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Old 01-19-2012, 12:11 PM   #1
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deremith HB User
getting the Ablation

I've been having problems with tachycardia for a while and wore the Holter Monitor back in October when it recorded a rate of 237. The doctors wouldn't do anything yet because they couldn't believe I didn't pass out. So they told me to stop taking the Metoprolol and get more recordings. I tried but it was too unbearable so I said screw it, went back on to the meds and didn't go back to those doctors. But then the episodes started coming back while on Metoprolol. I'm a Paramedic and while I was at work I put myself on the monitor and I was at 161 just sitting.... SOOO I decided to make an appointment with a new doctor.
So I went today and the doctor was excellent. He said I'm too young (23) to deal with this and we need to fix it. He wants to do the ablation. So I was wondering what its like, hows the recovery, etc.?

Thanks

 
The following 2 users give hugs of support to: deremith
Machaon (01-20-2012), Timly (01-19-2012)
Old 01-19-2012, 01:43 PM   #2
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cj483 HB User
Re: getting the Ablation

I had an ablation done in November 2011 to correct SVT. Overall, it wasn't that bad, but definitely not something I would want to go through again (who would!). I'm also a baby when it comes to pain and had never had any previous surgeries

Here's a brief recount of my experience (obviously I'm not a doctor so I'm just telling you what they did for me). They insert an IV into your arm before going into the operating room. When in there, they lay you down on a table that has two arm rests. They then put the stints in, which for me was the worst part. They put 3 stints in your groin, and then one in your arm. They numb the areas, thank goodness. I had asked for some sort of sedative medicine since I was super nervous and never had surgery before, but they didn't want to give me anything since it might affect the way my heart responds to the ablation.

After that, they feed the catheters through the stints. From your groin, they feed them up to your heart. It doesn't hurt, but feels really weird. That only takes a couple of minutes.

Overall it lasted about 3 hours. The whole time I was watching what they were doing on the monitor which was both kinda gross and kinda cool. They just kept moving the catheters around and sending electric currents through my heart to try and get it to induce tachycardia. Once they can pinpoint the areas that are conducting electricity that shouldn't be, they ablate (aka burn) them. That only lasts a couple seconds but it's pretty painful. At first you just feel really warm, and then it's a sharp pain for like a second and then they stop. In the 3 hours they had to ablate 5 times (and they told me that was a lot, normally it's less than that). So it's mostly a lot of just lying there while they move the catheters around, make your heart beat fast, etc. Again, the whole experience is more tiring than painful. Just having your heart beating fast then normal over and over again was tiring.

After it was over, you have to lay for 2 hours in the recovery room in order to give the groin area that had the stints in it enough time to clot. After that I just headed home and rested. It took a couple days for the groin area to not hurt anymore. It also takes some time (weeks to months) for your heart to completely heal after it. At first, I would get out of breath EXTREMELY easily, and it took a little while for that to go away.

It's been a year and I haven't experienced tachycardia since the surgery (knock on wood). I've been dealing now with a very strong (not fast) heartbeat - which the doctors can't figure out yet if it's stress-related, or a result of the surgery.

Anyways, I'm done rambling! Good luck with your surgery! Take it from someone who can't handle pain, it's not all that bad, and it's definitely worth doing.

 
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:44 PM   #3
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Timly HB User
Re: getting the Ablation

Hello. I am a new user here and I am so happy I found this place because it's nice to feel like I'm not alone. My situation is very similar to yours. I had SVT, and right before my ablation my rate would reach 190-240 just sitting. It's a miserable feeling. The drugs help, but they don't solve the problem. I think it is wonderful you are going in for an ablation. It's really an amazing procedure.

By the way, I'm also 23. Usually they will keep you awake for the surgery, the point of that is so that your tachycardia doesn't go away. At first I had a lot of anxiety about being awake, but my SVT was so bad that I just didn't care anymore. I was making a bigger deal out of the operation than it really was. You just stay as still as possible, and if it helps ask if you can talk to a nurse to pass the time or just have someone with you because the procedure can take a while. At times I would have a nurse hold my hand and it really helped because it was kind of scary.

My first ablation didn't work. They put me out for that one. But my second ablation was at a facility with better technology, and it was very much a success. My heart rate dropped to 60, and I'd never felt better in my life. I'm still doing well, but having a few minor complications (rate jumps to 90 and 100, but it's still nothing like before) But my best advice would be to trust your doctors and do everything they say. Additionally, be patient with yourself. Sometimes it takes multiple ablations to find the problem spot. But it's reassuring to know there is real hope for people like us, who have crazy hearts. : ) I hope you get it taken care of and live a much better life with your newfound strength. Really, I felt like a superhero afterward. Haha.

The recovery time is very quick because it's a non-invasive procedure. They just run some wires through your groin. It's painless, but you can feel a little pressure. You might be able to feel them burning, but try not to move. It just feels like a warmth in your chest, uncomfortable but doesn't really hurt. Afterward you have to lay still for 4 hours to let the clots form. Please let me know if you have any other questions!

Love and peace!

Tim

Last edited by Timly; 01-19-2012 at 02:44 PM.

 
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deremith (01-19-2012)
Old 01-19-2012, 10:26 PM   #4
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Timly HB User
Re: getting the Ablation

I just wanted to ask you about your (very strong) heart beat. I've been feeling something similar lately after my ablation, and what I think are some PVCS.

Thanks!!

Last edited by moderator2; 01-20-2012 at 05:43 AM.

 
Old 02-03-2012, 04:16 PM   #5
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Snail HB User
Re: getting the Ablation

Quote:
Originally Posted by deremith View Post
I've been having problems with tachycardia for a while and wore the Holter Monitor back in October when it recorded a rate of 237. The doctors wouldn't do anything yet because they couldn't believe I didn't pass out. So they told me to stop taking the Metoprolol and get more recordings. I tried but it was too unbearable so I said screw it, went back on to the meds and didn't go back to those doctors. But then the episodes started coming back while on Metoprolol. I'm a Paramedic and while I was at work I put myself on the monitor and I was at 161 just sitting.... SOOO I decided to make an appointment with a new doctor.
So I went today and the doctor was excellent. He said I'm too young (23) to deal with this and we need to fix it. He wants to do the ablation. So I was wondering what its like, hows the recovery, etc.?

Thanks
Hi, I am now almost 44 and have been suffering from AVNRT sice 18. I was on atenolol 50 mg beta blockers for years till... they stopped working. Attacks were getting more and more difficult to deal with. So I decided to overcome my fear for an RF ablation and now I LIVE FREE!! I am so grateful to Dr Gill at London Arrythmia centre-sorry not much trust in NHS on fiddly cardiac ops-.

Please do not suffer for decades like me. Just make sure you get a top guy to do the job to minimise risk of nasty surprises. The worst it can feel is like 2 secs long hot pin inside the heart. Whats 2 seconds for getting your life back?

Daily 40 min serious aerobic exercise sorted all the post ablation irritating short lived palps.

Extra benefit of the ablation& exercise: really awful PVCs almost gone even after strong coffee!!

I wish you all the best!!

 
Old 02-03-2012, 04:24 PM   #6
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Snail HB User
Cool Re: getting the Ablation

Quote:
Originally Posted by deremith View Post
I've been having problems with tachycardia for a while and wore the Holter Monitor back in October when it recorded a rate of 237. The doctors wouldn't do anything yet because they couldn't believe I didn't pass out. So they told me to stop taking the Metoprolol and get more recordings. I tried but it was too unbearable so I said screw it, went back on to the meds and didn't go back to those doctors. But then the episodes started coming back while on Metoprolol. I'm a Paramedic and while I was at work I put myself on the monitor and I was at 161 just sitting.... SOOO I decided to make an appointment with a new doctor.
So I went today and the doctor was excellent. He said I'm too young (23) to deal with this and we need to fix it. He wants to do the ablation. So I was wondering what its like, hows the recovery, etc.?

Thanks
Hi, I am now almost 44 and have been suffering from AVNRT sice 18. I was on atenolol 50 mg beta blockers for years.However attacks were happening and they were getting more and more difficult to deal with. So I decided to overcome my fear for an RF ablation and now I LIVE FREE!!

I got a specialist top guy to do the operation to minimise possible post ablation nasty surprises due to the doctor's lack of extensive experience.
(I am so grateful to Dr Gill at London). The worst it felt was like 2 secs long hot pin inside the heart - not a big deal for me.

Daily 40 min serious aerobic exercise sorted all the post ablation irritating short lived palps.

Extra benefit of the ablation & exercise: really awful PVCs almost gone even after strong coffee!!

I wish you all the best!!

 
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deremith (02-03-2012)
Old 02-03-2012, 06:03 PM   #7
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deremith HB User
Thumbs up Re: getting the Ablation

Thanks everyone, I have an amazing cardiologist! He had me wear the holter again and it recorded several runs of v tach....and a third degree block (very likely from sensitivity to Metoprolol). I met the electrophysiologist today and he's awesome! He's thinking it may be Wolff-Parkinson-White-Syndrome. My ablation is next Wednesday! Can't wait to get this over with!

 
Old 02-06-2012, 07:24 PM   #8
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deremith HB User
Re: getting the Ablation

ok my ablation is Wednesday morning! I have to stop the Metoprolol tomorrow, that's going to be miserable!

 
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ablation surgery, svt, tachycardia



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