Dec 3
Rdrnnr2
Rdrnnr2 , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

Need support on AFIB

I am 48 (Male) and have been suffering with AFIB on and off for 5 years. I need to talk to someone who has gone through 2 ablations?
 
 In my recollection, it started with blood pressure going up  maybe 8 years ago. 
 
Family Dr started me off with low dose of lisinopril. A year later my bp was high again so the dose was increased.  A year later I am told my bp is up again so my dose was increased and hctz (water pill) was also added. All this time I am getting more and more tired and gaining weight when eating the same food? 
 
Then a couple of times my heart started racing when trying to coach the kids soccer or moving the lawn. 
 
One day I was at the family Dr for a cold and they had trouble taking my bp. Dr says I have AFIB and I have to go to the cardiologist immediately. 
 
This was the start of my nightmare....  I have been through diltiazem, flecanide, sotalol, lisinopril,  a several other bp and AFIB medications. I keep getting episodes, been in the ER 3 times a year when the daily episodes are severe enough that I know I cannot go to work. 
 
I am told the AFIB is because I clearly have a heart problem? I feel if I did not start on the BP pills, I might not have got AFIB in the first place but this is water under the bridge now. It looks like to save my heart, my only option is to get an ablation which is only 70 to 80 percent successful correct? 
 
Do I go on as-is and die of heart failure in 20 years or do I get the ablation and risk 30 percent chance of heart failure tomorrow?  What do I do? Would  Love to talk to someone who has gone through 2 ablations maybe? Can someone please help?
7 Comments
  • mingo1
    mingo1,
    Huge widow maker heart attack in 1993. Had a defibrillator within three months and have had many shocks over all these years, but very few after a series of ablations. I would advise to have the ablation. I have had four and they do not hurt and you are in and out of the hospital the same day or the next. Ablations are a strange electrical procedure with radio waves. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and not very invasive. It is amazing that a GOOD ELECTROCARDIOLIGIST can perform these procedures. My doctor has shown me print outs of what they see on the computer and where they ablated areas that caused the fibrillation. I had both atrial and ventricular. During the process, they may only do one ablation or in my case, many at the same time. As you noted, it is only around a 70% fix. However, they can do several without much stress on a person. I have not had any complications at all after after these procedures and now feel it is like getting an oil change! 70% odds are really, really good odds. Be sure to get an electrophysiologist and not just a regular cardiac doctor. My heart attack was at age 45 and I am going strong. These ablations have been studied for many years and the computer images have become like being on a GPS unit. Amazing for sure and amazing results. Do not be afraid....just get it done (my feelings). Live strong and you will be perfect soon.
  • Rdrnnr2
    Rdrnnr2,
    Thanks for your input. How many days off from work? I drive about 40 miles one way to work.
  • dstrunc
    dstrunc,
    I have had two ablations. The last ablation was in 1-2015 and I was medicine free until I had to go into er on 8-26-2016. I now have both atrial flutter and an irregular heartbeat. My cardiologist explained that the doctors can only get into certain areas around the heart with an ablation. I have an irregular heartbeat because of confused electrodes behind my heart (an area that the doctors cannot get to now.) Maybe in the future modern technology will improve so the doctors can get to this area. I am back on ameodarone an it keeps my heartbeat in check. Dave
  • Rdrnnr2
    Rdrnnr2,
    Thanks dstrunc. This is what i am worried about. 30 percent chance it will be worse. Thinking of being stuck on a pacemaker is even worse.
  • dwaynec
    dwaynec,
    Have you tried Nitric Oxide therapy? The medical community is calling Nitric Oxide the miracle molecule! Along with lifestyle change it's helping people who suffer from cardio vascular disease. I do a health awareness webinar every Monday and Wednesday at 8 pm eastern to help fight CVD. Please feel free to join in on our next webinar this Monday or Wednesday by clicking this link: freeconferencecall.com/join/wealthpartners or you can dial in 712)770-4010 code 594427. Also check out "The Whole Heart Solution" by Dr. Joel Kahn MD. To Your Health!! Dwayne
  • radeshotel
    radeshotel,
    Hello, I'm a Congested Heart Failure patient, I had two valves replace with Mechanical Valves. I stayed in Afib for two years before they put a lead on my Defibrillator. For the past 3 years I have been in and out of the hospital every 2 to 3 months. I've finally came off all my other medical equipment now I'm doing just fine, still on a lot of medication, but taking it and doing good.
  • Devoep
    Devoep,

    Thanks to everyone here on this platform. I am in recovery from my recent ablation surgery two weeks ago. I had an RF and Cryo-ablation at the same time.  I hope that this choice has a higher probability than what I have heard throughout the posted conversations. I really feel fine as far as my heart. No more dizziness, racing of heartbeat which floated around 99 bpm and increased to 190-200 at times alone with some heart stoppage of 4.8 seconds before the heart starts to beat again. I only feel short of breath now at times but I think that will change with exercise.  I walked a mile for exercise only once with intentions to increase and with a higher frequency. I am increasing my potassium level which I found out is necessary for muscle function as well as magnesium. My potassium level was at 3.0 in the operation prep room and the operation was held off until I was administered some by IV which brought it up to 3.5. Enough to continue the operation which the doctor says was a success and I had normal sinus rhythm and the arrhythmia and flutter had ceased. I am now taking over the counter Prilosec, 81 mg aspirin and prescription Eliquist and 10 MEQ potassium 3 times a day plus my blood pressure medicine, for now, hoping that this will end soon.  But overall, I really hope that this is my last ablation surgery because I would have to go thru my other groin vein because right now I have a knot in my groin insertion point on my right side. I complained to my doctor, and he had a venus doppler ordered that would check for any vein blockage. The report came back with no blockage and there was no feeding into the knot asked to be patient to see if this knot would get smaller. As I just felt and observed I am glad to report that I do feel a little difference that it is a bit smaller. Really don't like the idea of another ablation surgery no matter how better it is over an open heart type of surgery. How many times can this last and what are we, the patients doing to make this happen. Is there something that the survivors are not doing or do the doctors know why there is a chance that another ablation surgery is right around the corner?  Does anyone know how to not have another surgery of what is the longest time yet between ablation surgeries that you know of? So sorry to go on and on, but I also feel that there is a mental issue to this that I don't see people talking about. The stress, fear, and doubt that is associated with this surgery. Before I had the surgery, I wondered every night, would I wake up in the morning, thinking always of death, wondering will this be my last day hoping that I do make it to that schedule day to lay down on the table for the operation relying on this to be my only hope of living longer. Hope I didn't bore you too much and you were able to get thru my dialogue. Thanks for listening.

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