Originally Posted by Fiddler
Thanks for the info.
What kind of surgery/procedure are we talking about? Is this something that will sideline him for a couple of weeks recovering, or a couple of months?
Recovery time depends on the type of ablation and anesthesia used. Patients who undergo atrial flutter or other right sided atrial ablations such as SVT usually go home the same day. These are done under IV conscious sedation anesthesia. Atrial fibrillation ablation patients have an overnight stay. This procedure is done under general anesthesia. Patients have to lie flat for a few hours before the sheaths (big IVs) are pulled from the groin. They can walk around 6 hours after the procedure. The recovery usually depends on how patients recover from general anesthesia. It is advised not to undergo anything more than mild physical exertion for one week after the procedure. Many patients feel shortness of breath and cough for a week or two after the procedure. After that, patients can ease back to strenuous activity quite quickly.
To give you an idea of success of ablation, it depends highly on the specific arrhythmia being treated. Right sided atrial flutter- 98% with first attempt at ablation. SVTs- typically around the normal conduction system of the heart- 90-95%. Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation- about 85% at 3 months when the scars are fully formed. About 15% of patients need a second touch up ablation after this period. After 2 ablations the success rate is about 95%
Persistent atrial fibrillation- The success rates for catheter ablation for persistent atrial fibrillation depend mostly on the length of time spent in atrial fibrillation and control of triggers such as hypertension and sleep apnea. Patients who have had atrial fibrillation continuously for less than a year have the best outcomes. After five years the success rate drops off significantly. Overall the success rate is about 70% with the first ablation procedure utilizing the Bordeaux step wise technique. After three months, about 30% of patients need a second procedure. Typically the second ablation procedure is directed at a more organized rhythm that is either coming from a specific point in the upper chambers (atrial tachycardia) or a circuit that goes round and round (atrial flutter). The second procedure is usually not as extensive as the first. After two ablations the overall success rate is about 90%.