Viewer Comments: Atrial Fibrillation - Effective Treatments

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The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Atrial Fibrillation (AFib):

Atrial Fibrillation - Effective Treatments

What types of procedures (for example cardioversion) have you undergone for AFib?

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Comment from: mauiTodd, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: September 04

I had atrial fibrillation all the time for the last 5 years. Doctors performed a hybrid ablation procedure last November that cured me. No reoccurrence in the ten months since. They claim an 80 percent cure rate. I am told this special procedure is new and only available in the east coast at a few hospitals. Glad I had it done.

Comment from: tooyoung, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 11

I am a 46 year old female and have was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation a year and half ago. Can I just say wow, this has been a difficult journey! I have no other health issues, therefore I am told that this is a big positive factor. However, I suffer from many symptoms and my cardiologist says that many doctors would find that interesting because the fact that many doctors say that 'fix the other health issues and atrial fibrillation patients should feel little or no symptoms'. Not true in my case, again I have no other health issues. Any way I am set to have a consultation regarding a catheter ablation and I am a bit nervous. My EKG was normal and when I wore the event monitor for weeks apparently it only showed a few rapid heartbeats and missed beats but I feel something wrong with my heart, I feel it! My cardiologist says that it is atrial fibrillation and I currently am taking diltiasem 30 mg twice a day and it does help. I have noticed the rapid heart rate not be as bad, but the missed beat and fluttering are still there as well as many symptoms. The first cardiothoracic surgeon said he felt I should not do the ablation and scared me out of it when my cardiologist feels I am a good candidate for the surgery since I have no other health issues pertaining to the heart. I will be wearing the event monitor for the second time, for a month and I am emotionally exhausted from this. Life changes have been overwhelming as well, I have not worked in over a year and half.

Comment from: Dave, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: February 24

My heart was shocked 3 time in a row went right back into atrial fibrillation. I was told ablation would probably not work.

Comment from: Ronigrl, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 11

I had rheumatic heart failure as a kid which led to an enlarged heart and two damaged valves (aortic an mitral). My first surgery was to clear out scar tissue then several years later I had both valves replaced with mechanical valves. Since that surgery I was told that I fell into a small percentage group of people who will experience artial fibulation. I have had to have my heart "shocked" or "converted" about 6 times I am presently taking a medication which is being reviewed. It is so scary and I wonder how often a heart can be shocked like that without other problems. I feel well it is Friday and last Saturday I was cardio-verted.

Comment from: suzann, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 16

My a-fib was caused by hyperthyroidism (graves disease) 10 years ago. I drank radioactive iodine to treat the thyroid but the a-fib continued although infrequently. It has become more frequent in the last year. Monthly trips to the hospital via fire department medics. I would convert to sinus rhythm in the hospital with intravenous drugs. The last time my heart beat went to 6 second pauses so they put a pacemaker in so they could increase my Toprol XL to 100 mg. I have had my pacemaker for 2 weeks now and so far I haven't had to call the fire dept. My cardiologist said I still may need cardiac ablation. Time will tell.

Comment from: Laurie, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 12

I'm one of the lucky ones. While I've had afib since I was 25, it only occurs occasionally. It is becoming much more frequent over the last five to seven years. I've had them use the paddles once (prefer not to do that again!), and I spent two days in the hospital one other time. For the most part, I use Norpace/disopyramide phosphate and lots of patience. I can say that my symptoms seem to come and go harder now -- it can feel like getting punched when I go into or out of afib, with a "grab the counter so I don't fall" feeling.

Comment from: Jim, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 10

I have been recently diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. I have had bouts with it before on two separate occasions within the last 10 years. Anyhow, I had to have a stent put in; my one artery was 100% blocked. I feel pretty good except on occasion my heart rate will speed up for no apparent reason. When this happens, I feel a little light-headed and sick to my stomach. It has no certain pattern. It can go on and off all day or not happen at all for three to four days. I am currently on Plavix, Lopressor, Zocor, and aspirin and temporarily on prednisone. I don't know whether these symptoms are coming from the medicines or from my heart. My doctor says my heart is in great shape. I wore a holster for the weekend, and it showed an increase in heart rate, a few extra beats, but no signs of true atrial fibrillation.

Comment from: 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: September 10

My atrial fibrillation medication is Betapace. When I was taking 80 mg of this medication twice a day, my heart rate was too slow, around 45 beats per minute. They did a cardio version and changed my medication to 40 mg, twice a day. At first, the heart rate was fine, around 60 beats per minute. After three months, it started to increase to 70 beats per minute, and now it is around 85 beats per minute. I asked if they could split the dosage to 60 mg, twice a day. They said that that dosage was not available. Now they are considering ablation.

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Atrial Fibrillation (AFib):

Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) - Blood Thinning Medications

Do you take blood thinners? If so, please share your experience with the medications you have taken or are currently taking.

Atrial Fibrillation - Symptoms

What are your atrial fibrillation symptoms?

Atrial Fibrillation - Experience

Do you or someone you love have AFib? Please share your experience if you feel it may help others.

Atrial Fibrillation - Non Blood Clotting Medications

Do you take non blood thinking medications for AFib? If so, please share your experience with finding the right medication.

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