Jeff Patten’s A-Fib started briefly in 2000, then returned in 2010 when his father-in-law died. The emotional upset, high summer heat, stress and accumulated age, followed closely by a bout with appendicitis, put him back into A-Fib .
In 2012, came a successful CryoBalloon ablation. But Jeff’s post-ablation recovery on Pradaxa turned into “alimentary torture” and burning diarrhea. Later came a Right Atrium Catheter Ablation for PACs/PVCs. Learn how Jeff emerged in 2015 healthy and A-Fib free.
5. “I definitely have A-Flutter and possibly A-Fib as well. They want to do an A-Flutter-only ablation on me. Will that help me?”
Probably not. We now know that, in general, A-Flutter originates in the right Atrium, and Atrial Fibrillation originates in the Left Atrium.
A right atrium ablation for A-Flutter does little for A-Fib. If you have both A-Fib and A-Flutter, but only have and Flutter-only ablation of the right atrium, it’s estimated the success rate for curing A-Fib is only between 5% and 10%.1
You’re probably wasting your time and undergoing needless risk to do an A-Flutter-only ablation when you also have A-Fib. Some A-Flutter may originate in the left atrium, or the A-Flutter may mask A-Fib which may appear later after a successful A-Flutter ablation. As many as half of all patients ablated for A-Flutter may later develop A-Fib.
But what if you have Atrial Flutter only and don’t have A-Fib? A Flutter ablation in the right atrium is relatively simple and doesn’t take much time.
In my opinion, an A-Fib ablation in the left atrium should normally be done at the same time as a Flutter ablation.
- Takahashi Y et al. “How to interpret and identify pulmonary vein recordings with the Lasso catheter.” Heart Rhythm 2006;3:748-750. (Last updated 8/9/2010)↵