I had AVRT type tachycardia nearly all of my life. I'm 61 and it was detected when I was 6 y/o. I was admitted to the hospital with a HR of 312bpm. I lived and coped with it all of my life until just over a year ago when I had an EP study with ablation. I still take Metoprolol to day, and don't even know it's there. It helped very little when I had SVT, although it seemed to help convert them. Mine was a self sustaining kind of SVT. Once it started, it wouldn't convert on its own. I was always able to convert them using valsalva taught to me when I was 6.
I believe that unless conditions call for it. RF ablation burns much deeper than cryo.
I'm feeling great..... fantastic today. But unfortunately, I'm also older too. As a teenager and younger adult, I participated in several highly aerobic, and competitive sports. I still do today but on a very senior level. If you check my photos, you can see some of them. (like the old days, except, we just go slower, and there's not many of us!) If I had had the ablation when I was in my late 20's or early 30's, who knows where and how far I could have taken myself. But, you play the hand dealt to you, and I know it could have been far worse, and I'm thankful for going as far as I did.
I had an SVT AVNRT my whole life. I remember my heart beating fast sometimes when I was young but I actually thought everyone did it or I was hyperventilating. It actually wasn't until about 5 years ago that it started to become a problem right around 40 though I still thought I was hyperventilating. I was a smoker at the time. I quit smoking but the tachycardia episodes stayed pretty persistent about 1 or more every couple of weeks. But my first attmept to get it diagnosed did not show results. I had an episode the day before I had a holter not the day of so the holter only showed some ectopics that no one told me about. Not really knowing what it truly was I decided that I could cure myself by exercise. I obviously found out it doesn't work that way as the epsiosdes kept coming a couple times a month so I went back to the doctor this summer, actually a different doctor who sent me straight away to a cardiologist and I was in for an ablation within 2 months. I probably could have gotten in sooner but I was contemplating the ablation.
I had RF. From what I have read Cryo isn't as effective as RF. It works just as well initially but there is a higher chance of it returning with cryo though I wasn't really given an option.
I never went on beta blockers. My cardiologists don't believe in them. They are not really effective at stopping the episodes so why take them. Though I was told if my ectopics were too troubling that beta blockers, though they don't help those go away either, the beta blockers may help me to feel better.
I was never afraid of the svt so I coped probably better than most for most of my life. I guess growing up with it and seeing it stop on its own it never occured to me to be frightened by it. Most of my episodes only lasted a minute or so, so I would just sit until it passed. That said, as I got older the episodes were getting longer and it was actually a couple of really long ones that drove me to the doctor. So coping with the svt wasn't an issue but I will say I was scared out of my wits to do the ablation. The thought of someone messing with my heart was terrifying to me. But on the other hand the episodes weren't going to stop and seemed to be getting worse so it didn't seem like I had much of a choice even though the doctor said it was my choice to do it or not.
If you are interested in reading my whole story including the ablation you can click on my name and go to my journal entry.
Most ablations have a fairly high success rate but so you are not taken by surprise as I was, if you have ectopic beats, pvcs or pacs, those will continue after the ablation. They may even get worse. I am aware that I had ectopics before the ablation based on what I always felt right before a tachycardia episode. I am not clear however, on how many I had in a day. The way I am understanding it is, the ablation is going to give your heart a pretty good work out and as such you will likely feel things more than you did before. So though it seems as though I have more ectopics it is likely my heart was a bit more sensitive to them after the ablation. The one thing I know for sure is I am not able to distinguish what the feeling is when prior I thought everything I was feeling was related to the SVT which isn't necessarily true. My doctor did inform me that after a while I will stop feeling them. I am about 7 months out. I still feel them but not nearly as strongly as I did right after the ablation and it is very likely there are some I am not feeling at all so just be aware that your heart may jump and bump and do all sorts of odd things after the ablation and it could last for a while. Full healing is not thought to happen for probably 6 months.
All that said, you are always welcome to come and ask questions as you go through all this. Take care and good luck. Keep us posted on how you are doing.
that should have read I am NOW able to not NOT able to distinguish the difference in what I am feeling when I couldn't tell what was what before the ablation.