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Scared about cathether ablation for SVT

I'm a 60 year old man with type 2 diabetes in fair control with metformin and Lantus, a bit of hypertension, good lipid profiles, good metabolic panels, no manifest symptoms compromising my quality of life...except for bouts of SVT that take me to the ER about every 1-3 months for a hit of adenosine to convert the rhythm.

Every time I go to the ER they fuss at me to get an ablation, but frankly, I've just been scared about the (admittedly low) risks...but recently I've had to change medical plans, and the ER coverage just isn't as good as on my previous plans. If I end up in the ER for the adenosine jolt every time I get one of these, under my new plan I could end up paying in the five figures every year just to "manage" my SVT. I'm on 100 mg of metoprolol succinate a day, and it still doesn't keep the SVT away.

I finally decided to get the ablation, and mine is scheduled for November 21. My EP doc is a guy who's done thousands of these procedures, who has studied with some of the foremost doctors in the field, and who projects every confidence that it's all gonna be fine. And I know the odds are with me. And I'm tired of having to worry about what I'd do if I had an attack of SVT on a plane flying over the ocean, or on a bus while I'm chaperoning a church youth group trip. Most of all, I feel like I can't afford the chronic trips to the ER to convert the rhythm. I used to be able to convert it myself through Valsalva, but it won't convert any more like that...it makes me a little bitter that the rhythm itself isn't dangerous, so in a sense it's an elective treatment for something that can be taken care of by trips to the ER. But the ER treatment is expensive...so it makes you put a price on your life, and apparently my wife and I have come to the decision that my life isn't worth not risking, so that we can save the money we're paying for the chronic trips to the ER.

That said, I know the risk is low. And I've seen post after post from people who've had it done for SVT and who say it's the best decision they ever made. And I have confidence in my EP, and he uses anesthetic so I don't worry about any discomfort during the procedure, and he uses cryo for AVNRT and RF for AVRT and says he won't know which it is until he does the mapping, which makes sense...and I'd really love not to have to be troubled any more by this arrhythmia that's plagued me for 46 years.

Still...I'm scared. I've set the date, and I'm resigned to it...but I'm scared.

Not sure what I think sending this out into the InterWebz will accomplish; maybe I'm just venting. I need to get over myself, I guess.
6 Responses
12492606 tn?1459874033
Sounds like you picked a good EP to do the ablation and my guess is that you will come out saying "why did I wait 46 years?"  Well to be fair, the understanding and the technology to deal with SVT has improved a lot in the last 20 years.  SVT ablation is first line when you can get an experience ablationist to do it and your chances of getting it fixed is so high that there is no question at all that you are doing the right thing.
1423357 tn?1511085442
When it begins to interfere with your daily life, you almost welcome the opportunity to go in and get it done.  I had 54 years of it; 6 to 60.  Getting it done really gave what's left of my life back to me.  Wait until 3 or 4 months from now when SVT is slowly becoming by a distant memory, and you'll realize that you made a great choice.  It's a little unnerving going in there, but check now and see if they can give you something ahead of time to calm your nerves.  I had a shot of vallium in the IV drip just prior to being wheeled away, and had general anesthesia once in the lab, so I remember nothing of the procedure.  I barely made awake to the lab.  For me, it was a great experience.  Good luck, and congratulations as you're about to get that mill stone off from around your neck!
9576600 tn?1475757952
Hi, well I had two ablations. Ask yourself what you are really scared about: that it might not work? The complications? The procedure itself? The pain? The risks?
Me I came to a point where I felt just hopeless, and I was willing to try. I spoke on youtube about my SVT, I will speak about ablation there shortly.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHLgXxFl3K8&t=19s
I want to share my experience as it helped me that others did it for me. Feel free to ask questions :) And go for it, I dont regret doing it, no matter my aftermath :)
Avatar universal
Thanks to everyone who took the time to reply. I had the ablation on Monday afternoon under what they described as "heavy sedation" (that's my doctor's preferred approach). I don't remember any of it. The EP study while I was under showed that the particular type of SVT I had was AVNRT; my electrophysiologist used cryoablation and the procedure took about an hour and twenty minutes. He told me it was easy to find and easy to fix, and I should be good to go!

My groin is sore and black and blue from the catheter; beyond that, I feel normal. If this has indeed taken care of my SVT issues, my only regret is that I waited this long!
1423357 tn?1511085442
How did your procedure go?
1 Comments
Everything went smoothly! They had me show up at 10:30 am; they started the procedure at 12:30 pm. They put me under heavy sedation and I don't remember a thing! It took an hour and twenty minutes; my EP said the site causing the problems was easy to find; it was AVNRT, it was on the right side, and it was easy to ablate! He used cryo and said I should be cured and to see him in a month for a follow-up!

I'm glad I had it done. If I don't have any more trouble with SVT, I'll be free of the inconvenience for the first time since I was 12 years old! If anybody suffering with SVT and contemplating/fearing an ablation stumbles across this thread, based on my experience I'd say, "just go get it done. You'll wish you hadn't waited so long!"
1423357 tn?1511085442
Excellent!  Congratulations and get on with your life.  Don't be concerned if you feel an occasional blip or two.  It's part of the healing process and can be experienced for months afterwards.  Take care!
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