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elegantgem (@elegantgem)

Is Afib ever cured?

Heart Rhythm Conditions | Last Active: Mar 4 8:55pm | Replies (35)

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Hi @stxmahn, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. What a relief to have your A-Fib completely cured after one surgery. Congratulations! Are you a patient of Mayo Clinic or did you have your ablation elsewhere? Can you share with us your experience with the surgery?

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Replies to "Hi @stxmahn, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. What a relief to have your A-Fib completely cured..."

Hi, In my case, afib would occur occasionally after strenuous exercise, such as swimming intervals. I had afib on my stress test. I tried the medication and it didn't do anything except for occasional nightmares. After a month, I asked my EP for an ablation. This was at Northwestern University Hospital in Chicago where I was living. They have an Electro-Physiology department focused on rhythm disorders. My Doctor had done many ablations and was very well qualified. Catheters are thread up large veins near where the body core meets the legs. That's about all I remember of the procedure. The doctor used cryoablation to ablate the pulmonary veins and tested for other locations in the heart. After, I had to lay without moving for 8 hours so the incisions could heal. The veins are large and bleeding would be bad. I then went home and took it easy for a week. I had some slight pain in my chest and my heart rate was slightly elevated. For several months I avoided strenuous activity. This was a personal choice, not a recommendation. I think the body heals slower than it appears on the outside and this felt best to me. I think it was a year before I felt ready (psychologically maybe) to exert fully.

I feel most people with good results go on and don't participate much in forums. Posts may give a misleading impression as the participants may not fully represent those with successful ablations. My lay view is ablations work better if done before afib becomes more frequent, EP Cardiologists are the ones to consult, experience, experience, experience is important, I went elsewhere when my 'regular' cardiologist said afib wouldn't hurt me and to live with it, I would consult Mayo's ElectroPhysiology lab if I had afib today. I found a-fib.com to be a great resource. I'm 68 and can't express how grateful I am for the health my ablation gave me. I hope each reader finds improvement and success. If my afib came back today, I would have another ablation.

As a side, my blood clots easily and I've had DVT several times along with PE's. I'm permanently on blood thinners. First, I took warfarin about ten years, now five years on Xarelto. I've had no issues with these, although warfarin testing, even with my at home kit, was a nuisance. So, I didn't stop taking anti-coagulants after my ablation. A friend with afib wouldn't take 'rat poison' anti-coagulants then had a terrible stroke. Frankly, if someone has afib, I strongly recommend taking the doctor's advice on blood thinners and err on the side of caution. Strokes are pretty high stakes events to gamble with.