Is Afib ever cured?

Posted by elegantgem @elegantgem, Nov 23, 2020

I know this seems like an unlikely question but I wanted to ask people if you can be diagnosed with Afib and then be told you don't have it anymore? I ask because after a heart ablation I thought my afib was gone but it shows itself back up every month or so. So I was wondering if any treatment causes it to disappear.

This article from Web MD might help answer your question, @elegantgem
– Can AFib Be Cured? https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/atrial-fibrillation/can-afib-be-cured
The short answer "Right now, there’s no cure for it. But certain treatments can make symptoms go away for a long time for some people. No matter what, there are many ways to manage AFib that can help you live a healthy, active life."

You might also be interested in this discussion:
– Afib Triggers: Mine is my neck or body position, yours? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/afib-triggers/

How are you managing your AFib? What seems to bring it back once a month or so?

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Thanks for the info Colleen. It took me awhile to understand what afib is all about. I have been living with it for about 2 years now and don't know what causes it for me. I know at times if I am exercising or walking it can start up but hate to say that is the cause because so many articles tell you to do that to prevent it. I do have hyperthyrodism but it is very mild. I cannot say I know if the afib would have happened anyways or if walking has caused it. That is why I want to learn more. I would take medicine if I knew it would stop it but that doesn't seem to be the case for me. My episodes scare me. I have a heart rate monitor and it goes to 208 and can take 2 hours to get back to normal. I really find it difficult to deal with. Thanks again for the articles to read.

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I had an ablation five years ago and it was cured. Nothing since. The electrophysiologist doesn't want to see me anymore. Some ablations fail, a highly skilled EP is recommended. I found regular cardiologists aren't much help. https://a-fib.com/ is my favorite resource. Like all medical options, I think it's imperative to become knowledgeable and fully understand the options, risks, surgeon and facility. Personally, I try to only go to the best, like Mayo.

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@stxmahn

I had an ablation five years ago and it was cured. Nothing since. The electrophysiologist doesn't want to see me anymore. Some ablations fail, a highly skilled EP is recommended. I found regular cardiologists aren't much help. https://a-fib.com/ is my favorite resource. Like all medical options, I think it's imperative to become knowledgeable and fully understand the options, risks, surgeon and facility. Personally, I try to only go to the best, like Mayo.

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As a note, my afib was often induced by strenuous exercise. Afib was a real quality of life issue so I had the ablation. Outpatient process and it cured me.

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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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@colleenyoung

This article from Web MD might help answer your question, @elegantgem
– Can AFib Be Cured? https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/atrial-fibrillation/can-afib-be-cured
The short answer "Right now, there’s no cure for it. But certain treatments can make symptoms go away for a long time for some people. No matter what, there are many ways to manage AFib that can help you live a healthy, active life."

You might also be interested in this discussion:
– Afib Triggers: Mine is my neck or body position, yours? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/afib-triggers/

How are you managing your AFib? What seems to bring it back once a month or so?

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I'M 78 YEAR OLD MALE,HAD 9 ABLATIONS & STILL SOMETIMES HAVE A-FIB.

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Having persistent vs. paroxysmal afib is, as I am learning, a pesky thing to get rid of. One ablation and 4 cardioversions in the past several years have proven ineffective for longer than 8 months. I now have a condition of being in sinus, then afib, then flutter. My second ablation slated for 11/30 in Jax, hope this one holds!

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@stxmahn

I had an ablation five years ago and it was cured. Nothing since. The electrophysiologist doesn't want to see me anymore. Some ablations fail, a highly skilled EP is recommended. I found regular cardiologists aren't much help. https://a-fib.com/ is my favorite resource. Like all medical options, I think it's imperative to become knowledgeable and fully understand the options, risks, surgeon and facility. Personally, I try to only go to the best, like Mayo.

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I also had an ablation at Mayo and the afib went away. Did you stop taking blood thinner medication after a period of time?

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A number of people have told me their afib has gone away after an ablation. That did not happen for me. It did lessen but I still have an episode about once or twice a month. Because of this I just recently started on eliquis and my cardiologists feels I need to be on it. I also just noticed how sensitive I am to just about everything. I took some flu medication (over the counter) and I got palpitations. I never use to be this way. The same with food. If I eat too much fat such as chips or a piece of cake with frosting I will get palpitation. I guess I just have to learn to live with it.

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I would definitely talk with my cardiologist about this sudden sensitivity to "just about everything," which apparently began recently after starting Eliquis. If it IS the Eliquis, perhaps changing meds would help? But I still think your doctor needs to know. Good luck

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@amandaburnett

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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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.

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@elegantgem

A number of people have told me their afib has gone away after an ablation. That did not happen for me. It did lessen but I still have an episode about once or twice a month. Because of this I just recently started on eliquis and my cardiologists feels I need to be on it. I also just noticed how sensitive I am to just about everything. I took some flu medication (over the counter) and I got palpitations. I never use to be this way. The same with food. If I eat too much fat such as chips or a piece of cake with frosting I will get palpitation. I guess I just have to learn to live with it.

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Hi elegantgem,
The otc flu medicine you took could have caffeine in it, and that’s enough to cause palps. Also, try and stay away from fatty foods, such as your potato chips. Was the cake chocolate? Again, chocolate has caffeine.
Maybe your Rx is not strong enough? Have you talked to your doctor about it?
My friend has similar symptoms that you have. Her doctor increased the dosage of her medicine, and her symptoms went away. .afib is a difficult condition to control, it’s so random.
Feel better,
Funcountess

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