Tag Archives: atrial fib

Atrial Flutter

The end of October I had a cardiac ablation to cure my Atrial Fibrillation which was effective from January until the end of April when I developed a related Atrial Flutter.  In atrial flutter, one’s heart’s upper chambers beat too quickly. This causes the heart to beat in a fast, regular rhythm.  Atrial flutter is similar to atrial fibrillation however, the rhythm in the left upper chamber is more organized and less chaotic in atrial flutter than are the abnormal patterns common with atrial fibrillation

After 12 days of recurring Atrial Flutter I had a (successful, we hope) electrical cardioversion.  70 joules of electric current was used to reset the heart’s rhythm back to its regular pattern (normal sinus rhythm). I had a patch applied to my back which I assume was a “ground” and when I woke up I had a rectangular “brand” slightly smaller than a playing card evident on my chest and back. While electrical cardioversion is effective at converting the heart back into normal sinus rhythm, it has a low success rate in keeping it there.. When atrial fibrillation has been present for more than five years, success rates are only approximately 50%.  Keeping my fingers crossed and in addition to sustaining from alcohol I have now added caffeine to the list.

Ablation, Again

Since July I have been plagued with irregular heart rhythms: Atrial Fibrillation and Atrial Flutter. Medication helped for a while, but the re-occurrence increased until it was a daily event by late September. We scheduled an ablation for the end of October. I checked in early Thursday morning, endured a 3+ hour surgery and spent a day in recuperation. This was my 3rd ablation – the last one (a mini-maze procedure) was effective for 11 years. Dr. Berg cautioned there would be a ‘settling in’ period. Hopefully, this will facilitate a return to activities I enjoy.