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What is the long term prognosis of Persistent AF?
I've had Afib for over a year and during that time have had an ablation and 10+ Cardioversions. I went back into AFib 3 weeks ago and couldn't be cardioverted out this time so question on the table is if I should go back for the 2nd Ablation. I'm wondering if I should just live with the symptoms or go for the 2nd ablation. The past year hasn't been fun living in constant fear of when/if I will go back into Afib, looking out for possible triggers (no canfine, no alchohol, limited excercise, etc.) not to mention I hate being Cardioverted every 40-90 days. It seems like I might be better off just accepting my persistent Afib with the associated sysmptoms and living my life as is. Has anyone else gone through this thought process? Any idea of what the long term impact is if I take this course of action?
Thumper2, November 16, 2018 8:54am EST
Geronimo, on the basis of my personal experience, I'd advise going for the second ablation (assuming you have an EP who has a lengthy and successful record at this). I had AFib for almost 10 years with almost no symptoms. But my heart was re-wiring itself and slowly going downhill. When I finally got to an EP (thank God, my cardiologist retired), my heart had several problems and neither cardioversions nor 3 ablations nor Tikosyn got me into NSR. I had to have a special procedure involving the His Bundle, which worked wonders for me. But I wish I'd had ablations much earlier. Keep us posted! Wishing you all the best,
ShellyH, November 16, 2018 1:11pm EST
Geronimo, When I reverted to Aflutter 5 months after the previous ablation, my EP gave me the options of Tikosyn or another ablation. I asked about simply living with it, and he curtly replied "no". He has told me multiple times that while Afib does not decrease life expectancy, it certainly lessens quality of life. I went with the ablation and have been in normal rhythm since January. Just finished snowblowing the driveway and shoveling the stoop. I could never have done that in Afib or flutter. I just pray that this last ablation holds for a long time. Consider another ablation. Wish you success.
kenneth631, November 17, 2018 12:09pm EST
Just read a few articles as a result of google news alerts regarding atrial fibrillation and an increased chance of developing dementia. Here's one:
Reason enough to pursue a normal sinus rhythm.
Find the most experienced and expert EP you can and get a second or third opinion.
Good luck and best wishes.
MellanieSAF, November 18, 2018 10:16am EST
If you have just gone into persistent afib, you have a better chance of getting out of it than if you wait a few years and let it "set in". Once the heart has been in persistent afib for a while, it becomes very difficult to get it out of afib.
I'm not a fan of staying in afib long-term because it builds scar tissue in the heart through both electrical and structural remodeling and greatly increases your risk of having a stroke and of going into permanent heart failure. And yes, increased risk of dementia/Alzheimer's.