I am in the dark after cardiac ablation procedure

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dirk1843
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 2/12/2012 2:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello all, new member to forum.....landing here after hours and hours of searching the WWW.

Background:

38 year old male....over weight (216) but in over all very good health. See my GP every year, and blood work has always been good. Last month, on 2 different occasions, I had a tightness of my chest. Just a tick beyond heartburn, almost unnoticeable. Heart rate never got above 90 bpm during episodes. I had been noticing being short of breath for about the last 6 months or so, but I blamed it on being out of shape. My job has been becoming less and less physical, and I thought I was just getting soft. I saw my GP about the tightness, and he scheduled an echo stress test.

During the test as I approached my target heart rate, I felt the tightness and according to cardiologist that was preforming the test I went into "wide complex ventricular tachycardia". I was taken off the treadmill, the doc called for a crash cart, and he kept talking to me asking me how I was feeling, etc. I never passed out, and that amazed him it seemed. He told me I went in and out of v-tach twice in his office. I was taken to the ER for a dye test which showed no blockage.

I was then told I would be taken to a more advanced medical center, about an hour away, to be seen by a specialist in cardiac physiology. He saw me that night, and told me I would have an EP and cardiac ablation the next day. I did have one, and was told by my family he said he treated 10 places on my heart. I spent that night and the next in the hospital, with orders to go home on Saturday after the procedure which was late Thursday night. During all of this I was very nervous, and Saturday after they took me off the heart monitor, I began feeling unwell. Don't know what it was, but doc canceled discharge, and they said I would stay until Monday and have a repeat stress test. The stress test was going to be held off for a couple of weeks.

I passed the stress test with flying colors...made it to around 95% of my max rate before my legs began to tire. The doc told me Monday night that all my monitoring looked good. He gave me beta blockers, and told me to take 1 full strength aspirin per day.......and follow up in a month. I am wearing an event monitor now in case I have any issues.

Other than that, I have no idea what I have been through, or what my recovery will be. Part of the the problem I believe is the 2 heart doctors.....whom are over an hour apart, and although seem to have a good relationship with each other, don't really communicate that well. The doctor who did the EP/ablation is alot different "bedside" than mine GP, which I am used to. I have been with my GP almost 25 years now, and we know each other, and he takes my hand when I need it, and baby steps me through something.....the EP doc is short and to the point. His last words to me were approximately the following: "procedure went well, passed stress test, and only 1 missed beat on heart monitors in 6 days. What more do you want me to do? You are young, don't worry so much, see you soon, God Bless". While all of that sounded good, I guess I was wanting a little more from this very busy man.

A couple of days after I came home, I had what I believe to be a panic attack.....heart rate climbed on event monitor to 120+ while I was sitting on the couch in the home alone. My rate came down after I made the recording, and called someone to come and get me, where I wouldn't be alone. Later my GP called in some meds for anxiety, which have helped in 2 occasions since.

I think part of the anxiety is me not knowing more about this.....that is why I am here. No one has taken the time to tell me exactly what happened to me, what caused it, why they had to do things they did........I KNOW they were busy saving my life, and didn't want to take time to chit chat, but I firmly believe that MY recovery wont' truly start until I know the story(s) involved.

Any insight I can gain from this sight would be so very much appreciated, thanks to anyone who will take the time!!

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 2/12/2012 6:17 PM (GMT -6)   
 
Hello and a warm welcome to HealingWell.  I am so sorry you arefeeling out in the dark about your hospitalizations and your procedures.  Also about your test results.  mad
 
May I kindly suggest you contact your GP and have him request copies of your chart from the hospital where you had the cardiac ablation as well as the cardiologist that performed your echo.  What you want is a full copy of the report from your first echo so you know what the original conclusion was from that test. 
 
What you want from the interventional cardiologist is the whole shebang from your tests, events, procedures etc. 
 
When your GP has all your records ask him to explain everything to you.  As your primary care physician he should have a copy of your medical records in order to continue to provide you with appropriate care.  As the patient you should advocate for yourself as often we don't ask all the questions or understand everything the Drs. say when we are under stress. 
 
I feel bad that you are feeling anxious when perhaps a good conversation with your GP to explain everything would help you.
 
I am glad you found us and do keep on talking with us as we are here to support you.
 
Kindly,
Kitt

~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

www.healingwell.com

"only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be"

dirk1843
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 2/12/2012 8:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the kind words and good advice Kitt. I will of course do these things. Would this be better done before my follow up with EP cardiologist, which will be the end of this month? I wonder if my GP would feel as if he was being dragged into the middle of it before being released by the heart doctors? No one can know how my GP would feel, but what is "proper procedure" in a case like this?

Any additional input on original post would still be welcome.

dirk1843
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/6/2012 9:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Still looking for advice and input.

I saw the EP doc last week, he said as far as he can tell things are good.....but he couldn't answer my most basic questions:

-what caused this in me............... "we don't know, this is an idiopathic condition"
-how long could I have had it......"I have no way of knowing"
-am I well/cured........."we can't know for sure"

so really I don't feel any better, he referred me back to the original cardio in my hometown. I see him in a week.

Here are my questions for the forum:

-I am taking Toprol XL. I think my body is fighting it and/or it is wearing off, need a larger dose. I take 25mg around supper time. In the mornings, if I am sitting still, my heart rate drops to the 60s, dipping into the 50s. In the evening, doing the same activity (nothing) heart rate is 70/80s jumping at times into the 90s. I often have dizzy spells in the morning, wearing an event monitor, and so far all of the episodes are not heart rhythm related. I think it is a side effect of the medicine.

-I have heard/read that it takes time for your heart to readjust to it's new "map" so to speak. I just don't feel like I used to. Of course part of this is from taking it so easy over the last month. Some has to be from medicine. Alot is probably stress. I may be wrong, but I think I should eventually get back to myself one day, hopefully soon.

-I feel stress has had a large part to play in this. Could it be a contributing factor in the development of this condition? I KNOW it has been a factor in my recovery. My GP has offered my a long term anti-anxiety med, but I really don't want to take it. However I may NEED to....for a full recovery and to prevent problems in the future.

-I am thinking of buying an AED (automatic external defibrillator). Part of me thinks this is overkill. Part of me says my life is worth 1200 dollars, and it might very well easy my anxiety....alot of which comes from going into v-tach again too far from help. I think when I get the event monitor taken off next week, I may pick up a blood oxygen and maybe a blood pressure monitor. I think the blood oxygen meter might help me to reassure myself when I feel something strange.......as I understand it, the danger of this condition is the loss of blood flow, which I hope would show with a meter.

-Has anyone ever had to have a pacemaker or internal defib installed after ablation? If so, what were the reasons/symptoms? I WANT to be better with just the ablation. I don't WANT a defib installed. But I hate to feel powerless, which best I can tell you ARE if it comes back.

Donohuema
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/5/2013 10:15 AM (GMT -6)   
You might want to consult a health psychologist. They can treat your anxiety, and can help explain about how the heart works, what the cardiologists have documented in their reports and translate it to English, and help you manage the ambiguity of the situation.

Brat1979
New Member


Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/13/2013 10:04 PM (GMT -6)   
I had a heart abaltion in 2008, I had a mild heart-attack at that time my heart rate was at 204bpm & the hospital did not tell me that I had a heart-attack at that time; so I was sent in for the abaltion, the surgeron froze the extra nerve twice but also woke up during the surgery! Had been a very active person! since then don't have the energy & if my heart-rate goes to 100bpm my heart feels like its gonna pound out of my chest. Have been back to the hospital & have had stress test the Cardo said it showed I had a heart attack in 08 but he was just gonna put me on xanx & a asap a day. Just wish I could have my energy back
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