Avatar universal

Ablation without sedation?A horrible experience

Hi everyone,
Well I had my ablation done at new cardiac centre in Blackpool this week, and it was done without using sedation, even though I was promised I would be..... It was 3 and half hours of hell. No-one spoke to me, nor explained things. The burns did hurt, they did give pain relief but the consultant was reluctant to do that. I had been involved in a car crash the week before so at end of op I was in agony. I then had to lie for a further 6/7 hours flat until they could take out the lines out of 4 veins. I had been given heprin as they had used a mapping balloon, to help prevent stroke. I will need to have it done again I think as it has improved things a bit but I will not have it done there. I will try Manchester as they have an excellent reputation. Has anyone else had this done with no sedation?
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Avatar universal
I'm so sorry you had such a bad time at Blackpool Cardiac Clinic Dawn.

I had my Ablation done at the same Cardiac Clinic back in February and my experience was the total opposite to your own.Maybe things have improved since then.

I was at no time naked..............they even let me keep my slippers on.Ok there was no sedation initially except for a local anasthetic in the groin where the catheters were inserted but I can honestly say even when they were trying to trigger off the SVT's I felt nothing more than a little discomfort..............I've had worse leg waxes.When they started ablating I was given some Happy Juice which was like having had a couple of glasses of wine.Virtually felt nothing and wished I'd had it done years ago.
The consultant,lab staff and nurses on the ward were fantastic.Very attentive and constantly checking me.Nothing was too much trouble and I can't praise them enough.Have been SVT free since.........finger's crossed.......however if they were to return I would have no qualms whatsoever about having it done again in Blackpool. :-)
Helpful - 0
1398166 tn?1358870523
Neeshl... nothing to be worried about.
You're more likely to hurt yourself in the snow in the meantime.
Be a cautious driver. THAT, you can control. The ablation you cannot.
Worry about those you can.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
im having an ablation on 2/9/12 for paroxysmal a-fib for the last 6 years .  im   afraid but im tired of the in and out of the hospital thing. Help please!!!!!
Helpful - 0
1423357 tn?1511085442
My EP gave me the choice, but prefers the patient to be sedated.  I chose sedation.  It was a very positive experience because of that decision! THe specialists are under no stress or rush in order to relieve the patient of his discomfort.  They can take their time and concentrate on the job at hand.  My ablation required 17 burns to bridge a wide conductive area.  I was OUT before they even got the mask on my face from the Vallium they hit me with before rolling me off to the cath lab.
Helpful - 0
386141 tn?1291396896

I'm from the UK and I have had to ablations for SVT both done at the Queen Elizabeth in Birmingham. Both times I was sedated but the second one I woke up part way through and could feel the weird rhythm they were trying to induce. I started shouting I'm awake, I'm awake! They started shouting don't move, next thing I was knocked out again.

I came round in agony and it was only the next day did they realise they had punctured my lung! I think this was due to me waking up and moving as of course I would have been all disoriented!

Saying that the ablation for the all the pain I had after is nothing compaired to the SVT!
Helpful - 0
1465650 tn?1316231160
I had an ablation done 8 months ago and also had no sedation or even pain meds.
The cardio talked to me throughout the whole procedure. It was quite a pleasant experience and one that we don't get to see so often.
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Avatar universal
I just had a cardiac ablation done this morning and I specifically asked for no sedation since the notion of Versed / Midazolam did not excite me. My experiences however were very different, the nurses and doctors explained at each step of the way what was going on. Inbetween times we would chat and make merry. I was kept well dosed on Fentanyl for the pain and topped up whenever I complained. The part that I feel best about is that I remember every second of the operation clear as day, I came out of the operating room a little dizzy but otherwise completely mentally functional.
As for pain, the worst parts I remember were the local anesthetic for the groin incision which stings but there is no real avoiding this. Also the very first zap of the ablation felt a bit sharp like a hot needle...this was promptly rectified with more Fentanyl after which the others felt maybe slightly warming or nothing at all. Overall I can say I experienced maybe 12 seconds of actual pain (most of that in the leg injection) and the rest was just wierd ticking sensation and funny heart beats whilst the doctors paced and zapped.
It sounds to me the failing in the OP's posting was not the lack of sedation it was the poor practice of those conducting the op.
Helpful - 0
187666 tn?1331173345
I agree, you should put your experience and complaints into writing and send it to the head of the hospital or at least the head of the cardiac department. To go ahead with a procedure as serious as an ablation without "the proper medications" is ludicrous.  And to do any procedure like that without an IV in is dangerous. If there had been an emergency, they would have lost valuable time trying to get a line in and the proper meds into you.

I've had 3 ablations and each time they took great care to protect my privacy. They would only uncover the areas briefly to do what they needed (putting on the EKG electrodes for example) and then cover me right up again. As for the groin area, they put a little pad over the genitals and kept my body covered except for each side of the groin where they had to scrub and insert the 4 catheters. The rest of my body was covered with lots of nice warm blankets.

If you ever have to go through another cath procedure, don't go back to that hospital.
Helpful - 0
967168 tn?1477584489
Oh Dawn, I am so sorry for you.  That sounds absolutely horrible and I would be livid and tell them or write all your thoughts down, compose them into a nice letter and send to them about their horrible care.

I had conscious sedation using Versed during my ablation last month; I can't imagine NO sedation at all.  I would think that would be extremely painful, not to mention inhumane and be against some type of law? or I hope it would.  With conscious sedation (twilight; wakeful etc) you are awake and talk to the drs and know what's going on, but really don't feel any pain.

I really hope they numbed or gave you something before they cut into your leg areas, when I had my cardiac cath, they numbed the area, but I could still feel them cutting and told them, then they gave me another numbing shot.

Sounds like you need a new course of care - sometimes professionals need to be reminded (even if it seems demanding) that we are humans not just some research animals they are working on.

I would take time, heal and get strong and find another set of doctors who care about their patients a bit more.

Hope you feel better.

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Avatar universal
Hi Everyone
I'm seeing my GP today to get referred else where. My naughty heart plays up most of the time so sedation would not of effected it. They said they had not got the right drugs to do it....
Not good at all....from start to finish I was given wrong info, told I had to starve from midnight as I was having sedation, everywhere else just says couple of hours prior to abaltion, They let me do that in end. However I was so thirsty that they could not put drips in. My veins collapsed nearly. I cried twice during the 3 and half hours no one noticed. I had to ask for privacy while they put in the tubes in my legs, two radiographers just started at me while my groin was uncovered. They lost my file.....
I could go on.....I have several problems with my heart, but it doesn't look like any of the ablation has worked. All that pain and teror for nothing.......
Would love to know what other people think
Helpful - 0
612551 tn?1450022175
I have permanent AFib, and take only a high dose BB to reduce my HR and an anticoagulant to reduce the risk of a stroke/clot.  Both my cardiologist and my consulting EP said "no way" on an ablation.  They said my symptoms are too mild to justify the risk.

I had a mini-maze during open heart surgery in November of 2007.  It didn't stop the AFib.  That my say something about ablation not being very promising even if we did it.  This is all when my left atrium had a echo-measured diameter of 5.11 cm.  I understand anything over 5 cm is considered not treatable..for a cure that is.  Happily my atrium size has been going down since heart surgery and a repair of my mitral valve.  The diameter measured 4.5 cm on an echo two months back.  

Hum, seems I have strayed from the subject - back to the subject, my docs say ablation is very serious business, and not taken lightly.... we didn't discuss sedatives strategy for the given reason.  It is my understanding, nonetheless, that people are put "out" before ablation is done.
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Avatar universal
I had the pvc ablation in 1999 and it was a disaster.  No sedation, but that wasn't the problem.  They burned the wrong thing.  You can go back and read about it.  Top Drs tell me now an ablaton for pvc's is unethical...
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Avatar universal
WOW! I do feel for you. I cannot imagine having to go thru an ablation not being sedated one way or another. I remember waking up during my ablation once, and they just put me right back to sleep. My mapping was down will I was under a "twilight" with no problems.
Helpful - 0
187666 tn?1331173345
I've heard of people having PVC ablations done without much sedation because the doctor was concerned about be able to trigger the arrhythmia. I can't imagine having an ablation done without meds. If the problem is that hard to trigger in the cath lab, then why are they poking around in there anyway? I thought ablations were for more serious arrhythmias. I know I'm probably stepping on some toes here and I'm sorry. I just thought the cardios would only try to ablate problems that were either life threatening or were almost constant on a daily basis. Guess it depends on the cardio.

But I agree with you - no way would I go back to that hospital for an ablation. Even if they have to do the mapping without sedation so they can trigger it, I don't know why they have to do the burning without meds. They found the spots, now ease your pain. I do hope your next experience (if you need it) will be much better.
Helpful - 0
You can have an arrhythmia that is both serious, and intermittent.  Even Afib is intermittent...that can can turn to code pretty quick!  I have had 3 separate arrhythmias ablated (2 without any sedation, one with).  My first 2 were mostly a matter of quality of life, as they were quite exhausting-it felt like every day was a marathon.  My last one was quite random and caused syncope, which can be quite dangerous if you are driving.  Typically, I could feel it coming, and pull over...but I never drive in heavy traffic...also, my HR would get quite high, with no way to predict when it would come back down.
All told, I went through 8 hours of catheter ablations and a total of 20 burns.  I know that my doctor would not perform these procedures if he didn't think them absolutely necessary.
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