the topic I wrote about last year (Kevin learned from me) that the latest thinking at medical conferences is that it is not the afib that is causing strokes, it is the atrial disease (myopathy) that is. Here is my blog post:
(Sorry that the formatting seems to have gotten messed up in the transition to the new site, and I am not sure if I can fix it.)
Not all sources that you find on the Internet are correct, and that is why we reserve the right to take down sources that we don't think you should be trusting.
patrickg, June 10, 2018 12:49pm EST
Nope, haven’t visited either of those, but I will, thanks for the reference. Since you named the forums, I’m assuming it’s ok so I will say it was stopafib.org where I found the video. As with this forum, I have found that site to be very friendly, helpful and informative.
I agree that all internet resources are not reliable (understatement!), and as such, I will refrain from posting links from other sites here.
MellanieSAF, June 10, 2018 2:57pm EST
Thanks for the heads up. That is my forum, but having been gone since Tuesday and just getting back last night, and trusting our volunteer moderators, I had not been to my forum yet today.
You're right, it was posted by Pete, one of our volunteer moderators. I forced myself to watch the video all the way to the end, which was hard to do as I find Dr. Gupta impossible to listen to because of his total lack of knowledge of electrophysiology. I have now posted my opinion on this video on my forum.
Regarding my forum, many people there have been there a long time; some have been there since I started the forum back in 2008. Because most have been around for a long time and many are very sophisticated researchers, I tend to allow more discretion among the members as to what to post and debate as most are pretty savvy consumers of afib info. It's a little out of character for Pete to post something that basic though.
Here, there are a lot of new people so we are more cautious about making sure that we avoid bad information as most would not know the difference and have not been around long enough to ferret out the good from the bad. That is why it's been allowed on my forum. We would prefer to avoid unreliable content like that here because it implies endorsement, which we absolutely cannot do (especially with the errors in it).
patrickg, June 10, 2018 8:09pm EST
Interesting perspectives of both forums! I agree that the members on stopafib.org seem to be a bit more sophisticated and “been around the block a few times” compared to the newbies like me here. I have received excellent advice from several knowledgeable folks there and will continue to frequent both forums.
My hat is off to you for your vigilant work on both forums; I had no idea that was “your” forum! I will also check out the Facebook pages you referenced. Learn something every day!
MellanieSAF, June 10, 2018 8:33pm EST
Yes, that is my forum, which I started ten years ago with just Judy Currier and me. It is a different environment from here because of the frequent debates among the long-timers and the intensity with which some on that forum research topics. But, it also has humor and wit.
I'm glad it has been useful for you. I know they recommended Dr. Natale to you. He speaks every year at our Get In Rhythm. Stay In Rhythm. Atrial Fibrillation Patient Conference. Since we bestowed upon him last year the "Eric N. Prystowsky Advocate for Patients Award", I told him this year that he moved to emeritus status -- he is welcome to speak, but not to feel pressured to do so. But, he wants to come back, and will be on faculty again this year with us.
patrickg, June 10, 2018 8:45pm EST
Although I have read about Dr. Natale, no one from either forum has recommended his services to me, perhaps because I am not actively seeking an ablation. Prior to my Tikosyn load, when I asked my EP about ablation, he said I was not a candidate for ablation at this time, perhaps because I was a relative newbie to aFib and hadn’t tried any of the meds other than anticoagulants. I’m hoping the Tikosyn continues to do the trick for me and delay any further procedures.
And here’s to humor and wit... two essentials for keeping ones sanity while dealing with our common condition!