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Ablation treatment for AFib(Vanity)
calex59 | 3/24/2012 | calex59

Posted on 03/24/2012 6:02:18 PM PDT by calex59

Has anyone had, or knows someone who has had, ablation treatment for Afib?


TOPICS: Health/Medicine
KEYWORDS: ablation; afib; heart; scars
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I have read about it and discussed it with my Doctor but would like to hear from people who have had it done. Would love to hear from FReepers who have had first hand experience with this. Does it work and what side effects have you experienced?
1 posted on 03/24/2012 6:02:21 PM PDT by calex59
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To: calex59

Isn’t that what Southern women do in the morning before breakfast?


2 posted on 03/24/2012 6:04:02 PM PDT by freedumb2003 ('RETRO' Abortions = performed on 84th trimester individuals who think killing babies is a "right.")
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To: freedumb2003

No a**hat it is a serious procedure for a serious medical problem. Got any more smart a**ed comments you want to make?


3 posted on 03/24/2012 6:06:20 PM PDT by calex59
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To: calex59

A friend had it done, and it seems to have helped. No side effects in his case. Sorry, but that’s all I know.


4 posted on 03/24/2012 6:08:39 PM PDT by achilles2000 ("I'll agree to save the whales as long as we can deport the liberals")
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To: calex59

Is this a “clean the blood” procedure?


5 posted on 03/24/2012 6:09:08 PM PDT by Steve Newton (And the Wolves will learn what we have shown before-We love our sheep we dogs of war. Vaughn)
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To: Steve Newton

Nope, it requires scarring parts of the heart in order to stop Atrial Fibrillation. It has, supposedly, about a 73% success ratio. If you know what Afib is or suffer from it you would know what I am talking about.


6 posted on 03/24/2012 6:11:05 PM PDT by calex59
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To: calex59

Two of my friends have had it with great success......my other friend was a cardiovascular nurse and also thought it was a great procedure with minimal complications....go for it.....


7 posted on 03/24/2012 6:11:51 PM PDT by Kimmers (Pray more and shoot straight.........)
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To: achilles2000

Thanks for a serious answer. How long has it been since he had it done?


8 posted on 03/24/2012 6:11:56 PM PDT by calex59
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To: calex59

Be glad the MAZE procedure is a thing of the past.


9 posted on 03/24/2012 6:12:14 PM PDT by LukeL (Barack Obama: Jimmy Carter 2 Electric Boogaloo)
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To: calex59

Well I have had a few stints.

But God bless and heal you my friend.

You will make the right choice.


10 posted on 03/24/2012 6:12:56 PM PDT by Steve Newton (And the Wolves will learn what we have shown before-We love our sheep we dogs of war. Vaughn)
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To: Kimmers

Yeah, the way I look at it, anything beats taking 4 or 5 drugs every day and not having them actually reduce or stop the fib. Maybe even get off of coumadin, that would be great.


11 posted on 03/24/2012 6:13:29 PM PDT by calex59
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To: calex59

There is a professional golfer named David Toms. He was playing a round in a tournament and his heart raced so badly he passed out. They life flighted him out and stabilized him. He had Afib too. They snaked the cathter in and abated the node that was firing wrong ( or near the node) and he has been fine since. Google him.


12 posted on 03/24/2012 6:14:18 PM PDT by shankbear (The GOP and the mass media are giving us another McCain......thanks.)
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To: LukeL

Was the MAZE a bad thing? I read a little about it but since it isn’t done any more I didn’t really get into it. Now they scar around the pulmonary arteries because apparently the stray electrical signals come from them.


13 posted on 03/24/2012 6:16:18 PM PDT by calex59
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To: calex59

It generally is very effective but like all medical procedures there is some risk (rather low risk) and no guarantee of long term success. In hands of experienced electrophysiologist (heart doc specializing in cardiac rhythm disorders) it’s very effective and if successful, it’s much preferable to taking long term blood thinners!


14 posted on 03/24/2012 6:16:45 PM PDT by Froggie
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To: calex59

Calex, there a couple of problems with leaving atrial fibrillation untreated. First, the atrium is not contracting normally and this leaves blood to stagnate in it and frequently coagulate. The clots formed in this way can be ejected into the brain and cause strokes. This can be treated by anticoagulation with aspirin or other anticoagulants. Second, the failure of the atrium to contract normally in AF, can reduce cardiac output. In an otherwise healthy individual, this is not a big deal but if someone has other heart problems, as people with atrial fibrillation often do, it can reduce cardiac output to the point of causing significant symptoms. Ablation is the use of an electrical stimulus to destroy the abnormally firing pacer in the atrium that is causing atrial fibrillation. There are medications that can reduce heart rate if one has atrial fibrillation but there are not without their own problems. Ablation is generally very well tolerated and effective. I would much rather have this procedure than live with untreated atrial fibrillation.


15 posted on 03/24/2012 6:16:51 PM PDT by johniegrad
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To: calex59
My father had this procedure in his 80s. It works. He'd been very limited since his mid-60s too.

It can have a minor impact on the performance of one valve down the line. They've been learning more about that and cardio-surgeons can take steps to minimize the problem.

My father had been at a total loss about what to do with his heart for many years. Some doctors wanted to slow it down, others wanted to speed it up, others said there was nothing short of a transplant to help out, or maybe the addition of a very complex device similar to a pacemaker but with more bells and whistles.

(SEE DICK CHENEY).

One day I discovered that a type of Bradycardia/Tachycardia is symptomatic of having one of three different alleles of a gene frequently found among Sa'ami, with one very bad version found exclusively in a small group (500) living mostly in Scandinavia. These people had a number of other alleles typically found among Sa'ami, particularly the favorite medical test group of all time, the 500 Skolt who live in Finland.

I told him to find people who were interested in eliminating an extra sinus node that fired his heart muscle up out of sequence with the other sinus node.

Almust unbelievably he found an advertisement in a local paper that said Dr. so and so and his buddies had opened up a new practice in Bloomington Indiana to treat exactly this problem.

He made an appointment with them. They took him off all medication and gave him a couple of weeks to get the aspirin and other drugs out of his system. Then, he went in for the procedure and walked out of there a new man TWO HOURS LATER.

We have improved our genealogical records immensely after that time ~ NO ONE had any knowledge of an origin in Scandinavia for any of the ancestors. Now we know it's most of them, and among the Sa'ami, not the Norse.

I"ve found distant cousins with the same problem ~ usually involving more than one member of the family, and directed them to doctors who know what to do.

This is not without risk, nor is it perfect, but it's far better than being crippled!

16 posted on 03/24/2012 6:18:33 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: calex59

With the MAZE they have to cut your chest open, either a complete throacotomy or a couple of small holes. With an ablation, just a small hole in the groin and most likely only 1 day in the hospital.


17 posted on 03/24/2012 6:19:22 PM PDT by LukeL (Barack Obama: Jimmy Carter 2 Electric Boogaloo)
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To: calex59

I talked to a lady a couple of months ago, and she had to have it done twice. I believe this is done by catheter, so it’s not too bad to go through.


18 posted on 03/24/2012 6:20:42 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: calex59

I sure understand that any medical procedure is a scary thing to go through but this will make you feel a whole lot better.....and by the way one of the guys that had this procedure is back to riding bike, hunting, water skiing.....yeah he feels good....


19 posted on 03/24/2012 6:23:10 PM PDT by Kimmers (Pray more and shoot straight.........)
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To: johniegrad

Thanks for the info, however, I have had Afib for years now, in fact I first had it before the ablation procedures came into being, so I know all the stuff you told me. Thanks again, and I have no bad symptoms, no dizziness, no faintness etc. but I do have to take coumadin and be tested monthly, would like to get rid of that if possible.


20 posted on 03/24/2012 6:23:42 PM PDT by calex59
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To: calex59
Couple of thoughts

Have u tried Multaq? It's a new, very effective anti-arythmic.

Also, ensure the physician/electrophysiogist does at least 70 of these procedures per year. Statistically much better results with surgeon who does more than 70

Cleveland Clinic has great reputation but there is also a surgeon in Oklahoma City / Norman, OK associated with OU who is going it via a new access route who is having great success

Tool luck

21 posted on 03/24/2012 6:25:21 PM PDT by MindBender26 (New Army SF and Ranger Slogan: Vengeance is Mine, sayeth the Lord.... but He subcontracts!)
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To: calex59

I hope it treats tightly-woundedness too.


22 posted on 03/24/2012 6:25:21 PM PDT by krb (Obama is a miserable failure.)
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To: calex59

I had the opportunity as a nursing student to observe an A-Fib atrial ablation. It was fascinating. There is a whole team to oversee the care of the patient.

There is so much equipment in the procedure room to tract the patient and to assist the doctor that it looks like a Best Buy store gone bad. The procedure took about 4 hours to complete. I was surprised how quickly the patient came out of the anesthetic after it was all over. The guy was up and talking to the doctor about 15 minutes after we were done.

The patient has to lie flat and be still for several hours after the procedure to ensure that the femoral arteries don’t start bleeding. But that is the same issue when you have an angioplasty.


23 posted on 03/24/2012 6:25:26 PM PDT by notpoliticallycorewrecked (According to the MSM, I'm a fringe sitting, pajama wearing, Freeper)
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To: calex59
I have 2 experiences with this procedure. The first was a good friends wife who was recommended to under go the procedure and delayed. Eventually after 2 fainting episodes under went the procedure and it was a complete success with absolutely no side effects and she feels terrific

The second was my wife and last summer the effects she was experiancing from her heart abnormalities was very bad and caused problems in almost every activity. Her doctor highly recommended the procedure and after it was scheduled the insurance company denied it claiming drug therapy was not fully explored.we appealed the decision and at the same time her prescription was changed the new drug did improve her symptom's but not completely. We are still waiting for the results of the appeal. I recommend your doctor get the insurance approval asap.

24 posted on 03/24/2012 6:28:26 PM PDT by JIM O
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To: calex59

I talked to a surgeon recently and he said there’s controversy about whether MAZE works. I wouldn’t even think about it unless you’re getting your chest opened for something else.


25 posted on 03/24/2012 6:28:50 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: calex59

Also my mother has atrial fib. I wish that she would have the procedure so she could go off of coumadin and be able to do more.


26 posted on 03/24/2012 6:29:10 PM PDT by notpoliticallycorewrecked (According to the MSM, I'm a fringe sitting, pajama wearing, Freeper)
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To: All

Thanks for all the replies. I have to go now, am late for a meeting with a friend. I think I have found out what I want to know, that coupled with what one friend told me(he said if my doc wouldn’t do authorize it get one who would)has made me decide to push for it. FReepers are the greatest and have much knowledge they are willing to share. God bless you all. Thanks again. Bye for now.


27 posted on 03/24/2012 6:29:42 PM PDT by calex59
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To: calex59

I had cardio ablation to resolve a SVT problem. It was very interesting experience. Laying on a table surrounded by computer monitors your put half out but aware. They insert through a vein in your upper thigh then wind their way to the inside of you heart. It is a little uncomfotable but not painful. On mine they spent some time mapping out the heart to find the place to burn. They induced the SVT (minor) to confirm the spot then burned it. After the burn they injected large dose of adrenalin to stimulate the heart and trigger any episode to prove the burn was good. That was the hardest part. Strapped down flooded with adrenalin sweating, heart racing and creating sensations like your running a hard mile. Once they are satisfied burn works they bring you down remove the probes and close the small incision. Several times during the procedure the affects to the drugs started wearing off and I would notify the nurse per instruction that I was starting to give a shit about what was going on and she would juice me a little more.

Post op was mostly concerned with the incision not bleeding or infecting and no exercise to let the heart recover. After a couple weeks can return slowly to normal exercise routines . ( I road bike so was eager to get back on the bike)

Mechanically things were good, The head in another story. It is easy to mind lock on the heart for every bobble and trigger anxiety. Took me a while to get my head strait about what happened and where my body was now at.

The SVT has never recurred but I do have increased occurrences of irregular beats ( pre beats sometimes called) These as you probably know even if not life threatening are troubling when they increase in frequency. I regular see my cardioologist and had had a harness on a couple of times with the prebeats so still under observation for those. Had to concede to a beta blocker which really slows down the cycling in the hills but being alive is a good thing...

All in all it was a strange experience with more dimensions than I originally contemplated but stoping the heart from randomly racing off to over 220 bpm for no reason was worth it.

hope this helps


28 posted on 03/24/2012 6:31:21 PM PDT by Breto (The Establishment party is killing our country)
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To: calex59

My dad had the ablation therapy, but it didn’t work quite right. He needed a valve replaced and a quadruple bypass graft, so while they were in there they did the MAZE as well. He took a while to recover, but he’s gotten the complete overhaul, good for another 50 thousand miles, I hope.


29 posted on 03/24/2012 6:32:09 PM PDT by boop (I hate hippies and dopeheads. Just hate them. ...Ernest Borgnine)
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To: calex59

I was wrong. My friend was scheduled to have it done, and then he noticed a correlation between the arthymia and his alcohol consumption. Reducing his martinis from 9-11 a week to 2 a week completely eliminated the problem. His situation is probably very atypical.


30 posted on 03/24/2012 6:32:09 PM PDT by achilles2000 ("I'll agree to save the whales as long as we can deport the liberals")
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To: calex59

My mother was to have it but wasn’t stable enough. As others have stated relatively low risk, especially when you consider life time warfrin or prodaxa.


31 posted on 03/24/2012 6:38:17 PM PDT by waynesa98
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To: calex59

My friend had it done and it was wonderful for her. She was going to the emergency room often - they could knock her heart back into rhythm with meds - it was terrifying.

She met with the specialist once, went in the hospital one morning and was out by the afternoon. She only had a headache from the meds.

After the ablation, all that fear and worry is gone and her heart has been perfect for several years. She has had no side effects.


32 posted on 03/24/2012 6:40:09 PM PDT by donna (Republicans won't change their ways until conservatives draw the line.)
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To: calex59

I have Afib,Let me know how you make out. Sick of the Coumadin and Digoxin and still get the flutters.


33 posted on 03/24/2012 6:43:03 PM PDT by Joshua
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To: calex59
Geez, that coumadin stuff is poison. The combination of that and Atenolol damn near killed me. Went back to aspirin and adjusted to Atenolol. Still do not care for the inability to get heart rate up when exercising.

That said, I seem to have fixed my periodic AF by staying well hydrated.

34 posted on 03/24/2012 6:48:55 PM PDT by doorgunner69
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To: calex59

I had AFib in 2005. I converted back chemically, but the plan WAS to Cardiovert me. Compared to Ablation, Cardioversion is SCARY.

Basically, they kill you by stopping your heart... wait 30 seconds. . .then try to jump-start you using the usual paddles. 1 time in 20, you stay dead.

Hope it goes well for you....


35 posted on 03/24/2012 6:57:15 PM PDT by Salgak
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To: calex59

My son had the ablation done in late January. A doctor had recommended it when he was 18, but he refused to have it done. He has been an RN, a combat medic and a SWAT team medic. It finally became too much of an issue (passing out) and he had the procedure done. The procedure itself was a success but it turns out the afib was in part his body compensating for neurocardiac syncope which is still resisting any kind of resolution.

Different doctors have different success rates with the procedure. Look for a rock star doctor and God bless.


36 posted on 03/24/2012 7:02:31 PM PDT by Roses0508
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To: JIM O

That’s strange.


37 posted on 03/24/2012 7:06:07 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

As a surgeon I think the best out there for a fib is Hansen robots device.brain child of Fred Moll who started Intuitive Surgery ..Da Vinci robots..google it.


38 posted on 03/24/2012 7:14:41 PM PDT by GRAKUM (Best treatment for afib)
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To: muawiyah

As a surgeon I think the best out there for a fib is Hansen robots device.brain child of Fred Moll who started Intuitive Surgery ..Da Vinci robots..google it.


39 posted on 03/24/2012 7:14:54 PM PDT by GRAKUM (Best treatment for afib)
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To: muawiyah

As a surgeon I think the best out there for a fib is Hansen robots device.brain child of Fred Moll who started Intuitive Surgery ..Da Vinci robots..google it.


40 posted on 03/24/2012 7:15:00 PM PDT by GRAKUM (Best treatment for afib)
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To: calex59
Had ablation in 1992 for wpw was the best thing ever.Had so much aggravation with the irregular beats.I had the procedure at Inova Fairfax Hospital Heart Center no problems out in a day.Later had to watch caffeine and allergy meds .
41 posted on 03/24/2012 7:22:05 PM PDT by DAR
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To: calex59

I had an Ablation done in 2006 due to a very fast heart rate that they couldn’t slow down with medications. (120)

They knew what the hell they were doing... One night in the hospital and I was home with no restrictions what so ever. My heart rate immediately went down to the mid sixties and has remained there since.


42 posted on 03/24/2012 7:31:28 PM PDT by babygene (Figures don't lie, but liars can figure...)
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To: Joshua
I have Afib,Let me know how you make out. Sick of the Coumadin and Digoxin and still get the flutters.

Had to leave for a while but am back now. I just started on digoxin but don't think I will be able to keep it up. I gained 4lbs in 3 days. I assume it is water weight and that means the Digoxin isn't working correctly for me, at least from all I can read on it. Nothing I take decreases the periodic Afib I get. Lucky for me, I don't get severe symptoms, no passing out, no dizziness and no faintness. I can't work as hard when I am in fib though, I get tired a lot easier. Fortunately I am not in it all the time.

However, I have been having more frequent episodes and asked the Doc this week about ablation. I think I will push him for it.

43 posted on 03/24/2012 7:34:44 PM PDT by calex59
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To: calex59

I had the procedure done a little over 4 years ago for atrial flutter. Didn’t have much in the way of symptoms except that I had fainted a few times (probably a total of 3 all early in the morning, shaving, etc.) over a few years before that. Might add that I have done a morning run on fairly regular basis since we moved here in 1969. One time my chest at the lower edge of my ribs was sore on one side & it was uncomfortable running. The diagnosis was pneumonia and after the antibiotic treatment, the Dr. was doing a follow up exam and had me get an ekg. The results were somewhat similar to those shown here: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/757549-overview

He told me that that extra sawtooth waveform was not supposed to be there. The electrical heart doctor cured it with the ablation process. My heart rate had been pretty low (due to good physical condition) & they put in a pacemaker & set it at 60. I was not necessarily convinced that the pacemaker was necessary, since it runs all the time due to the natural low heart rate. The first pacemaker lasted a little over 4 years and I found out that you can learn a lot of interesting things from the pacemaker technician while they are downloading information from the old unit and setting up the new one.

Ablation Procedure: They put you out for the procedure. Mine was held in a room with 4 large monitors overhead, one showing the ekg. Don’t remember what the others were, but one is probably like an x-ray. They run the microwave cable up from your groin to your heart.

I came home the next day for Thanksgiving dinner. (Homemade beat hospital food). As far as I can tell, the atrial flutter is gone & I have not fainted since the procedure. My recovery was probably extended due to the installation of the pacemaker.

An advantage in having a pacemaker is that it records “episodes”. Its sort of like a continuous ekg.

Don’t know if this helps. Let me know if you have any specific questions.


44 posted on 03/24/2012 7:36:50 PM PDT by Western Phil
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To: achilles2000
I was wrong. My friend was scheduled to have it done, and then he noticed a correlation between the arthymia and his alcohol consumption. Reducing his martinis from 9-11 a week to 2 a week completely eliminated the problem. His situation is probably very atypical.

Actually, moderate to heavy alcohol use is well known to cause Afib and to add to existing Afib. Best to stay away from Alcohol if you have Afib. Glad to hear your friends was entirely alcohol related.

45 posted on 03/24/2012 7:41:41 PM PDT by calex59
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To: Breto

Yes, I had a heart cath done once and it is very similar except they were looking for clogged veins, they didn’t find any. You are right that you know what is going on but just don’t care:). Hardest part was lying there afterwards with a sand bag on my leg for 6 hours to let the leg artery clot up before I could move around.


46 posted on 03/24/2012 7:46:10 PM PDT by calex59
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To: Breto

Your experience was different than mine. I wanted to watch, but they put me under.


47 posted on 03/24/2012 7:58:07 PM PDT by Western Phil
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To: Western Phil
My cousin nearest my age has the afib problem like my father (BTW, everybody in the area where I was born is related to everybody else ~ some on quite slender and straight family trees too ~ but we digress).

In discussing the problem and reading the Scandinavian research into it we've figured out that the hereditary afib is definitely related to a naturally square shaped heart where the atrial chambers are LARGER than average ~ this enables your heart to move more blood through the lungs with less breathing ~ probably advantageous in the Arctic.

Second, we all have a characteristic heart beat ~ it goes up to about 120 bpm, then gradually drops off to 40 to 50 bpm during extended exercise.

The Afib problem is on top of that normal beat. Treatment with drugs definitely gets in the way of normal life, particularly when those drugs are trying to SLOW DOWN a 40 bpm rate. Ablation (my father, my cousin, other cousins) definitely is the way to go if you have Afib on top of the square heart (also frequently found among athletes).

48 posted on 03/24/2012 7:58:26 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Western Phil
Thanks phil. Yep, I know about pacemakers, I had to have my mitral valve sewn up when I was about 54. Because of that operation, I ended up with atrial fib and the need for a pace maker. Apparently a side affect of the operation. At any rate I don't think I really need the pace maker, on one of my Afib runs my heart would slow down when it tried to recover, actually stopped for about 4 seconds each time. After that they put in the pace maker and gave me large quantities of beta blockers, Ace inhibitors etc.

First pace maker lasted about 10 years, the one I have now is not going to last that long because the leads going into the heart are not right for some reason.

So, I already have the pace maker all I need is to get rid of the damn A flutter. Very annoying, even when there are not a lot of symptoms associated with it(some people get some severe symptoms, some don't).

49 posted on 03/24/2012 7:59:12 PM PDT by calex59
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To: doorgunner69
coumadin IS poison....warfarin is in truth, used in rat poisoning...

but, its a very inexpensive drug compared to some and its probably prolonged a million lives...

50 posted on 03/24/2012 8:00:07 PM PDT by cherry
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