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    Catheter Ablation for Afib .... Safe & Effective?
    dwalter posted:
    I am interested in outcomes of catheter ablation for afib. My wife was injured during the procedure. Since then I have done a lot of research and I am concerned that the benefits of this procedure are being oversold while the risks are downplayed. I would love to hear from those who have undergone the procedure.
    I urge those considering the procedure to do a lot of research:
    cardiostarusa1 responded:

    I remember your previous posts, and sorry to hear what happened to your wife.

    "I am concerned that the benefits of this procedure are being oversold while the risks are downplayed."

    We hear you on that.

    I've read stories of success and of failure. Unfortunately, medical procedures carries risks and the possibility of complications, some unforeseen (which of course includes medical negligence/malpractice).

    As I've posted here many times before -

    About catheter ablation

    The heart really doesn't like being poked, prodded, or touched in any way, shape, or form at all, and can obviously be somewhat irritated after an ablation procedure (first time or redo) and can let the patient know by way of palpitations (such as premature ventricular contractions, PVCs), which typically resolve in a reasonable period of time.

    Especially with improving older standard radiofrequency energy (heat-based) technology, as well as newer technology cryoenergy/freezing, and high-intensity focused ultrasound, if/when performed by a highly-skilled doctor (IC/EP), via standard endocardial or transthoracic epidcardial, and done correctly (no culprit areas, pathways are missed, no normal areas are damaged or disrupted, the culprit tissue is ablated deep enough), a catheter ablation procedure should completely (100%) eliminate one's particular/specific arrhythmia for good.

    Noteworthy though, according to medical literature, approximately under 10% of the time, an arrhythmia may recur (at any time) even after what was thought as being an initially successful (single site or multiple sites mapped and treated accordingly) catheter ablation.

    This occurs because the abnormal heart cells or electrical pathway responsible for the arrhythmia was damaged, but not 100% therapeutically destroyed by the procedure. As this area heals, the original arrhythmia may reccur. Also, an ablation procedure may/can lead to the occurrence of a totally different type of arrhythmia, sometimes making pacemaker implantation necessary.

    Take care,


    WebMD member (since 8/99)



    WebMD/WebMD forums does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
    dwalter responded:
    CardioStar: "A catheter ablation procedure should completely eliminate (100%) one's particular/specific arrhythmia for good."

    This from a recent John Mandrola ( column:

    "Here is Dr Rita Redberg, influential cardiologist and editor of the JAMA Internal Medicine "Less is More" series, said this about ablating AF :[blockquote>"Because ablation has never been studied in a randomized blinded fashion, we cannot know whether patients experience fewer symptoms after ablation because subjective symptoms frequently decrease following a procedure or whether the ablation itself was beneficial.
    Furthermore, the clinical benefit on survival and morbidity of this invasive procedure, which has substantial procedural risks, remains to be established."

    And this:
    MedPage: Ablation for Afib Dogged by Complications
    • This study found that catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation — with its promise of drug-free symptom relief and long-term outcome benefits — thus far has been hindered by high rates of periprocedural complications and a frequent need for rehospitalization.
    • Older age, female sex, prior hospitalization for atrial fibrillation, and recent hospital procedure experience were all associated with a higher risk of complications and/or 30-day readmission after ablation.

    There is plenty more where that comes from.

    I find your statements uniformed and reckless.

    Edienelle responded:
    I had it done Tuesday, and it went very well. I came home the next day and am fine.

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