Well my "electrician" or more formally, electrophysiologist got right down to business and scheduled me for my cardiac ablation next week! I'm pleased to get going on this and am hopeful that I'll be putting this behind me so that I can hit the roads on my bike this year just like any other!
The way that I understand the procedure is that he will be zapping (with a radiofrequency catheter up through the groin) the electrical current in my heart to see if it restores a proper rhythm...if that doesn't work he'll zap the node which controls the electrical current...probably Sinus (SA) node in the right atrium. If he fries the node it'll mean installation of pacemaker to replace the node and to restore proper cardiac rhythm.
I'm really okay with this as I've read enough to know that a pacemaker isn't gonna slow me down any and it isn't all that invasive. I asked how this condition could have developed and he's pretty confident that it's leftover baggage and consequences from my morbidly obese days when I had congestive heart failure...one never knows how bad choices can come back to haunt yet again!
While there are risks with any surgical procedure, it's a pretty easy choice to make in moving ahead with this as: if this condition isn't treated my atriums will continue to malfunction: not emptying completely, nor filling completely. This results in a pooling of blood in my heart which places me at risk for clotting and strokes and requires anti-coagulant medications...which present a risk of their own. Additionally this condition results in my feeling more fatigue than I ought to feel due to the improper functioning of my heart.
Restoring proper rhythm to my heart will eliminate all of these problems.
Yep, there are going to be further tweaks and possible complications but I'm pretty confident that the path I'm choosing will be the lesser of possible problems.
It's also a good thing that of the two problems I have the flutter, not the fibrillation. Per PubMed:
"Radiofrequency catheter ablation of typical atrial flutter is highly effective and associated with a low recurrence rate of atrial flutter, but atrial fibrillation continues to be a long-term risk for patients undergoing this procedure."
Looks like it will involve at least an overnight stay, perhaps more time if pacemaker tweaking is necessary.
Ready to move on and put this behind me! Going to have a crazy-busy time getting ready at work for the time off though...!
Keep 'er SPARKING everyone! :-)