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Hi there, I have AFIB for almost 8 years and I'm 62 years old and taking Dabagatron 110 grams twice per day for 5 years along with Metoprolol 47.5mg (Beta Blockers). On having a recent medical and ultra sound on my heart, the Doctor informed me that me hearts efficiency has dropped from being in the 70's to now in the 60's and that I should consider having an RF ablation procedure.
On meeting the electrophysician, he informed me that due to the long time I have lived with this, the chances of success woul be approx. 50%.
Could the forum share if there's any risks with this procedure, and due to the Doctor suggesting the procedure would include placing tubes down my throat, is this procedure done under a local anisethic or a general anisethic please.
I have noticed I'm getting fatigued a lot quicker, how long does this condition take to get seriously worst or is it urgent to have this procedure please?
bfboca, July 13, 2020 4:51am EST
Hi Larco. Re: Heart EF. I don't know whatever else your doctor may have been referring to but a heart efficiency factor of "in the 60's" is wonderfully normal. Bob
Thumper2, July 13, 2020 7:12am EST
Larco, personally, I hope you will consider ablation(s). My situation sounded like yours -- about 8 years of AFib with meds and very few symptoms. Unfortunately, in the meantime, my heart was slowly deteriorating, so that by the time I saw an electrophysiologist (rather than just a cardiologist) and began having ablations, they did not work for me. However, there are many folks here who have had one or more ablations,leading to success in dealing with their AFib -- as I always say, it's the closest thing to a "cure" that one can have. Your EP can share with you what risks there are, in having ablations. Personally, I found them not difficult to go through. They will probably use a general anaesthetic. If you want to do some research on the procedure, look up the description on the Mayo Clinic website (be sure to read about "cardiac ablation," since there are lots of other types of ablations). I would also advise finding out whether your EP does lots and lots of successful ablations! If not, be sure to ask for a "second opinion" somewhere.
My situation was that I became increasingly tired, to the point where I was napping all the time. I finally underwent a procedure involving my heart's His Bundle, which really changed my life. It's an option, should ablations not work for you. Please keep us posted as to other questions, what you decide, and how everything is going. But, to repeat, don't just decide to "live with" AFib.
All the best, Thumper2(Judy)
CC354, July 13, 2020 9:16am EST
After living with paroxsymal aFib for over 12 years I had an EF ablation (PVI-pulmonary vein isolation). Throughtout this time I was put on various meds and finally Flecainide & Metoprolol, and the Flecainide dosage was doubled in an attempt to lessen my symptoms. I did not always feel the aFib episodes, but overall I felt lousy. It was because of a second opinion that I decided to have the ablation. Note: I chose an EP from a large city hospital who does loads of procedures. The heart MRI he completed revealed that my left atria was indeed becoming dialated, a result of ongoing aFib.
So for me the decision was easy. The change to my heart, and knowing that it would become increasingly worse, and along with the way I felt every day made me so ready to take a chance with the ablation . My ablation was December 2018 and I am so much better. I've had a couple of episodes of a Fib, only lasting seconds, and some extra beats. I track with my Apple watch and AliveCor device. But overall it was a good choice for me. I no longer take flecainade(YEAH!) and only metoprolol once per day.
The procdure was performed under general anethesia and a one night stay in the hospital. The tubes put down my throat did not cause any problems except a sore throught for one day. The hardest part of this procedure is that you have to lie flat for a few hours afterwards. For me it was only 3-4 hours, but for some it has been up to 6hours.
I'm sure you will make the correct decision for you. Keep in touch and let us know what you do.
tolsen53, July 13, 2020 1:03pm EST
I would opt to give ablation a try, the sooner the better due to age. All procedures have risks, but to my knowledge, the real risk of ablation is very low. I've had 4 of them . They use general anethesia because you will be out for several hors while they work on you. Depending on your EP and how they do the procedure, the biggest problem I had was laying still for 4 hours after the procedure to make sure the entry points for the equipment, where they go in near the groin, healed over. However, newer methof=ds now shorten that time. You also may have a urinary catheter, never fun when they remove it, but again, newer proecures may not need it, depends on your EP.
Make sure they tell you about the "blanking" period, where you could have transient a-fibs for several months after the procedure. Also ask the criteria the EP uses for saying the procedure was successful. Do they measure success as 1 year a-fib free, or 2 years, or how long? (For many of us, we will eventually have another a-fib.
On my last ablation I had my EP put a LINQ monitor in my chest, gathers heart activity data all day and transmits it to a reading center at night, no action needed on my part, The center can monitor for abnormal activity. This is also good because sometimes we don;t feel an a-fib incident, especially if it only lasts a few minutes,
Good luck, hope EP has some good ideas for you.
Larco70501, July 17, 2020 2:26am ESTThanks for all the comments and encouragements, I have recently received my Echo diagram report, and the highlights that concerned the Doctor was that 12 months ago, my EF was at 71% and FS was at 42% and now from last weeks report, they are EF 55% and FS 29%. Although reading more into these findings, they are still within the 'Normal' range, although dropping within a 12 month period, is this a 'Blip' or would the conditions get worst? If it will get worst, I would definitely opt for the RF Ablation procedure?
ewNY1, September 3, 2020 11:43pm EST
There is a new technology (Mapping vest) that can precisely map out the points in your heart that give out wrong signals. You will wear it before the procedure and later your surgeon will read the information in order to perform the ablation. The accuracy is very high (250 electrodes).