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  1. #1
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    Who's had a catheter ablation?

    I found this forum after google search for mountain biking with atrial fibrillation. I have had a fib on and off for about five or six years. About every fifth ride or so, when i get my heart rate up into the 160's (I'm 56) it would stay high, even when i stopped and sat down, and would feel like a fish flopping in my chest. At that point, my ride is over. After numerous tests (holter monitor, echocardiogram, a smaller monitor that i was supposed to wear for a month) my cardiologist concluded I had a fib, and performed a catheter ablation last week. I was just released for riding as of yesterday, and rode my trainer for 45 minutes last night. I'm hopeful this has solved my problem.

    Anybody else have afib/flutters/cardiac ablation, and how did your body respond?

  2. #2
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    Had an ablation about 5 years ago. The only thing that I noticed was that I didn't spike the HRM nearly as much. Still have A Fib issues and the meds that go along with it which I'm blaming for my pathetic climbing abilities.

  3. #3
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    I had an electrophysiology/ablation in 2002 but the problem with the electrical signal was inside of the heart wall and they couldn't reach it at the time. This past year it came back with a vengeance and I wound up getting taken to the ER via ambulance. It's under control with drugs currently and I've asked them to do the ablation again, but the Dr is hesitant to do it while the drugs are working. I'd do it again in a heart beat, so to speak but I'll have to go off the drugs for a period of time so that it would be in full splendor when they go in. That sounds lousy, but worth it to me.
    We have met the enemy, and it is us. Pogo

  4. #4
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    I had the easy ablation and it worked for the most part until a couple years ago when the A Fib caused congestive heart failure and a pleasant hospital stay. That's were the heart rate controlling and blood thinning meds that made a step function reduction in riding started. A number of doctors have told me that the more invasive inner chamber ablation is a 50-50 proposition for fixing the problem.

    Apparently A Fib for active older folks is a bit more common. I seem to see a lot of prescription medication ads lately, including the one in the magazine I was reading when they stuck me in the hospital for the heart failure (I just thought that I had a lung infection).

  5. #5
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    I was diagnosed with Atrial Fibrilation and Atrial Flutter late in 2013. Put on the usual meds to control HR. Up until I was put on meds I could ride for 3 hours or so and average 140bpm and peak at 170bpm. I was 64 then.

    I had ablation in May this year including inner chamber.
    The flutter has gone and the fibrilation now (4 months after ablation) is limited to odd skipped heart beats.
    I'm still on all the meds but I am slowly pushing things and on my last ride (two hours) I averaged 120bpm and peaked at 140bpm.
    My cardiologist is happy for me to proceed like this and just says "listen to your body". He will review meds in January but has hinted that the beta blocker can be reduced then.
    I'm under no illusion that things will never be the same. This condition and my age (67) are against me. But hey what, it's beats golf!!!
    Last edited by plugp7; 10-06-2016 at 11:44 PM.

  6. #6
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    I was diagnosed with WPW back in 2001. Had two ablations (first one wasn't 100% successful) and have been good to go since then (I'm now 54).
    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

  7. #7
    nvphatty
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    Quote Originally Posted by plugp7 View Post
    I was diagnosed with Atrial Fibrilation and Atrial Flutter late in 2013. Put on the usual meds to control HR. Up until I was put on meds I could ride for 3 hours or so and average 140bpm and peak at 170bpm. I was 64 then.

    I had ablation in May this year including inner chamber.
    The flutter has gone and the fibrilation now (4 months after ablation) is limited to odd skipped heath beats.
    I'm still on all the meds but I am slowly pushing things and on my last ride (two hours) I averaged 120bpm and peaked at 140bpm.
    My cardiologist is happy for me to proceed like this and just says "listen to your body". He will review meds in January but has hinted that the beta blocker can be reduced then.
    I'm under no illusion that things will never be the same. This condition and my age (67) are against me. But hey what, it's beats golf!!!
    good for you mate, and hell yea it beats golf.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by plugp7 View Post
    I was diagnosed with Atrial Fibrilation and Atrial Flutter late in 2013. Put on the usual meds to control HR. Up until I was put on meds I could ride for 3 hours or so and average 140bpm and peak at 170bpm. I was 64 then.

    I had ablation in May this year including inner chamber.
    The flutter has gone and the fibrilation now (4 months after ablation) is limited to odd skipped heath beats.
    I'm still on all the meds but I am slowly pushing things and on my last ride (two hours) I averaged 120bpm and peaked at 140bpm.
    My cardiologist is happy for me to proceed like this and just says "listen to your body". He will review meds in January but has hinted that the beta blocker can be reduced then.
    I'm under no illusion that things will never be the same. This condition and my age (67) are against me. But hey what, it's beats golf!!!
    One of the early meds that I was on after the ablation dropped my peak HR down to around 140 bpm but the current ones let me get back up to around 175 if I can believe my MS Band 2, which I don't really as it wasn't even close on my last stress test. Age is 62.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkfoster View Post
    One of the early meds that I was on after the ablation dropped my peak HR down to around 140 bpm but the current ones let me get back up to around 175 if I can believe my MS Band 2, which I don't really as it wasn't even close on my last stress test. Age is 62.
    Stress test? Is that when you tell the wife your just "going riding for an hour", come back 5 hours later covering in mud that has to be hosed off, after the bike, and she says "You should know better at your age and I'm not washing those clothes". That's the only stress test I know.

  10. #10
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    I had a nasty case of tachychardia starting in 2008, tried all the classes of anti-arrhythmic drugs and nothing worked except when I once ended up on Amiodarone. I ended up with rate induced cardiomyopathy and slept from the time I got home from work until it was time to go to work again. I had 5 ablation procedures. The last procedure required fancy tiny catheters that could reach difficult places, most hospitals didn't have those yet but I think now they do. They fixed it though and the only medication I'm on now is cycling. After some of the procedures I was okay, but during the healing time it would come back. It however did never come back as crazy as it was at first, it mostly came back as flutter. When I first went in, they had me do a stress test and I hit 215 beats per minute in about 1 minute.

    Sometimes when you have an ablation that's successful, you feel really good after the procedure. But I remember after the last one I did not feel good at all because maybe my heart was just too beat up.

    It took a long time for me to transition from being so out of shape, and I feel like it's difficult to even remember that part of my life.

    Now my resting heart rate is about my age 52 and I am able to hit 175 on the trails when I get to that one hill, and it feels better than 165 did last year.

  11. #11
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    I opted for Maze surgery...yep, open me up. I talked to three heart specialist and a friend cardiologists...
    I'm a big 290#, and they said to be really safe I would need to stay on Waffrin....not good. I also like my motorcycle..

    Had the Maze about 7 yrs. No heart issues at all!! All test are clean. I do take a heart rate regulator.... I've had sleep apnea for 50 yrs....tuff in heart.

  12. #12
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    New old guy here, first post. I had a problem with PVCs which would cause my pulse to drop into the 30 BPM range, causing fatigue and dizzy spells. I've had two ablations to correct the PVC's and neither worked. The first attempt went on for about 8 hours without success. During the second ablation they found the area was on the opposite side of the heart chamber, however it was very close to the heart valve. The cardiologist performed a short burn which corrected the problem for about 1 minute, but he didn't want to repeat the burn for fear of damaging the heart. I'm now coping with PVCs, and as long as I don't run my heart too high for long periods of time they are not too bad. I don't do high intensity road biking anymore, and instead I keep the intensity level low with moderate road rides and lots of technical single track mountain biking.

    I have found out that endurance athletes are more prone to heart electrical issues.

  13. #13
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    There's a new book out that addresses these issues. The Haywire Heart, co-authored by Chris Case, Dr. John Mandrola, and Lennard Zinn. I can't really comment much about it as I'm only a few chapters in but mainly trying to educate myself and recognize any symptoms and what I can do about it. I'm 55, race Cat1 and will see average heart rates in the mid 170's for 2+ hours, spiking as high as 190 during a race. No issues with not being able to get my heart rate back down or the flopping fish feeling but always wondered if these were dangerous heart rates for someone my age. My Doc says I should go easier but I feel fine when pushing hard....and the fact that I enjoy it!

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