Pace and Ablate

I had my AV node ablation yesterday and wanted to say thanks for the support on here about both the pacemaker insertion and the ablation.

The procedure went without hitch. It took less than a minute to ablate the node and then there was a wait while they do the pacemaker tests and make sure they've got all the cells ablated. I didn't feel a thing. Not much sedation needed apparently for such a short procedure. I've not had any bleeding in my groin. Back to the ward within an hour then laying flat 2for hrs then sitting 2for hrs then ambulatory for an hour then home. Bish bash bosh! And now the luxury of a regular heartbeat.

 I wanted to share my experience because I was so so frightened beforehand and my anxiety levels were off the scale.  I hope this can give a positive perspective for someone else because beforehand I  kept reading about a lot of problems regarding the ablation on the internet. My consultant who did the procedure was wonderful. I asked him if he could just keep talking to me telling me what was happening at each stage. I found that really useful. Fear of the unknown is hard! So he told me everything he was doing which really helped. I always thought you'd feel the whole thing but I honestly felt very little! In fact, the ablation itself was so short lived, took about 60 seconds. Far far easier than any dental fillings I've had! He told me that AV node ablation is THE easiest procedure he does and normally offloads it onto his registrar but he also likes a bit of variety so kept me.  The Cath Lab was the coolest room in the hospital too on the hottest day in the UK ever 😁 

So now I'm home. Rest for a few days and I can get on with my life. I can't feel my pacemaker working at all. Seems pretty seamless... fingers crossed. I honestly can't believe it! I keep monitoring my heart but hopefully this will disappear as my confidence grows. 

So just sharing a bit of positivity today 😁❣️





That is such good news

by Gemita - 2022-07-21 04:45:45

Toni, I am delighted that your AV Node ablation procedure is out of the way and that you had such an excellent experience.  Your EP sounds amazing and the procedure time even more so.  Cannot believe it was done so quickly.  I was told about 15 mins and thought I had heard wrongly but now I can believe it.

It sounds as though your heart is already happier without the constant pounding of AFib affecting your ventricles.  You kept asking what you would feel after the ablation and no one could really answer because we are all so individual.  Well now you have your answer Toni and I am sure the sudden improvement is a very good sign for the future.

Thank you so much for this feedback.  It will definitely help me if I need to face this procedure.  Now relax, be happy and start planning again. 


by toniorr11 - 2022-07-21 07:31:03

Thanks Gemita. I've just been out for a wander around Sainsbury's! My Fitbit says that my heart rate went up to 111 at one point but I couldn't feel a thing. Mind you, they're not terribly accurate. I am really grateful not to feel it pacing anyway. 

Keep cool everyone 😁

Peace reigns☮️❤️‍🩹

by Lavender - 2022-07-21 09:27:39

I've read your past posts and have to say that I can feel your calmness!😉

You said this: "I wanted to share my experience because I was so so frightened beforehand and my anxiety levels were off the scale.  I hope this can give a positive perspective for someone else because beforehand"

I was reminded of myself. I had grown frightened and anxious as I went through so much trauma in life. In fact, when I got my CRT-P, I typed "pacemaker " in to my browser and that led me here. I read this site religiously as I learned to be calm and follow others as they led me through the dark rocky path. I was a silent observer, tiptoeing along but seeing the courage, knowledge and strength of so many who had gone before me, I finally had a lifeline. 

Others were posting and I listened in as the veterans here led them along. Finally 17 months in  to having my own device, I felt as you stated above. I don't have the expertise of our leaders, but I have some BTDT experience and like you, hope I can give some positivity to others 💕


by toniorr11 - 2022-07-21 09:36:57

😁🥰 Anxiety is terrible when you let it get a grip. I am not always this bad but with the combination of the diagnosis and decision to pace and ablate and being told that the waiting list was 8-12 weeks,it actually took 6months in total. Not easy. And in between I caught covid and was bedridden for 12 days with fatigue which set off a severe inflammation in my right hip! It's been difficult.

My other small gripe is that many of my questions and queries couldn't be answered by any one person... GP knew a bit, cardiac physiologists knew a bit and the person I really needed a conversation with was my consultant cardiologist and they are nigh on impossible to get near unless you go private. Anyway, moan over lol. I'm glad it's over and definitely better than root canal treatment imho 🤣

Rains-it pours

by Lavender - 2022-07-21 10:29:04

Isn't life that way? I've always called my life the "perils of Penelope" after a long ago cartoon. I also said I was a "Leave it to Beaver" mom in a "Jerry Springer" life. 🤪

The litany of my life's layers of disasters would bring a strong man to his knees. But isn't it also what makes us resilient?  When things are not so pleasant, I mentally list my woes of the past in layers, giving them numbers of what is the worst thing so far. Then I compare the troubles du jour and I see it's not the worst thing that ever happened to me.

The list goes on in different levels of pain. All the other life events of pain both physical and mental pale when compared to those two things top on my list-my son's death from heart disease and my dad's accidental drowning when he was 66 and healthy. I recall getting through that and know that I can endure. 

Pain can have levels too. I think sciatica was high on my list. Having to sleep upright during pericarditis combined with costochondritis led me to excruciating hip pain, so my empathy is high for all you've endured!

Hmmm having assisted with more root canals than I can name as a dental office employee, I have to say that people have told me it's worse pain than childbirth if the infection gets out of control! But then again it's individual-I've had only one root canal and I had barely any discomfort. 

Childbirth was intense but it's limited to a time frame and you usually get a big reward for your labor. 

The pacemaker pain lingered longer as I healed and my left arm still gets tight but massage helps. But, I would die without the device and most of the time-I'm totally oblivious to it. It's all relative. 

It's certainly exasperating to not get answers when we have questions. Everyone is stressed to the max especially the medical profession with the influx of baby boomers and the shortage of help. We're left to be our own advocate. Good thing we have this club. 

"I've always called my life the "perils of Penelope"

by AgentX86 - 2022-07-21 22:08:41

I've always known it as ODTAA (pronounced Odd-Taa), after the title of a western book we read in grade school (One Darn Thing After Another).

My pace-and-ablate was the best decision I made.  I probably wouldn't have if I didn't need a PM anyway but I instantly felt better. The heart monitoring company calling me at 3:00AM to tell me to get to the ER caused some anxiety but the rest was easy. I was back at work the next day (desk/computer job).

It sounds like you're doing exceedingly well, too, Toni.  Keep looking up.

You know you're wired when...

Intel inside is your motto.

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Try to concentrate on how you’re able to be active again and feel normal, rather than on having a machine stuck in your body.