Are There Benefits from a Failed Ablation? Yes!
Yes! There benefits from a catheter ablation even when the patient’s A-Fib has not been eliminated. Research has shown that the intensity or duration A-Fib symptoms may lessen, and medications that were ineffective before the ablation may now work.
A-Fib is a progressive disease that over time re-models and changes your heart. One of the remodeling effects of A-Fib is a reduction in the heart’s pumping ability (that’s why you might feel faint or dizzy during an A-Fib episode).
A key indicator of heart health is your Ejection Fraction (EF), a percentage of blood that is pumped out of your heart by the left ventricle during each beat. A heathy heart has an EF between 50 to 75 percent; an EF below 50% means your heart is no longer pumping efficiently. An EF of less than 35% means a seriously weakened heart.
In a meta-analysis of 26 A-Fib research studies, investigators found additional ‘side’ benefits to catheter ablation. The studies involved 1,838 A-Fib patients who had undergone a catheter ablation. Post-ablation follow-up averaged 23 months.
Follow-up data revealed a significant 13% improvement in left ventricular ejection fraction (EF).
In addition, there was a significant reduction in the number of patients who formerly had an ejection fraction of less than 35%, i.e., their EF ratio improved. (Might these ‘side’ benefits be attributed to an improvement in left ventricular ejection fraction?)
A catheter ablation can profoundly change one’s life—even if you need a second ablation (or a third)—know that you may reap ‘side’ benefits from each ablation.