Monthly Archives: December 2015

Almost Ablation Time

In just over a week I’ll be going in for a “simple” procedure called a cardiac ablation.   A few weeks ago I wrote that I finally had a diagnosis for what I was feeling in my chest while running sometimes (first reported here).  It seems that I’ve been suffering from episodes of Atrial Fibrillation for well over a year.  I can say the Metoprolol doesn’t seem to be working very well for me.  I’ve also been on the blood thinner Eliquis for about a month now, after found out the, although was going to take that one.  This is used to prepare for the procedure and reduce the risk of a stroke.

As I noted previously I’m a good candidate for cardiac ablation and will undergo the procedure on December 22. This catheter procedure will take anywhere from 3-8 hours while under a general anesthesia.  As a result it does require an overnight stay at the hospital, but only 1 week of recovery time.  The recovery time is mostly to ensure that the 3 incisions heal well as they are in the femoral and carotid arteries.

From the Mayo:

Ablation usually uses long, flexible tubes (catheters) inserted through a vein in your groin and threaded to your heart to correct structural problems in your heart that cause an arrhythmia.

Cardiac ablation works by scarring or destroying tissue in your heart that triggers an abnormal heart rhythm. In some cases, ablation prevents abnormal electrical signals from traveling through your heart and, thus, stops the arrhythmia.

Illustration showing cardiac catheter ablation


Though it is described as a simple procedure there are quite a few risks, though we won’t worry about those! The procedure is 75-80% effective – that’s what we want to focus on.  It would be dishonest to say that I’m not a little worried, but that is normal!