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A-Fib Patient Story #38

Two Failed Ablations in 2006; Finally success in 2010 With Pulmonary Vein Ablation by Dr. James Ong

by Jim, September 2010

I a 65 year old male who suffered with Paroxysmal A-Fib for about eight years starting at age 57.  My cardiologist wouldn’t recommend treatment until 2006 since he stated “the technology wasn’t perfected enough and most ablations had been experimental”. 

Two Unsuccessful Ablations

My cardiologist wouldn’t recommend treatment until 2006 since he stated “the technology wasn’t perfected enough and most ablations had been experimental”. 
In 2006 he recommended that I consult with an Electrophysiologist who he recommended highly. I had an ablation done in February 2006 which failed to induce A-Fib but did induce Atrial Flutter which was treated with an ablation to my right atrium.  My A-Fib was not affected by this, and I continued to suffer episodes.

I went in for a second attempt in October of 2006, and A-Fib was induced and my left atrium ablated. Unfortunately this attempt did not work, and I was surely disappointed and frustrated.

Continued Research and Discovered

I continued researching my condition and discovered at about the same time as I was consulting with Dr. James Ong in Tarzana, Ca.  who practices using the Pulmonary Vein Ablation technique. This was not the approach used in my first two ablation attempts.

January 2010: Pulmonary Vein Ablation with Dr. Ong

The Pulmonary Vein Ablation technique made a lot of sense to me, and I proceeded with Dr. Ong.  In Jan 2010 Dr. Ong successfully induced A-Fib and successfully ablated the pulmonary veins in my left atrium. He stated afterwards that my A-Fib was definitely coming from a Pulmonary Vein; and that once he isolated it, the A-Fib stopped.

I have not had an A-Fib episode since Jan 2010 (I am writing this account Sept 2010). I have also not experienced any PACs since the ablation which I experienced before the ablation. As a final check up I successfully completed a three week halter monitor and was pronounced A-Fib free!

In this writing I have not described all the contortions and machinations I went through trying to control my A-Fib episodes prior to my successful Ablation. They included watching what I ate, drank and stress levels. My A-Fib episodes ranged in time from 10 minutes at the beginning to sometimes more than 12 hours—with all the attendant symptoms of A-Fib including dizziness, shortness of breath and being forced to stop all activity and just sit until the A-fib episode was over. I experienced A-Fib episodes at least a few times a week.

Subsequent to my successful ablation I had almost forgotten about all the miserable episodes I had tolerated over the years.

I never knew when an episode was coming, and fortunately my work situation allowed me to most times “adjust” my environment until the episode ended. Subsequent to my successful ablation I had almost forgotten about all the miserable episodes I had tolerated over the years

My Recommendation to Anyone With A-Fib

My recommendation to anyone suffering is to 1) do your own research, and 2) commence treatment immediately after finding a qualified physician with a good track record. Obviously I think the Pulmonary Vein Ablation technique is the way to go.

Email: zebus52963(at)

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