Should I consider ablation?

Posted by jimana @jimana, May 10, 2016

jimana
79-year old male Caucasian
Excellent health and regular exercise with history of hypothyroidism. No history of cardiovascular problems. Vegetarian for 16 years, with excellent diet high in fruits and vegetables. No history of hypertension or cardiovascular issues until Feb 21, 16. Life-long boundless energy, almost never tired even after intense physical activity. Post-prandial glucose levels usually at mid- to upper 90s. Former runner with asymptomatic Bradycardia for 45 years. Resting heart rate has been from upper 20s to lower 40s, but immediately responsive on demand.

Feb 21, 16 – Sudden onset of A-fib after a meal. Ambulance to ER, Cardizem brought it under control.
Mar 3, 16 – Echo-cardiogram and treadmill, went into A-fib at end of treadmill but controlled with Valsalva.
– Echo normal (64% EF) and treadmill normal. Heart structurally and functionally normal.
Mar 25, 16 – A-fib. Controlled with Valsalva. Blood, EKG, X-rays normal.
April 25, 16 – A-fib for 10 minutes but controlled with Valsalva.
April 27, 16 – A-fib immediately following a meal while driving. Paramedics called. Pulse in 220 range. Administered Adenosine twice to stop heart. Paddles used three times before sinus rhythm and transport to ER. Blood, EDK and X-rays normal.
April 28, 16 – Next day cardiologist recommended pacemaker and antiarrhythmic.
April 29, 16 – Pacemaker implant and began 50MG Flecainide b.i.d.
May 3, 16 – ER with irregular pulse and BP 228/95. Clonidine and Ativan administered in ER.
May 4, 16 – Flecainide increased to 100MG b.i.d., and metoprolol 25MG b.i.d. begun.

NOW – Feel fine upon arising but within one hour after taking Flecainide and Metoprolol feel weak, dizzy, shortness of breath for two hours. Anxiety high during episodes. Otherwise can walk several miles on treadmill with no problem and BP goes down significantly with exercise. Can’t stand these chemicals and side effects. Looking for alternatives. Should I consider ablation?

@charlottemaxine

Hello, I am an 80 year old female with A-fib, I have had several cardioversions and one ablation, which works for a few years and/or a few days or months. I am getting prepared for a cryoablation next month, and I am having second thoughts about this procedure. My meds are 150 Flecainide bid, Metoprol 25 mg bid, Warfarin 5 mg, once daily, Memantine 10 mg once daily, Verapramil 3xdaily , Timilol once daily, Methocarbanol (I am not sure of all the spelling of all these miracle drugs.) My cardioligist said it was a “quality of life issue”. What are the pros and cons of my situation? Thank you for any information that you can offer.

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Hi @charlottemaxine. I too have A-fib, but my symptoms are barely perceptible, and I have not had to consider cardioversion, ablation, or cryoablation. My A-fib treatment is limited to 2 medications — Carvedilol, a beta blocker that also deals with A-fib and Warfarin to prevent clotting in my upper heart chambers. Another medication (a diuretic) is aimed at my hypertension. Still another (Lisinopril) at a kidney problem. My doctors — an internist, a urologist, a nephrologist, and a cardiologist — know about my status and, especially, about my medications and how they interact with each other and with me.

In contrast, it’s interesting that you have been treated with two procedures to stabilize your heart rhythm with a third coming up. You are taking 7 medications for a wide range of conditions; dosages you mentioned seem to be modest rather than strong. What is the therapy that your cardiologist refers to as a path to “quality of life?” How many medical professionals have written your prescriptions for these 7 drugs? Do you think it possible to have a detailed conversation with them about your multiple therapies, especially getting answers to how they view your multifaceted treatment and how the various medications can have a positive affect on your special situation.?

As to your impending cryoablation, since I’m not a doctor, I can’t give you any advice. Pros and cons of the procedure are fully dependent on 1) the symptoms you exhibit 2) the competence and experience of your cardiologist. I hope you can grill your doctor thoroughly for answers that satisfy your quandaries. For more professional information, you may check out these two web sites: http://bit.ly/2sj5JUl and http://bit.ly/2rRY2ri and search further for “cryoablation for atrial fibrillation”. Let us know what you plan to do and how things go for you in the days and weeks ahead!

@charlottemaxine

Hello, I am an 80 year old female with A-fib, I have had several cardioversions and one ablation, which works for a few years and/or a few days or months. I am getting prepared for a cryoablation next month, and I am having second thoughts about this procedure. My meds are 150 Flecainide bid, Metoprol 25 mg bid, Warfarin 5 mg, once daily, Memantine 10 mg once daily, Verapramil 3xdaily , Timilol once daily, Methocarbanol (I am not sure of all the spelling of all these miracle drugs.) My cardioligist said it was a “quality of life issue”. What are the pros and cons of my situation? Thank you for any information that you can offer.

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My heart meds came from one EP, the Timilol was for my glaucoma and the Methocarbamol was for muscle cramps. Do you have any information about the cryoablation vs. the normal catheter ablation?

Thank you very much, your reply did help me to clarify some of the questions I had

@charlottemaxine

Hello, I am an 80 year old female with A-fib, I have had several cardioversions and one ablation, which works for a few years and/or a few days or months. I am getting prepared for a cryoablation next month, and I am having second thoughts about this procedure. My meds are 150 Flecainide bid, Metoprol 25 mg bid, Warfarin 5 mg, once daily, Memantine 10 mg once daily, Verapramil 3xdaily , Timilol once daily, Methocarbanol (I am not sure of all the spelling of all these miracle drugs.) My cardioligist said it was a “quality of life issue”. What are the pros and cons of my situation? Thank you for any information that you can offer.

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@charlottemaxine, both web sites I suggested provide information comparing cryoablation with customary ablation. Hopefully you’ll find that cryoablation is unusually reliable with relatively low discomfort. However, the University of Iowa Hospital site said two or three cryoablation treatments may be needed to end A-fib altogether.

Age 68, considering ablation for intermittent episodes of AFIB. Been reading up on both RF ablation (burning), and Cryoablation (freezing). Also have plenty of PVC's for 35 years. Able to pretty much cope with them until AFIB episodes began three years ago, and PVC's have gotten worse and more alarming. So, I'm dealing with both. Apparently not enough PVC's to have them ablated but of course Dr's. are more concerned with the AFIB even though the PVC's actually bother me a lot more. I realize ablations are not always completely successful, but sometimes they are. It's like the luck of the draw, but some relief would be okay with me. Anyway, has anyone had the cryoablation (freezing) vs. the RF ablation (heat). In my reading, the cryoablation has less serious consequences should something go wrong. Any input from anyone having this procedure and how you are doing would be appreciated.

Hi @crashnam,

I moved your discussion and combined it with this existing discussion on ablations as I thought it would be beneficial for you to be introduced to some other members who have discussed much related to your concerns about ablation.
If you click on VIEW & REPLY in your email notification, you will see the whole discussion and can join in, meet, and participate with other members talking about their or their loved ones' experiences.

Here's some information about "Cryoablation for the Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation" that Mentor @predictable posted in this discussion:
https://www.massgeneral.org/heartcenter/services/procedure.aspx
I'm confident that @charlottemaxine @lalton @martishka @twptrustrek @jhoffmanj @irishblueileen @billmichalski @success101 @nadine66 will also join in to share their thoughts.
Larry, please let us know what you plan to do and how things go for you in the days and weeks ahead.

@kanaazpereira

Hi @crashnam,

I moved your discussion and combined it with this existing discussion on ablations as I thought it would be beneficial for you to be introduced to some other members who have discussed much related to your concerns about ablation.
If you click on VIEW & REPLY in your email notification, you will see the whole discussion and can join in, meet, and participate with other members talking about their or their loved ones' experiences.

Here's some information about "Cryoablation for the Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation" that Mentor @predictable posted in this discussion:
https://www.massgeneral.org/heartcenter/services/procedure.aspx
I'm confident that @charlottemaxine @lalton @martishka @twptrustrek @jhoffmanj @irishblueileen @billmichalski @success101 @nadine66 will also join in to share their thoughts.
Larry, please let us know what you plan to do and how things go for you in the days and weeks ahead.

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I have had 5 cardio versions and as they got more frequent decided on ablation as I had no other issues it lasted 6mos in rythm and afib came back we did a second ablation to clean up and I've been in ryrhym for 5yrs with no other controler I do have extra pvc s for the last year and am on a loop monitor which shows good rhythm.  Pvc's are a bother but do not hamper me except emotionally. I am 76 and just lost my wife but am still cranking along. As precaution I'm on pradaxa. Loveza. Altace. Qunol. Amlodipine. Regards to all

Oh, @twptrustrek — I am very sorry to hear you've just lost your wife. I truly hope friends and family are surrounding you and holding you up at this time.

I am new to this and really don't understand what everybody is feeling. I have had this for a very long time (years) but just recently it has surfaced and I have had this pounding in my chest, A-fib beating all of the time, tightness, coughing, hard breathing at times. tired, weak, blurred vision and a slight soreness in the center of the chest. I went to Urgent care about 2 months ago and they told me to go to the hospital and that they would call for an ambulance for me. I drove myself home, showered and my sister took me to the hospital, where I spent 5 days in there on medications. I have been out and on meds for 8 weeks now, with a doctors appointment coming up shortly. Does everybody feel this bad all of the time? There has to be a way to fix this problem so that nobody has to feel this way for the rest of their lives. I am 73 and very active and this has put a stop to my life style very fast. Taking Xarelto and a-fib control pill. It has not stoppped.

Welcome to Connect, @kasandphyl. I can imagine that your anxiety is high, and so glad you've joined this group. You are not alone in the symptoms you're experiencing. I'm confident that @jimana @crashnam @nadine66 @vermontrob and others will share their experiences with you. You may also want to check out this discussion, where @bjanderson @frande @lawsonsa @karenatmayo have discussd afib and medications that have helped them:
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/side-efects/

@kasandphhyl, have the medications helped? Are you considering ablation to control the afib?

@kanaazpereira

Welcome to Connect, @kasandphyl. I can imagine that your anxiety is high, and so glad you've joined this group. You are not alone in the symptoms you're experiencing. I'm confident that @jimana @crashnam @nadine66 @vermontrob and others will share their experiences with you. You may also want to check out this discussion, where @bjanderson @frande @lawsonsa @karenatmayo have discussd afib and medications that have helped them:
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/side-efects/

@kasandphhyl, have the medications helped? Are you considering ablation to control the afib?

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I have had two ablation and no afib since 2013 and no controller Its worked for meI'm 76Good luckRek

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