Monday, April 22, 2013

Post Procedure Follow-up

Today is the Monday after last Thursday's ablation.  Things are getting better.  My heart no longer hurts, and the various weird aches and discomforts have subsided.  Today has been a little odd, I'm having a lot of weird sweating of all things.  My hands and feet are cold, but I'm sweaty.  Who knows, it's always something.

We had a follow-up appointment with Dr. Su this afternoon.  My EKG looked good, although my EKG always looks good in the doctor's office.  EKGs need to be performed on mountain bike trails for maximum data generation.  It was an interesting appointment, we learned much.  He completed the pulmonary vein isolation portion of the procedure in an hour.  Then he went looking for other bad places in the heart.  He found more cells firing in the roof of the left atrium.  After ablating those cells, he found more bad cells in the left atrial appendage.   When Dr. Su originally looked at my holter monitor results he pointed out some really fast beats and called them ectopic atrial tachychardia.  I'm assuming that's what those two groups of cells were.  I also wonder if it was ever atrial fib, the EKGs never looked like afib.  Total procedure time was three hours.

This picture shows the LAA with an umbrella device in it.  During atrial fibrillation, clots form in the LAA, and after awhile they spill over into the blood stream and cause strokes.  The goal of the umbrella is to keep the clots from exiting the LAA.  It's a new device and is not yet universally accepted as a good thing.  My purpose in showing the picture is so you can see what the LAA looks like.

This article discusses the difficulty of using RF ablation (heat) on the LAA.  This is my favorite sentence, ".... a high risk to generate steam pops and to perforate the atrial wall has been reported during RF delivery, especially in the LAA."  Steam pops!   So I was pretty happy to be in the hands someone skilled in the use of cryoablation who could deal with my bad LAA.   He's cautiously optimistic about long term success, but there are never any guarantees.

For the next three months I am restricted to not exceeding 130 bpm on the bike.  That's going to affect what I can ride in Bend.  There will be wearing of heart rate monitors and probably more walking than I would normally do.  Three months is the estimated time for healing.
In other news, we continue to have blooming cactus beauty, and I will leave you with this image.


  1. It is amazing to me what doctor's are able to do these days. So glad they have a procedure to help your condition. Three months is a short time for a life time of good activity. Hope your health continues to improve.

    Beautiful cactus flowers!

  2. Now for the fun part...adhering to doctors prescribed limitations! Fingers crossed that the sciatica doesn't rear its ugly head during the extra walking you'll be doing!