Ablations are doing a good job of granting permanent relief from atrial fibrillation. A recent study shows that there is an 87% success rate in ablation patients after ten years.
Some only got these results after 2 ablation procedures. 59% of the patients only needed one, but 28% required two to live symptom free for ten years.
Why two procedures? Often, the problem was that the pulmonary vein had re-connected itself in the intervening time.
And if both procedures failed? Surgeons do at least have some answers for those patients as well.
Patients with recurrent atrial arrhythmia after two failed procedures underwent a high-dose isoproterenol challenge to identify nonpulmonary vein triggers, which were then targeted for ablation. The predictors of very late recurrence due to nonpulmonary vein triggers were increased left atrial size, obesity, and female gender.
At least the procedure is available a second time if the condition repeats itself. And, of course, with a success rate like that it’s definitely worth trying ablation if your doctor agrees that it’s right for you.