Should I have an ablation for Afib?

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Submitted by Dr T on May 25, 2014 – 11:37am

I have afib that is gradually getting worse.Several years ago i had an IVC filter placed after my second PE I failed tykocin and amiodarone The only two options i have been given is to have the filter removed and  a catheter ablation or a surgical ablation They are not sure they can take the filter out Would like to avoid the surgery  Any suggestions The only med they suggested was maybe Sotalol
Hi Kari,
Hold on a minute! These are the issues:
  • An IVC filter is placed to limit blood clots from below to travel to your heart and lungs and potentially cause a pulmonary embolism, but is otherwise unrelated to a AF and/or the need to perform an ablation. Removal is sometimes complicatred and the decision should be weighed against the reason why the filter was implanted in the first place (usually recurrent emboli and/or difficulty with using blood thinners).
  • AF may generate  blood clots inside your heart that can cause a stroke, but an IVC filter would not protect against that.
  • An ablation procedure is often performed via a vein in your groin and that would be difficult, but not impossible with an IVC filter in place. However, it can also be performed via an arm vein or other locations.
  • Whether a medication such as sotalol should be tried next instead is not something I can judge. 

If your doctors haven’t explained this to you, you might want to ask for another opinion.

Hope this helps,

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