SVT and Ablation
Friday, April 26, 2013
Last Thursday I had a EP study and catheter ablation done on my heart in an attempt to fix the extra pathway(s) in my heart that cause me to have SVTs. SVT is short for supra ventricular tachycardia during the SVT, I would have a rapid heart rate anywhere from 180-270 bpm. I have had these episodes most of my life.
The first one I remember happened when I was in Jr High and I was in gym class. My gym teacher told me that I was just out of shape and needed to workout more. My mom took me to the doctor who thought it must be asthma and when the test came back negative, they didn't know what to do and dismissed it. As an adult, they were still happening and no one could tell me what it was, but they were so sporadic that it wasn't really affecting me too much. When I was pregnant with my son (now 13) I had them fairly regularly. My OB was the first person to order a Holter monitor but of course in the 24 hours that I had it on, I didn't have an episode. After my son was born, I started having them whenever I bent down to scrub the kitchen floor. I assumed this was PTSD because my water broke while I was scrubbing the kitchen floor and he was born and then taken to the NICU for a number of things that all ended up being not a big deal, but it was still a pretty stressful time. My doctor, decided after hearing all of this that it must be stress related and was probably panic attacks. After trying me on every anti-anxiety drug on the market and most anti-depressants, I decided none of the medicines were working to the point where the side effects out weighed the issue. So I quit all of it and just grinned a bared it so to speak.
I have been working really hard for the last year to workout on a regular basis, watch what I eat and get healthy. And slowly the more physically fit I have gotten, the worse my episodes have gotten. Finally after putting it off over and over, I talked to my GP doc and she ordered another Holter monitor. Once again, 24 hours and nothing! Talk about frustrating!! After she got the results back said mentioned just letting it go, or I could opt to do the 30 day event monitor and try to figure it out. I opted for the 30 day monitor. Day 1 of the 30 days, I tried everything I could to have an episode. I went for a nice jog and as soon as I got home, I bent down to grab something out of my daughter's stroller and BAM! My heart was racing, my chest hurt and I felt like I couldn't catch my breathe. I phoned it in right away and waited to hear from the doctor. The next day they called and said they got it. They ordered me to not do any workout at all until I got in to see the doctor, the cardiac electrophysiologist. The following Monday I went to see him and he told me I have SVT. My options were, I could either live with it, it's benign and won't hurt me, or I could take Beta-blockers for the rest of my life, or I could have the EP studay and ablation done to try to get rid of the problem for good. After talking it over with my husband and weighing my options, I decided to go ahead and do the ablation to try to cure the problem.
Thursday morning I was up and at the hospital by 7 am. They started the procedure at 8 am. I was taken to the Cath Lab where they put catheters in my neck and both sides of my groin. (All while I was wide awake and only give lidocain at the points of the punctures) They fed the catheters into my heart and started pacing my heart, giving me medicine to try to induce an event and after 4 and a half hours they said they were pretty sure they found it and ablated it. I was wheeled out of the Cath Lab and into recovery where I had to stay flat, with my legs down for 4 hours! Finally at 5 pm, I was sent home. To rest and recover!