I am just wondering how successful people have found ablations. I have had two, the second having lasted three years now. I don't know if there is data about how long the ablations usually "hold." I've been told that 50% of people are back in a-fib after five years. Also, are there people who have had numerous ablations? Just curious about the experiences of others. When I had a-fib I was very symptomatic.
Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Heart Rhythm Conditions Support Group.
I’ve heard most people need a second ablation. My friend did after two years now I do after two and a half years. I’ve heard the second one is suppose to last longer. But I guess it’s up to the individual. Ablation is not a permanent cure. I’m going to read the book “The Afib Cure” to find ways to live healthier. Hope yours last longer. Good luck.
Speaking for my husband, he stayed in rhythm for 2.5 years after an ablation. Shortly after receiving Covid vaccine injections his Afib returned with a vengeance. His Apple watch registers up to 35 episodes every day. He's not a candidate for a second ablation since all areas in his heart were treated during his first ablation due to scarring from an unknown cause that were discovered during the ablation. His doctor treated all remaining areas so he wouldn't have to go thru it again. Now he has to live with constant Afib. It has slowed him down, buy he deals with it!
If you look around other forums (this one is excellent!), you can quickly deduce that few of us have permanent 'fixes' via catheter ablation. My sense is that about 1/4 of us will have long-term relief lasting 5-8 years before another intervention is needed due to recurring arrhythmias. My perusal of discussions by well-informed patients suggests to me that many ablations fail inside of a year, or the problem persists after the two-month 'blanking period' after the procedure. I'm going to estimate that about 40% of them are not successful. However, this is mostly due to the lack of skill by the EP. Many simply don't have the experience, or the training, or the outright skills to be successful. Choose your EP very carefully, at least as well as you'd buy a house! Second, touch-up ablations have a success rate near 80%, so that is encouraging. About 40% of first ablations result in atrial flutter, and this is more easily isolated and blocked by a reasonably adept EP.
There is a lot of good work being done to improve the efficacy and durability of catheter ablation. The new trails on Pulse Field Ablation (PFA) look encouraging. But, there's always going to be that niggling problem of experience and skill. One last time: go to an EP who is 'busy', who performs 8-12 ablations each week, and who has done so for at least 10 years.