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Mon May 16, 2022, 08:46 AM

A-fib treatment,

A-fib is caused by a bad electrical signal in the heart. The atrium is supposed to beat once and the ventricle beat once, blood in, blood out. In A-fib the atrium beats numerous times before the ventricle beats 1 time so blood pools in the upper chamber where blood clots could occur.

I messed around with A-fib for 9 years at my small rural hospital, they would shock me to get my heart back in time and give me pills to keep my heart rate low which tends to keep it in rhythm. Well it wore out my heart so my daughter made an appointment for me at UPMC where I ran into a fantastic surgeon. He laid out the treatment; he would do a cryo-ablation which freezes out the bad signal. He does cryo first because it is more penetrating. If that fails (it didn't for me) he would burn out the bad signal. This all done via catheter up the groin as an out patient. If those fail I could choose to take a drug that keeps the heart in rhythm. I had taken a different drug, Amiodarone, which works but has tons of side effects, I just quit taking it. There is another drug with less side effects I could choose to take. My surgeon's very last option was inserting a pace maker and defibrillator.

I had my cryo ablation 2 1/2 years ago and, knock on wood, am doing fine and only taking Eliquis.

John Fetterman will do just fine, he made the mistake that I made, I ignored my A-fib for too long. When one's heart beats 150 per minute it tends to wear the heart out. My heart is right back to the strength it should be.

I take the time to post this because I want people who are dealing with A-fib to know the ablation procedure works 75% of the time, and there is a new ablation procedure that is 91% successful. I like my surgeons at my small rural hospital but the bigger hospitals are better equipped to do ablations, IMO.

Tuesday I have my yearly appointment with my surgeon, I think I will ask him about Fetterman, in a general way.

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Reply A-fib treatment, (Original post)
gab13by13 May 16 OP
larwdem May 16 #1
livetohike May 16 #2
Liberal In Texas May 16 #3
gab13by13 May 16 #5
Liberal In Texas May 16 #13
Sympthsical May 16 #4
gab13by13 May 16 #6
Sympthsical May 16 #7
Dave says May 16 #8
Tracer May 16 #9
Tennessee Hillbilly May 16 #10
packman May 16 #11
Liberty Belle May 16 #12

Response to gab13by13 (Original post)

Mon May 16, 2022, 09:20 AM

1. Thank You

for the info,

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Response to gab13by13 (Original post)

Mon May 16, 2022, 10:06 AM

2. Thanks for the info. Glad that you are doing well. There are

new treatments and procedures every year it seems.

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Response to gab13by13 (Original post)

Mon May 16, 2022, 10:11 AM

3. I've had an ablation for Afib and one for AFlutter.

First one was 2018 and one in 2020. So far so good. My electro doc says that about 40% or so of patients have to get a second one for Afib. So far I'm good.

And very glad I had the procedures. I feel much better. And I don't have to take the nasty Amiodarone anymore. Still on Eliquis for awhile yet to make sure the stroke risk is the lowest.

Glad you are doing OK.



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Response to Liberal In Texas (Reply #3)

Mon May 16, 2022, 10:36 AM

5. I took myself off Amiodarone,

it got in the cornea of my eyes. It also is bad for the lungs and kidneys I believe.

I was going to ask my doctor about getting off Eliquis, wasn't sure if they did that. It doesn't bother me other than I'm embarrassed to shake hands because my hands are cold. Eliquis is the best anticoagulant.
Glad you are doing OK.

I have more questions to ask my doc tomorrow thanks to you. I have just felt fantastic since my ablation. I ride my bike in the winter for an hour and 11 minutes to keep my weight at 173 or below.

Pretty soon I will have to look up a knee doctor, it is affecting my golf game, left knee is the worse one for golf.

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Response to gab13by13 (Reply #5)

Mon May 16, 2022, 12:30 PM

13. It's always something when you get old LOL

Both cardio and electro guy said I could probably get off Eliquis at some point but not yet. I don't have any side effects from it and with the voucher you get from Eliquis it costs $10/mo. So if it's keeping me from having a stroke, I'm OK with it.

Good on you for riding the bike, I'm doing that too but not as long and with the crappy weather haven't been out as much.

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Response to gab13by13 (Original post)

Mon May 16, 2022, 10:28 AM

4. My partner had a-fib

He had no idea. When he was 32, he fell over at the gym and passed out. He ended up having open heart surgery for it. Now he's on medication for the rest of his life.

He's fine. Exercises every single day (one of those biking types).

But it's one of those conditions that can just fly under the radar until problems arise.

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Response to Sympthsical (Reply #4)

Mon May 16, 2022, 10:40 AM

6. A tip for spotting A-fib.

other than going to a doctor, they can catch it just by feeling your pulse. Get a digital Blood pressure machine, they show the heart beat and you can see if it is all over the place. Also when the BP machine finishes, most of them will show a pic of a double heart.

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Response to gab13by13 (Reply #6)

Mon May 16, 2022, 11:00 AM

7. Yeah, we have digital BP machine that sits on the dining room table

He checks himself fairly regularly. I check myself for funsies.

I have a family history of hypertension (but I think it's because they all smoked, tbh). Once I hit 40, I started keeping an eye on things. But, 115/78 with 60 resting is pretty much my standard. So far, so good.

He's always looking at the heart beat information, though. A few months back, he gained some pounds over the holidays and freaked out. Started going hard on the bike. Then started getting bouts of light-headedness. One day, it was pretty severe and that set off an in-house panic. So much monitoring. However, it seems to have just been lack of eating with overexercising.

Bad partner. Nearly put me into afib.

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Response to gab13by13 (Original post)

Mon May 16, 2022, 11:05 AM

8. I had ablation done around 10 years ago - it's been a blazing success!

Apparently my heart required extra work. I had 146 burns when the average procedure requires 41 burns. But it worked!

(Having said that, I sometimes, for short times, go afib again, but I think it's related to the heavy-weight cancer treatments I've been getting or the cancer itself. I still highly recommend ablation surgery to those of us with Afib.)

Here's hoping Mr. Fetterman recovers fully and becomes the next Senator from Pennsylvania. I've been watching Lt. Gov. Fetterman's career since he was a mayor.

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Response to gab13by13 (Original post)

Mon May 16, 2022, 11:18 AM

9. I take Amniodorone and have had 2 cardioversions.

The second shock treatment has worked for 8 months so far. I also have the corneal deposits from the Amniodorone.

My cardiologist is very hesitant to do an ablation. I asked him how does he know what part of the heart to target. He said he doesn't know!! It's a educated guess.

This guy is NOT a country doctor, but is based at Mass General in Boston.

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Response to gab13by13 (Original post)

Mon May 16, 2022, 11:28 AM

10. Thanks for the information

I think I may have a mild case. Sometimes my heart skips an occasional beat for a minute or so after I suddenly stand up or lie down. My pulse also jumps up to 90-100 range then slowly subsides.

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Response to gab13by13 (Original post)

Mon May 16, 2022, 11:47 AM

11. Have a steady failing heart myself

Had by-pass years ago (rotten diet, no exercise, just shitty life-style). Went from that to stents, then to pace maker, defib implant which worked for awhile and probably saved me two or three times until de-fib was needed. Eight hours on the table with over 100 burn out bad electrical firings cauterized. Amiodarone heavily prescribed after the operation along with others. Yes, Amiodarone does all kind of crap to you - tremors, bruising, etc. Thankfully they weaned me away from it to just taking 100mg every other day along with aspirin and other stuff.

IF it needs to be done, it needs to be done -

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Response to gab13by13 (Original post)

Mon May 16, 2022, 11:51 AM

12. My daughter had a radiofrequenty ablation at age 5 - and went on to

become a competitive figure skater in her teens as well as running track cross country, and today she is a medical professional. She's done mountain climbing and all sorts of physical activities with no limitations.

It was a miracle for us as at the time, the procedure was still experimental in children. She'd been on a a wait list for 6 months. Before the procedure, she was in and out of hospitals with her heart racing 150 beats per minute; medication wasn't working.

It was literally "band aid" surgery where she woke up with bandaids on her neck and groin, where they had threaded a catheter into the heart to burn off a microscopic piece of tissue causing her heart to go haywire. I wrote about her story in Woman's Day Magazine in an article titled, "My Daughter's Heart Went Haywire."

I learned it's important for kids to have a surgeon with small hands. We interviewed two. The first had huge hands; when we asked how many procedures had something go wrong he said he'd done 10 and wound up with one kid who had to get a pacemaker. The second had small hands and had done 800 surgeries without a single problem. He also said in some cases if there's a potential for that complication he'll not complete the procedure and simply wait for the chlid to grow a little older; with a larger heart the procedure is easier and there's more room for the surgeon to work.

Before that procedure became available, she'd been a candidate for open heart surgery.

After the procedure, she had to lay flat for 24 hours but was up walking the dog and playing a day later with no pain or after affects at all. She's now 32, and working as a physician assistant in a hospital ICU with COVID patients.

A few years ago my husband developed the same condition and had the same procedure as an outpatient, total success.

I highly recommend this for those eligible for the procedure and am glad yours was a success! I hadn't head of cryo ablation but glad it worked.

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