Happy Anniversary

Today is two years since the completion of my hybrid ablation with left atrial appendage occlusion. Since then, I appear to be back to full health.  I use the Kardia most days, usually in the evening while relaxed to get a resting heart rate.  There have been very few arrythmias diagnosed and most have been runs of ectopics rather than actual AF.  I have been symptom-free all this time and am no longer on any medication.

Before

After

My resting pulse is down in the low 60s, and my blood pressure is around 125/75.  Although the systolic is slightly above the recommended level, this recommendation is relatively controversial; treatment for hypertension is considered successful if BP is reduced below 130.  I am quite happy with this, and would certainly refuse statins, if offered.

I have pretty much resumed my normal life; I am working normally and fully back to cycling (but not racing).  Alcohol and caffeine have been almost excised from my life, comparatively, but not entirely.  I am on less than 14 units per week alcohol and a maximum of one coffee per day. Things are good.

I am extremely happy with the hybrid procedure; which appears to be the current gold standard of treatment.  The only concern was the effectiveness of the Atriclip in stroke prevention.  A reassuring report into its effectiveness was published last year.  87% reduction in strokes based on 166 patients with a much higher CHADS score than me.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29016813

Under normal circumstances, I would have been signed off by my cardiologist and back in the care of my GP, but as I was part of the CEASE-AF trial, I will remain under the care of Sheffield for another year.  I am looking forward to my next appointment coming through the door.

6 thoughts on “Happy Anniversary

  1. Congratulations! I am so happy for you. Two questions. Why would you refuse a statin? It seems as though they have benefits besides just lowering LDL cholesterol. And also, I was wondering how your right atrial appendage procedure was different from the Watchman?

    I see my cardiologist next week and am in the process of compiling questions for him. I don’t have a home monitor. And I’m going to request an event monitor. I have not had any atrial fib symptoms in many years. And I have been on Eliquis since I turn 65 in 2015. I would very much like to get off the Eliquis.

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  2. My cholesterol is fine, but towards the upper limit and my BP is “elevated” based on recent changes to guidance. I don’t believe that a statin would be justified, but GPs are encouraged to prescribe them.

    The atriclip is fitted around the LAA on the outside through an incision in the chest wall (plus a second incision for the camera). The watchman is fitted internally via catheter. There is no real difference otherwise.

    Its nice to be off medication. I wasn’t too worried about the Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) at the time, and in the UK drugs are cheap; £10 per month for all your prescriptions so cost wasn’t an issue. Although at the back of my mind was the fact that my father died of a gastric bleed while on wafarin.

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    • Thanks so much for the info. I really hate being on the anticoagulant mainly for safety reasons. Bleeding if I injured myself and also having surgery delayed if I got appendicitis or something like that. I know reversal agents exist, but here in my city they are very reluctant to use it unless it’s a major trauma due to expense.

      And also just general day-to-day bleeding. I had two skin cancers removed last week, and bled continuously for four days even though I had stopped the Eliquis 36 hours before.

      ~Nora

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

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  3. Sorry to hear about the cancer, Nora, I hope everything’s OK now.
    I was told that the reversal agent wasn’t really an issue. They are only stocked at hospitals, so are no use treating a patient in an emergency vehicle. In the hospital they have plans in place for scheduled surgery.
    I did manage to fall off my bike while anti-coagulated. It didn’t seem to bleed faster than usual, just for longer. I thought the protection against stroke outweighed the risk of a bleed. I was lucky that the procedure I had involved the LAA closure, which is not common in the UK.

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    • Thank you for your kind words!. The possibility of bleeding is pretty scary. But y like you said the benefit of stroke prevention I think is worth it. I also found that the bleeding wasn’t more but just for longer. And great news, my biopsies came back benign. The first time I’ve ever had a negative skin biopsy! Next week I see the cardiologist. It will only be the second time I’ve seen this particular doctor. I have a lot of questions.

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