I have just found this thread having been advised that I am to undergo my 6th ablation in 8 years. I was diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation, Atrial Flutter and Mitral Valve Prolapse at the age of 25 with a six year history of irregular heart rhythms. Typically at the point of diagnoses my resting heart rate was around 160 bpm. I went to join a gym but was refused following a fitness assessment and was told to see a doctor because my heart rate on minimal exercise exceeded 240 bpm with 20 seconds. I wasn't terribly surprised be caused I'd had a fast heart rate since about the age of 15. In contrast the rate slowed in bed to about 20. I started to have unexplained blackouts or fainting episodes about the age of 24. The upshot was that I had an arrhythmia. Initially Ablation procedures were just about to start in the UK so I opted to wait 2 years to have an ablation which took about 10 hours. This removed the Atrial Flutter and reduced the extremities of the AF. My resting heart rate dropped to around 120 but I was still experiencing AF and 'pausing'. The second ablation was extremely protracted and took 12 hours. I was in sinus rhythm for one month then reverting back to AF with intermittent syncoal episodes. The third ablation took 8 hours but had dramatic results delivering paroxysmal AF from chronic AF. The rate remained problematic. The 4th ablation was planned because the physician was unable to ablate the foci in all 5 branches of the pulmonary vein at once. The 4th ablation took 5 hours in part due to the advances in technology. The 5th ablation dealt with a reconnection of the previous ablated tissues but on he whole the AF had dramatically controlled with medication. At that point I had used flecanide which had no effect, disopyramide which was helpful but caused problems with my urinary tract, arrythmol which was not very helpful, amioderone which in the long term caused me problems with my skin etc and more recently multaq which I can tolerate but isn't as effective. I am very susceptible to arrhythmia from common foods and medications which are known to cause arrhythmia. I have never smoked or drank alcohol, and I have always ate and lived healthy. There has been some suggestion in my case that the recurrence of AF stems from mitochondrial disease of the foci.
I am about to have the 6th ablation as for some unknown reason the AF has deteriorated back to chronic AF in spite of the previous intervention. I have been pleased to live with the results from the last ablation. Prior to the use of ablation, there was only the use of a pacemaker device and all that this entails.
Has anyone ever had investigations in to arrhythmia related mitochondrial disease ? Does the long term prognosis end up with a pacemaker device? Any thoughts would be helpful.