Avatar universal

SVT every day

I am a 33yr old male who has been living with SVT for about 20yrs. For the first 18 of them I performed Vagal Maneuvers to end episodes (usually within 3 minutes) - this would happen at least once a month, possibly more with too much drinking/coffee/smoking/salt etc (being naughty). Getting sick of trying to explain to people why I was bearing down, holding my breath or laying with my feet in the air and panting like a nutbag, I decided to get some help. About 18 months ago I approached a cardiologist who put me on Atenolol, 25mgs daily. It worked a treat for about 3 months - with only one brief, and slower than usual SVT episode.

But over time I noticed Atenolol had some annoying side affects. If I forgot to take my daily med it would be guaranteed that I would have an SVT episode at some point that day. Then I noticed that Atenolol was failing to protect me even if I had taken it. After 12 months I noted that my SVTs had returned to pre-medicated levels. And in the last week I have been experiencing SVTs 3-5 A DAY. This has left me unable to do much at all in an attempt to maintain a regular heart beat. Evan walking will set it off. I am off to see my cardiologist in two days to find out if my heart is planning to explode on me. I think I'll be talking seriously about ablation after this week.

So was just wondering, has anyone had any similar experiences with this kind of SVT frequency?
17 Responses
549433 tn?1215455620
hi hun,i recently had an ablation done for my svt,like you with time my symptoms were becoming uncontrollable,i ended up on high dose bisoprolol since a smaller dose did not work,but i had no quality of life with all the side effects........exhaustion,dizziness,low bp.........so i was recommended for ablation and i can honestly say it has changed my life.i am no longer on meds or constantly aware of my heart and what it is doing.i highly recommend getting it done.
187666 tn?1331173345
Your story brings back memories. I've had arrhythmias all my life but no one ever told me anything about them (docs don't talk to kids much, at least not back in the 50's). I remember laying on my back and raising my feet too trying to get my heart to stop racing. It wasn't until my mid 20's that a doc told me about valsalva (bearing down). That helped me for years. And when we lived in Denver my heart was bratty like yours - stand up, move too quickly, lift something and the heart would go tachy.

In 2000 I got my first ablation. The procedure isn't as bad as it sounds. And it can make such a difference in your life. You don't have to have so many SVT episodes a day. Talk it over with your cardio.
489725 tn?1280052553
ablation can cure svt or at worst decrease it's severity on the person and most are able to come off meds which is good in the long term.i too was having svt attacks probably more than 3-5 a day and a whole load at night and eventually went or should i say begged for ablation -------its worth it u will see a lot of posts in here of people feeling so much better afterwards --there's great support in here and if u do decide or your ep deicide's to ablate let know and we will support u all we can

take care
Avatar universal
Hi Daniel,
My name is Betty.  My story is very similar to yours.  I am now 52 years old and had SVT for 36 years.  I learned how to deal with it by holding my breath and squatting down. I never had to go to an ER and my episodes never lasted more than an hour and a half. In 1991, I decided to go on medication Nadolol 20 mg daily. It worked for 6 months (no SVT) but then slowly the episodes started returning. I have lived with SVT episodes occuring 1-3 times a month all these years. I finally decided I couldn't live with the constant anxiety of an SVT starting up.  The final straw for me was about a month ago I went for a couple of days to my daughters house in Boston and while I was there felt a thump and thought "OH NO, please  don't start now!  Thankfully, it didn't but I was so anxious my whole visit anticipating it starting, I couldn't enjoy myself.  I acgtually came home feeling so upset..
I had my ablation this Monday and it was the best thing I could have ever done. I had put it off for all these years because I was so scared to have it done. I have to say that with the help of these wonderful people on the forum,  I found the courage and support I needed to go forward.  The ablation was so easy.  I can't believe how much worry I put myself through for nothing!!  If I can answer any questions for you or be of any help at all, please let me know. We all know exactly what you are going through!
Hi, can you tell me about your experience with the ablation. I am scheduled to get it done in November and I am a little nervous.
Patient2483 the poster you're asking the question of is long gone.  Inwould suggest you search for a user named "Jannie411". While she is long gone as well, she did leave a series of excellent journals on her experience.  It is excellent reading and better than any firsthand knowledge I could provide for you.
Hello.......I am still around, just not online too often.  It has been 7 years since my ablation for AVNRT SVT and I am continuing to do well.   Wishing everyone here all the best.  I am still available by email if anyone needs me.   Jannie411
Avatar universal
Hello to all the very friendly and helpful people who have taken the time to leave a comment to my original post. I am feeling a great deal more relieved learning that others have been through, and emerged from, similar experiences.

I have to admit to being quite frightened by the prospect of ongoing SVT (after many years of finding them an inconvenient nuisance) now I am struck down with multiple episodes every day. I could handle an episode every now and then but over the last week it has consumed every waking minute and caused a great deal of anxiety. Ablation seems like the sensible option and from reading through your comments, not as scary as the procedure itself implies.

I will continue to post here with updates, hopefully as my condition improves.

Many Thanks - Daniel
Avatar universal
I would highly recommend the ablation.  How I wish I would have taken care of the SVT years ago.  Don't let fear of the procedure stop you. My life would have been so different had I done the ablation when I was in my 30's.  You are still so young and have so many fun years ahead. No one should have to deal with SVT -it is such an anxiety producing nuisance.  Good luck and please keep us posted.
88793 tn?1290227177
I'm from Melbourne too.  The nurse told me in St Vincent Hospital that they don't do ablation there.  I don't know is it true?  I've mine one done in Royal Melbourne Hospital back to 1985.

I'm still having my SVT but they brush me off.  The ED doctor at the Royal Melbourne Hospital told me or warned me that, not allow to complaint my heart there any more.  

I hope you'll go well with your ablation.  
Avatar universal
Hello - just an update.

Visited the cadio today and he has moved me on to to Sotalol 80mgs 2 x daily. Anyone have any comments regarding this B-Blocker?

I have also been wearing a Holter Monitor for about 3 hrs now and it has caught two episodes - both terminated by Valsalva under 10 minutes. I was planning to stay off the medication until I managed to induce the SVT but now I don't have to! Only time in my life I think I was pleased to have an attack!

After some follow up ECGs next week I will be referred to another doctor who will perform an EP study and then hopefully an ablation. How long does the whole process take, will it be weeks or months before ablation can be performed?

Hi PikaPika88 - shame St Vincent's don't do ablations, it would have been my first choice of hospital!
549433 tn?1215455620
you have done the right thing hun,my ablation took 3 hours,dont know about the whole referall process,UK girl here..........
489725 tn?1280052553
u are going in the right direction with all the tests and such i guess it depends on how fast u get an appointment with the ep and when he deicides to do the study with possible ablation --
i think sotalol is a beat blocker and a class iii anti-arrhythmic it can be used for rhythm probs and high bp i have not been on this so thats all i can say if u go into the health topics at the top of the page it may be listed in there if u want some info on it
if u are worried about side -effects etc rem not everybody gets these

keep posted what happens next and best of luck
Avatar universal
Hi ,
Have just joined and I noticed you are from the UK like me.I have had SVT all of my life and I am booked for ab;ation in oct 09 , I am really scared , plus I am a nurse.People say the procedure is awful.I am also frightened of being worse than I am now.I suffer with SVT frequently when I am anxious and coffee, tea etc, but on the other hand I am fit and well.Being an aesthetic nurse I dont want to end up with a pace maker or something worse, call me superficial but I cannot help it. Have you got any thoughts?
Out of interest did you get a panic attack along with your SVT episodes or did you cope with it ?Over the years I have found Doctors very disbelieving and judgemental until they see the rythmn strip.Hope you are now fine, Fiona
Avatar universal
Hey Daniel, don't know if u still reading this forum but I had SVT for 25 yrs, violent episodes too ! Completely cured it by cutting ASPARTAME and PHENALYNINE out of my diet, cutting down on all stimulants and eating smaller meals more often and staying hydrated. Also learn the vagal manouver to control episodes. Aspartame is an artificial sweetener known on food packaging as 951 and it's in a hell of a lot of foods in Aus ! Google it,u might be surprised.
Beware the the additives and preservatives !!
0437 783 837, perth.
give me a ring if u want more info, cheers
Avatar universal
With most people suporting ablation here, it was realy refreshing to hear what you had to say! I like the natural way best. I do not want a scar on my heart. What vagal manuvers do you fel work best.
Avatar universal
My daughter is 16 and was just diagnosed with SVT this past May. They are 90% sure it is ANVRT. My daughter swears that chewing gum triggers her heart to flutter, but bubble gum doesn't. I'm wondering if the chewing gum has aspartame in it, like Raeve suggested? Being cold triggers hers. Swimming makes it flutter to where she feels it is going to kick into SVT. She runs track and is very active and the only time at track it kicked in was when it was freezing at a track meet. She wasn't even running at the time. This last time which was this past week she had been laughing at a friend. It is a shame you have to worry all the time. She was happy to say that a handstand stopped it asap. I have not seen anybody on here mention this method, but it works. Thank God hers only last 2-5 mins. so far. She has wanted to go into the military since she was 10. She keeps her grades up because she knows to get into VMI you have to have a very good GPA. She has opted for cryoablation, because you have to be episode free for 2 years before you can join some military branches after an ablation and  some colleges will not let you participate in sports with SVT. So she wants it done as soon as possible so she can "live her life". She said if it doesn't work at least she will know she has done everything she could for the future she wanted. I have told her the risks and she is willing to face them.
Avatar universal
My son was diagnosed with SVT - WPW when he was just 4 days old.  He is only 5.5 months old right now and has had 2 episodes of SVT since being diagnosed.  He was originally put on propanlenol (not sure if that's how you spell it) at 4 days old, and at 10 days old he had another episode.  So they then put him on Sotalol.  He has not had an episode since being on this med (thank God).  For him it works really well, and he takes it in liquid form, being that he is just an infant.  We give him it 3 times a day (every 8 hours).  They are hoping to take him off Sotalol once he reaches 1 year old if he hasn't broken through by then.  I hope that Sotalol works as good for you as it does my little baby boy.  

P.S.  As a mother, and not knowing what it is like to go through an episode, it just breaks my heart to know that he has to "deal" with this.  From reading all your posts, it helps me cope a little bit more.  I just can't wait until he can tell me he's okay with it.  Cause not knowing for sure if he's fine, is the worst feeling in the world.  Thank Heavens he's such a Happy Boy!
1632539 tn?1456276618
I have had SVT for as long as I can Remeber, I use to have 1-3 spells a month and controll them with bearing down, Putting my face in Ice water, smelling lavender and relaxing. But since July 31 2010, I have had 4 spell with a rate of 189-205 and had to go to the ER for Adenosone to stop the heart and reset it. I am taking Atenonol 25mg daily. I have the mostly when I am under great amounts of stress or during my monthly cycle. I am 45 yrs old ( Peri- Menopause) I had one today and they did bloodwork my magnesium is low and my sodium is low as well. I am going to try to look into the levels and hormomes. If this doesnt work than i guess ablation. I am tired of the she fear and panic waiting on one to happen. It stops you whole life!
1423357 tn?1511085442
I commented on another post you made about rapid scheduling of an EP study.  I know exactly how you feel.  I had 54 years of SVT, and towards the end, it started happening 3 to 5 times per month.  I controlled mine with Valsalva.  I drive 50 miles each way to work and back, and I'd never know when one would hit.  If it happened in the car, I'd have to find an exit and pull off to try and slow it down.  They'd hit while in a restaurant enjoying a meal; you'd never know.  Towards the end, I was getting paranoid!  I'm now 4 months SVT free.

I'm wondering if you've worn a 30 day monitor in order to capture an event?  Have you had a stress echo cardiogram? I've found there is a path to an EP study that everyone seems to take.  It's also that path your insurance provider wants to see you do before forking over tens of thousands of dollars.  Like I mentioned in the other post, thoroughly investigate and educate yourself regarding what kind of SVT you have, the electrophysiologist, and the procedure.  Empower yourself, and you won't get taken advantage of.
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