So I have Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT)

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by The.316, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. The.316 macrumors 65816

    The.316

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    #1
    A few months ago, I was sitting at my desk, watching a movie on my iMac, when all of a sudden, my heart started beating EXTREMELY fast! This happened to me prior to that time, and with a few heavy, deep breaths, I was able to get it back to normal. This time was a different story though. I couldnt get it to stop, and I got into my car and drove to the hospital. After about 30 minutes at the hospital, I finally got to see the doctor, and my pulse at the time was 235 bpm. They gave me something in my IV, which made my chest burn, and then it slowed down my heart rate.

    I ended up seeing two heart doctors here in the city, and they both said I had SVT, which is like an extra "highway" in my heart, that can cause my heart to beat real fast from time to time. I took some medicine for it, and I havent had an episode since, but I still get the sensation in my chest that its trying to start an episode.

    Today, I went to the doctor, and we decided that we are going to skip the pills, and go with a Catheter Ablation procedure, which sends a small wire from my leg, into the heart, and burns the "highway" that causes the SVT. Im curious to know if anyone else has had this procedure done before, and if so, what was your experiences with it?
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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  3. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

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    #3
    Pills may (or may not) control the rate at which your ventricle beats during episodes of SVT.

    An ablation, technically, is similar to a cardiac catheterization (done thousands of time a day in the US), where a "wire" is threaded up your artery (usually in the leg) to your heart. The "short circuit" pathway is identified (usually), and is ablated. You will be on the table anywhere from 45 min to several hours, depending on how quickly the accessory pathway is located. An ablation has risks, but if successful will cure the problem.

    I hope you will heed the advice of your doctor. And per my usual caveat, try not to seek medical advice (information is okay) on the internet, particularly on a computer forum. ;)
     
  4. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #4
    But this is an Apple computer forum. ;)

    And they go in through your groin. Tell it like it is. :p

    LOL :D
     
  5. glocke12 macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

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    #5
    My father did not have SVT, but he had this procedure performed. Aside from having to remain still for several hours afterwards he had no issue.

    When my mother had heart problems the same doctor mentioned that a stint was an option, but due to the overall state of her health he wanted to treat her using meds instead.

    Anyway, good luck. This is a fairly common procedure I think, but second opinions by another heart doctor are always good.

    Also, and Im sure you know this, take any medical advice you get on the internet with a grain of salt.
     
  6. Menge macrumors 6502a

    Menge

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    #6
    I had the Catheter procedure done. They couldn't find the anomalous pathway in my case. I still have it and I don't take the drugs, but as long as I keep a regular exercise routine, I don't have any episodes.

    The procedure is risky. It is, for all effects, surgery. But in some cases it is needed, like in yours where drugs alone weren't sufficient.
     
  7. jimN macrumors 6502a

    jimN

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    #7
    People keep giving the OP a hard time about seeking medical advice on the internet but he's not, he's asking for the experiences of those who have undergone ablation themselves. I'm not one of those but I have seen a fair few people with SVT, a number of whom underwent RF ablation, generally with successful results. Any procedure involving a wire going into the heart has inherent risks by the techniques used here are performed on a regular basis by a lot of doctors so the procedure is well understood with a low complication rate.

    I'd say the biggest worry would be that it might not be a success. After that you worry about bleeding at the insertion site, infection and arrhythmia during the procedure. Sounds to me like it needs to be done so why not.
     
  8. Shakko macrumors member

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    #8
    Best of luck with your procedure. I dare not imagine how it feels like to have to go through anything remotely similar to that, and don't want to!
     
  9. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #9
    I used to get SVT's when I was in my teens, but I haven't had one in around 6 years now. They're not so fun are they? Mine just went away without the need for tablets or surgery, though the doc did prescribe some medication.

    I believe Tony Blair had surgery to fix them, or that may have been in some mad dream or something.
     
  10. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

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    #10
    Agreed, but if the feedback the OP gets significantly influences the decision, then it becomes advice. Every patient is unique, with unique disease processes. Extrapolating anecdotes into dogma is a common human trait. And soliciting advice/feedback online will usually result in a negative skew (unhappy prople tend to share negative experiences more than happy people tend to share successes).
     
  11. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    #11
    What is your gender? How old are you? Are you in good physical shape? Do you have a healthy BMI? Do you smoke? and Have you ever had healing complications?
     
  12. The.316 thread starter macrumors 65816

    The.316

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    #12
    Im 32 years old, slightly overweight (6-3, 250 pounds), and I do smoke. Keep in mind that even though I am at 250 pounds, I am not that "fat." I was at 290 a few years ago, and went down to 220, which is my target by the summer here. I am sure that the smoking doesnt help, and its a habit that I am trying to quit, but I was told by the doctors that food and smoking have a small affect on when I get the episodes.

    I have only had one, maybe two, episodes since I had to go to the hospital a few months back, and none in the past 4-6 weeks. I have also been off the medicine for about a month now, and while I get the sensation in my chest that it wants to start, it hasnt. My dad spoke to my primary heart doctor today, while I went to get a second opinion, and the doctor said that it wasnt a necessary procedure, but it would be better to get it done. The doctor I went to said that since Im still only 32, its better to get this done now, rather than live my life on pills. Both of these doctors are the best in my city here. I also went to a doctor in Athens, who is very well known, and she told me the same thing. All three doctors did the same procedures on me; they checked my blood pressure, my breathing, ran an ECG on me, and performed ultrasounds, and all three doctors said my heart is fine, aside from this extra "highway" in my heart.

    Im just thinking about whether I should hold off on it or not. Im in a very fragile state of mind, because certain things run in my family, like depression for example, and my mind tends to think the worst a lot of times. I think if I get this done, and its successful, I would feel more at ease about myself, and my heart, but I am concerned about the procedure. I did read about it online, but I was more interested in what people who have had the procedure have to say.
     
  13. The.316 thread starter macrumors 65816

    The.316

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    #13
    So I go to the hospital at the beginning of the week, check in, and begin some tests. Yesterday, I get up and get ready for the procedure to be done, scheduled for 9:30 am. The dude nurse comes in, I get undressed, and he starts to shave my legs near my, um, private area. Im done there, head over to the operating room, get all set up and ready to be poked, and then they checked my temperature. My temp was 100, so the doctor told the nurse to check it again, and again, 100. So we had to cancel the procedure because they dont want to perform it on someone who has a fever. So I am on antibiotics for 10 days, then we will get me back in to get it done.

    The doctor told me everything else is fine. My heart rhythm looks good, my EKG was good, no cholesterol, and my blood work overall was fine. I think once I get this procedure done, it will release so much pressure off of me. I just dont know how im going to walk around the next few days with the inside of my thighs shaved. Boy I know Im in for a lot of pain when those hairs start growing back!
     
  14. James L macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Best wishes on your procedure, when it gets done.

    Speaking as a paramedic, please please please if this happens again call 911 and don't drive yourself to the hospital. There are definite risks to prolonged episodes of SVT and this is something we can treat right in your living room.

    Transport to hospital would still be required but you'd be going safely on a stretcher, with a normal heart rate, rather than driving yourself there with a rate of 235 and the very real potential for complications.
     
  15. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    #15
    I am sorry I didn’t see this earlier. Your BMI is a bit high, and it would be worth trying for 220. Once your doctor gives you the okay, you should slowly start exercising; even a little goes a long way. Getting a personal trainer will be money well spent as they really know how to maximize your workout. Smoking probably doesn’t harm it but it doesn’t make it a lot better. If you decide to quit, they have a few medications, which are the most effective quitting-aids. The patch/gum does double your chance of quitting versus cold turkey (as advertised), but it is around 2% of people who succeed cold turkey around the 6 month period; so the patch/gum takes you up to around 5%; ooohhh yeah!

    Age is on your side and you will often heal faster and better when younger versus older. If you aren’t already, start taking Omega 3 fish oil supplements. It greatly reduces anxiety and depression, and has been certified by a few governments to be beneficial to the heart. Obviously, check with your doctor before starting any new supplements, including Omega 3, as it may affect you different given your condition. Also, if you want to quit and/or take on the depression, check out Wellbutrin (Bupropion). It is an effective antidepressant, often thought to be one of the safest antidepressants for people with heart complications, has a slight stimulatory effect instead of drowsiness of other antidepressants, can be combined with LD SSRIs, has minimal serotonin impact, lack many of the least desirable side-effects of most SSRIs (such as certain sexual-related side effects…Paxil is the worst), is available generically, and greatly increases the chance to quit smoking (IIRC it is around 20-30% effective). It does NOT have any real impact on anxiety chemically speaking, but when you reduce depression, people often report less anxiety and certain fears. The brand name Zyban is the formulation marketed to quit smoking; it is basically the same thing as Wellbutrin, with only a slightly different delivery method. Chantix is another pill-form aid to stop smoking, but if you have depression issues, I would not even consider it as it has made depression worse for some people and the issue of suicidal thoughts and actions are now being examined. Chantix may not be as safe as it was initially touted to be. Before doing any of this, check with the doctor that specializes in the heart, as any medication (even OTC) you want to be careful about. You may also want to avoid caffeine or consume it minimally. If you have an inhaler containing Alubteral, this can make an issue, as can many ADD/ADHD medications.
    As far as getting the operation now or later, that’s a tough call. If you are currently facing mental health issues, it may be a good idea to wait until your mental health is under control. People with a positive state of mind tend to heal faster, heal better, and die less from certain operations. Also, if you currently can exercise some, dropping to 220+/- may be beneficial as well because if you are in good shape, you face fewer potential complications. If you quit smoking, even better. By getting in shape and stopping the smoking, you will obviously greatly increase your cardiovascular health, which in itself is worth it.

    What antibiotic did they give you? Cipro, Doxy, or Zithromax by chance?



     
  16. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

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    #16
    Depends on what you mean by "help". Smoking does quell one's appetite.
     
  17. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

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    #17
    It all depends on what you are smoking. ;)
     
  18. wywern209 macrumors 65832

    wywern209

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    do you rly want to know?
    #18
    on a completely unrelated note, OP, u watched the movie wanted? the one with angelina jolie in it? the main character thinks he has panic attacks but rly, he's a assassin who cna curve bullets. U shot any guns lately?:D
    All joking aside, good luck with the procedure.
     

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