Has anyone else had an ablation for atrial fibrillation?

I am a 29 year-old female with a structurally-normal heart who has had paroxysmal atrial fibrillation since I was 17. I have been on digoxin and disopyramide for years, but the side effects are terrible and they have become less effective in preventing episodes. So, I am going to have an ablation on January 29th. Has anyone else had this done? I am terrified, so hearing others’ experiences might put me at ease. I am mostly worried about complications during the surgery, mainly pulmonary vein stenosis. My doc says the risk of that is lower these days because they ablate the outside of the pulmonary veins, not the inside. Did anyone out there experience any horrific after-effects? How long did it take you to get back to your routine? Does your heart feel normal now? Did you notive a significant improvement? Thanks for any help/advice/stories!

Twister Asked on June 28, 2015 in Health.
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OK, so I have not had this, but my dad did, and he has been great ever since! He went in for his surgery, in about 5 hours they were finished, after recovery he went to his room, and was HUNGRY believe it or not. He was sore now, but nothing too bad. He went home the next day and was slow movin for a few days but within a week he was back to work….He has not had any more “spells” as we call them either since the surgey.

I can only imagine how scared you are, but I am sure it will be all worth it!!

Moon_killer Answered on September 3, 2015.
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Radiofrequency energy is used to destroy abnormal electrical pathways in heart tissue. It is used in recurrent atrial fibrillation and other types of supraventricular tachycardia. The energy emitting probe (electrode) is placed into the heart through a catheter. The practitioner first “maps” an area of the heart to locate the abnormal electrical activity before the responsible tissue is eliminated. Ablation is a newer technique and has shown some promise for cases unresponsive to conventional treatments. New techniques include the use of cryoablation (tissue freezing using a coolant which flows through the catheter), and microwave ablation, where tissue is ablated by the microwave energy “cooking” the adjacent tissue. The abnormal electrophysiology can also be modified in a similar way surgically, and this procedure referred to as the “Cox maze procedure”, is commonly performed concomitantly with cardiac surgery.
This procedure is usually performed by a subspecialty of cardiologists known as cardiac electrophysiologists.
The maze procedure is a collection of cardiac surgery procedures intended to cure atrial fibrillation (AF), a common disturbance of heart rhythm. Recently, various methods of minimally invasive maze procedures have been developed; these procedures are collectively named minimaze – “mini” versions of the original maze surgery.
Please see the web pages for more details on Radiofrequency ablation for atrial fibrillation.

DogBone Answered on September 3, 2015.
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I’ve cared for a number of patients who have had this done. Its not that bad. I haven’t had any patients who have had poor outcomes from the procedure.

Good luck!

Screwtape Answered on September 3, 2015.
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I had heart ablation 1 year ago, and I have not been the same. I wanted to get off the medication I was taking to slow my heart rate down. So I decided to have the heart ablation. It was only suppose to take 3 days for recovery. It took me two weeks to get strong again. Right after the surgery my heart speed up to 165 beat per minute. It scared me to death. I was release from the hospital that night. I went to the doctors office the following day. I told him I just didnt feel the same. He said it will take a little bit of time but I will feel better. I know I bugged him and his staff because I called or went in several other times after that. I cant lie down on my left side now without my heart pounding, and prior to the surgery I didn’t have that problem. I know take 200 mg of toprol for my fast heart rate and have panic attacks because I am so scared my heart rate will speed up. I also cant drink caffine or alcohol now. I do know a couple people who have had the surgery and it was successfull. However, I also know a few people who have had it and it didnt work. I dont mean to scare you I just wish someone would have told me these things before I had mine. I knew the the pro’s and con’s but I should have talke to more people prior to the surgery. Good luck and God Bless you.

Thrasher Answered on September 3, 2015.
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