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  1. #1
    Senior Member LCI_Brian's Avatar
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    Beta Blockers - Alternatives?

    I've had an irregular rapid heartbeat on occasion, and it was recently diagnosed as atrial tachycardia. The cardiologist said this is not life threatening (unlike atrial fibrillation, which can lead to stroke), yet he wants to keep it under control with sotalol (a beta blocker). Given that my rapid heartbeat only occurs on occasion and doesn't last too long when it happens, I'd rather deal with the rapid heartbeat than suffer with the reduced performance from the beta blockers.

    I asked him why he wanted to keep it under control and did not get a good answer, in my opinion. So I am in the process of getting a second opinion from another cardiologist as to recommended treatment.

    I noticed many folks here are taking beta blockers for various conditions. Had you considered alternative medications, and if not, why not?

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    Senior Member Red Baron's Avatar
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    I've been off them about 4 months now, after ~15 years. HR finally settled down to 170 during a hard ride/run (I've been off biking 7 weeks, thius is first week back). I now get Heart 'palputations' usually from drinking too much coffee, but no more beta blockers for me. They wre scary but I've learned to just let them pass.
    **Fate is a fickle thing, and in the end the true measure of a person is not fate itself, but how they master it**

  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I was on Beta blockers after the bypass and they did affect my performance. Heart rate could not get above 130 and unless all I did was a gentle potter on the Mups- I was shattered. The only way round them I found was instead of taking the BB in the morning- I started taking them the night before a ride. 3 months after the Bypass I did an organised ride-so plenty of Help would be around and the sag wagon if it got that bad. Took in a good few hills on that one and I got my heart rate up into the 140's for general riding and as I knew the Ambulance was at the top of a particular nasty hill- I went for it. Got to my max and went immediately over to the Ambulance to recover and get my breath back. Took a while for the HR to drop to 110 but it did eventually and I Finished the ride in the full knowledge that I was going to recover from the surgery. And then took another BB when the ride was over to get everything back to a slow pace.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    I was put on Sotalol for my afib, to slow my heart down, etc. Man, I couldn't take it. It made me feel crazily weird, and I sort of wished I was dead. But, we all react differently.
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    Beta blockers are awful.

    I had open heart surgery 7 weeks ago to replace a congentially deformed aortic valve and to fix an aortic aneurism. Because I have had afib issues off and on in the past, they also did a surgical procedure called a maze, which has a 95% success rate in curing afib.

    For a few months at least, they have me on a beta blocker, a rythm control med and coumadin. Hopefully, all will be discontinued in a month or so.

    I haven't been able to ride for 2 months. But I've been walking and just started trying to jog a little this past week. My resting HR is now in the 60's instead of the 40's, and I have trouble getting it out of the 80's when walking. Even jogging a little bit doesn't get it much above the high 80's. I just hope it's all the meds!

    Next weekend, the surgeon says I'm allowed to ride again, but to "listen to my body". My body isn't saying much except for that weird heart rate.

    Coumadin is another major issue. There are people riding while on it, but there is an obvious danger. I would say to stay out of pace lines and groups, because that is where most bad wrecks occur. Personally, I have concluded it is worth the risk for a few weeks--I won't be riding very far or very fast for a while, and I should be off the coumadin before I get back into shape for anything serious.

    Getting old sure beats the alternatives, but at times it isn't much fun!

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Old School's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LCI_Brian View Post
    I've had an irregular rapid heartbeat on occasion, and it was recently diagnosed as atrial tachycardia. The cardiologist said this is not life threatening (unlike atrial fibrillation, which can lead to stroke)...
    Glad you are paying attention to your heart. Please check with your cardiologist for alternatives to Beta blockers. In general, an Internet forum (yes, even our beloved 50+ BF) is a poor place to get sound medical advice. However, WebMD and similar sites can familiarize you with treatment options to discuss with your doctor. By the way, I am not a physician -- I just play one sometimes!
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW! WHAT A RIDE!"

  7. #7
    Senior Member LCI_Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old School View Post
    Glad you are paying attention to your heart. Please check with your cardiologist for alternatives to Beta blockers. In general, an Internet forum (yes, even our beloved 50+ BF) is a poor place to get sound medical advice. However, WebMD and similar sites can familiarize you with treatment options to discuss with your doctor. By the way, I am not a physician -- I just play one sometimes!
    Yes, that's my intent here, not to get medical advice, but just to see what the options are, as my cardiologist wasn't forthcoming as to alternatives and was really pushing the sotalol. I told him my concerns about beta blockers and, IMO, he downplayed the impact on exercise function. IMO, he thinks that I'm going to be happy if I ride out the short-term side effects in the next two months.

    One thing I've been looking at in my research is getting enough magnesium and potassium. My diet is poor in foods containing those items. Yet that wasn't even mentioned as an option.

    I am suffering more than usual this weekend because I normally live at sea level and I'm up here at my mountain cabin at 6000 feet (and, of course, all the rides from here are hilly!).

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    What are you guys, a bunch of complainers? You should see the list of medications I'm on permanently (11 a day, sometimes more, and pretty powerful ones too)... and I still cycle on a road bike. One of them is a beta blocker, but it's necessary, and I would rather have the side effects than to be dead, really. Do I compete with young bucks in perfect health? No, but you've got to deal with reality, don't you. I would suggest giving it a chance. Your body adjusts after a while. By the way, I'm not a doctor, but I'm not so sure that the condition you have might not be life threatening if left untreated.

  9. #9
    Senior Member LCI_Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longfemur View Post
    One of them is a beta blocker, but it's necessary, and I would rather have the side effects than to be dead, really.
    Of course, no argument there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Longfemur View Post
    By the way, I'm not a doctor, but I'm not so sure that the condition you have might not be life threatening if left untreated.
    But the doctor himself is the one who said it is not life threatening!

  10. #10
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    I take Toprol, the blood pressure medicine.
    I've had A-fib and 2 ablations which seem to have taken care of the A-fib.
    Then I went into A-flutter, which is just fast and not out of rythmn like A-fib.
    They put me on Toporol and everything seems to be ok for now.

  11. #11
    bobkat
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    Old School! I agree wholeheardedly. I used to play doctor too till I got old and smart and retired! Internet sites are really a bad place to get any kind of medical advice. And comparing one persons's problem to another is even worse! There are literally dozens of totally different heart problems, every one different, the treatments different, their significances different. Like the engine in your cars which give 'trouble' - wonder how many different things can give 'trouble' in an engine? 50? 75? Each needing a different 'fix!'
    ?Atrial tachycardia? What kind? Like PAT? ?PAC's, ? WPW Syndrome?? or some other of the many kinds of supraventricular tachycardias or just a simple sinus tachycardia that probably only means you've been drinking too much coffee, maybe are uptight and stressed, OR looking at too many bikini's at the beach! Hah!
    Beta Blockers given for the right conditions and indications at the correct dosages are great meds! As other meds can be, but they all have their own uses and potential side effects. I see a lot of feedback from the heart rate worshipers who don't feel they have exercised till their hear rate gets up to some magic number from a chart on their $300.00 monitor! Heh! Sorry guys and gals, this is probably meaningless with a lot of conditions. I exercise pretty hard all the time but haven't a clue what my heart rate does or is right now! Why should I care in the total absence of symptoms from the darned thing? Sometimes its best not to get too introspective. As a country we spend billions in unnecessary gadgetry, food supplements and health care of little proven benefit. Don't smoke, exercise, keep weight down, eat correctly, have a physical exam every year or so, and you've already done 98% of the important stuff. Sorry to get philosophical.......
    But ask your cardiologist again, and if you are still not satisfied with the answer you could see another one. Doesn't sound too serious to me, although not having any clue about any of the dozens of required details of your health history, labs, physical exam and EKG's any advice coming from ANYONE is meaningless. That's why you won't see a board certified cardiologist answer queries on things like this. They have to know "the rest of the story!"

  12. #12
    Senior Member RussB's Avatar
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    Well I'm not 50+ yet (47 years old) But I also take a beta blocker (Atenolol) because my heart skips a beat quite a few times a day. My issue is after the skipped beat I get a large beat afterwards. It's so strong it feels like I'm about to be in trouble. I like the idea from STAPFAM* about taking the BB at night instead. I presently take it in the morning. I know better than to change too quickly. Since it's getting to the end of the riding season here in New England (only 2 months left), I'll transition by taking it 1 hour later each week And I'll be in the evening by the spring season. Thanks for the Idea.

  13. #13
    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Hey Bobkat.

    I hate to disagree, but if I had followed the docs advice at Kaiser Permanente, I would still be having AFib. They didn't wnat to even mention an ablation - why - because it costs Kaiser too much.

    By using the internet, I was able to get some other thoughts, and based upon what some of these guys who had been through it said, found the best doc in the whole country at the best place - Cleveland Clinic.

    Kaiser told me to think of 24/7 arrythmia - afib - as just a "minor convenience." Nope, it was a life changing event, not a "minor inconvenience."

    And if I had followed the docs advice on my Trigeminal Neuralgia, I would still be taking trileptal and tegretol, basically poisoning and zapping my liver daily. It was only through the internet that I found out about microvascular decompression - why - the docs I was working with didn't even know how to spell it.

    Nope, docs don't have all the answers, and it takes an informed consumer to ferret their way through the complex medical world.

    And, you get informed by asking lots and lots of questions, questioning everything, and researching, and then making your own decisions.
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  14. #14
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    I take atenolol (definately take it at night) and have for several years. My name for the stuff is "sloth in a can". My heart rate while on it now tops out at about 160 when I bother to monitor it. You have to ride with this stuff for a while and learn to get up and get going anyway. About the only thing that really happens is that it takes longer to warm up (4 to 5 miles) before the pain in the legs goes away then its ok. I don't expect to race like I'm 25 so medicine that will help me stay healthy is a good thing.

    There are numerous medicines in this catagory. They all have side effects. Make a list, tally up the side effects and decide which is the least problem. Sit down with your doctor and discuss this. Explain what your life style is and why you wish to minimize certain side effects. Somewhere your going to have to compromise, you can't be young forever...

  15. #15
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    In this day and age, we are darned lucky to be able to chat like this with others via the internet. Medical care nowadays pretty much stinks unless you are a millionnaire. It's good to be able to learn about what others have experienced just to be able to better judge if the treatment we are being given makes any sense or whether there might be other approaches. It's not always possible to get a second opinion.

  16. #16
    bobkat
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    Wow. Atrial fib is not a "minor inconvenience" - It can kill you, not because of its cardiac effects, but by throwing off clots and stroking you out. (atrial tach won't) Worse than killing you, it could incapacitate you and not let you ride a bike! And I'd bet both you and I would HATE wheelchairs! Hah!
    So it sounds like your HMO is crossing the line from poor medicine to malpractice! I wasn't even in that field but sent my first patient to Mayo Clinic 23 years ago for an ablation, and the Cardiologists here in little old ND have been doing them every day for the past 18 years. I sent a kid who I met gassing up my plane to a local electrophysiological cardiologist last spring - referred him from the tarmac at the airport, as I could easily guess what he had and what treatment he needed! He's really happy now, even got his flight physical back! So it's hardly new or wonderful treatments you are describing. Old technology...
    And for T Neuralgia - again not a rare treatment at all. Getting better all the time, although not yet perfect.
    Sounds like you had better get out of that HMO before you schmuck up your bike and break 7 bones and fracture your skull and be sent home with "minor bruises" and aspirin. I'd heard that in their zeal to save money and keep the low premiums that patients are demanding they are cutting a lot of corners. Unfortunately everyone wants 'Lamborghini Medicine at used Hundai prices!' Or for this website 'highest component carbon fiber bikes at Sprawl Mart Huffy prices!' But you usually get what you pay for. Not that there isn't eleven million four hundred thousand six hundred and eighty five and a half ways that the entire health system could be improved! And those are just for starters.......

    But I still maintain that it isn't a great idea to ask for medical advice on a talk forum on the internet. After posting my previous post I read a bunch of the medical queries here, and was astounded at some of the diagnoses, diagnostic procedures and treatments advised. So at least take such advice with caution. I hope the advice concrning biking topics is better! LOL
    If you want advice and education from the internet, go to reputable medical educational websites like the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic and many others. There you can find useful advice and accurate information on a lot of stuff. Tons of great websites and great information out there - lots of bad information, too.
    And bail out of your HMO. I'm appalled! Glad I never had to work in one! Whew!

  17. #17
    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobkat View Post
    And bail out of your HMO. I'm appalled! Glad I never had to work in one! Whew!

    Oh, we did three years ago - we even have a bumper sticker, "Kaiser Escapees" - which we had especially made. We got asked about it last week while we were entering a restaurant by a Kaiser doc who had just seen it as he parked.

    Just a bit more - when the AFib started, I sent my Kaiser doc several faxes describing my symptoms (heart rate up to 180, weakness, irregular heartbeat) and asking for advice. Her response, - "Nothing to worry about - come in sometime if you would like to discuss it." When I finally got to see a doc some time later (based upon advice from this forum, btw), they hospitalized me immediately in a cardiac ward, but would not let me see a cardiologist until we yelled and demanded one - then I got a total of 15 minutes.

    To be fair to Kaiser, of course they had me on warfarin and heart rate slowing drugs in the hospital and afterwards. But, a blood thinner and performance reducing, "makes me feel strange" drugs was not my goal, either - I didn't want to be on rat poison the rest of my life. They didn't even whisper about an ablation as a possible treatment. "Mums the word" around there. I am now off of all Trigeminal Neuralgia and AFib meds, with the exception of one adult ASA daily.

    Of course you have to use your common sense and filter through the fluff and crap, and put things in perspective. And web sites such as the CC are the best.

    But my current doc (non-Kaiser) keeps saying - don't look at stuff on the internet. If I had followed his advice, my face would still be agonizing in pain along with my heart going flitter flutter, and my blood thin and wispy!

    You need to learn to be an informed consumer by whatever means possible.


    BTW, I sent those faxes and a long letter to Kaiser after I left. I received a sort of an apology, but no indication of what might have happened to the doc who totally ignored me, if anything. My guess is absolutely nothing at all.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 09-03-07 at 06:07 AM.
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  18. #18
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    I know that this will start a war.

    50% of the doctors out there finished in the bottom half of their classes.
    A similar situation exists for teachers, car salesmen, laywers, priests and housewives.

    Ask questions about anything and everything. Do not look down your nose at information learned from any source, just filter it and put it in perspective.

    With regard to the medical advice sought and given on this forum.......Most if attached to the disclaimer of discuss this with your doctor........Hovever a consensus by similar (age, bicycle, other activities) may in fact be a good indicator that some things that you have never heard of may be worth looking into.

    Do you want me or others here prescribing you medication.........absolutely not.
    Will you find those things that worked for me in similar circumstances interesting.........possibly.
    Do you trust your doctor toatlly? or your Laywer? or you auto mechanic?

    This is not ment to be anything other that encouragement to learn as much about the world you live in as possible.

  19. #19
    bobkat
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    Wow, Denver - that's terrible!! Unbelievable. Almost reprehensible! Terrible medicine.....
    My doctor friends tell me that unfortunately when people come in with a bundle of stuff printed from the internet they rarely, if ever, find anything new, and often the internet stuff is either things that have been covered by them already (takes a lot of time to explain and go over EVERYTHING to a patient) or inappropriate investigation and treatment. A great example is the billion dollar advertising of drugs by the drug companies. Often patients demand new wonderful superdrugs as seen on TV that are no better, sometimes not even as good as ones that they are already on, and of course ALWAYS much more expensive. Yet a friend told me some drug company research outfit found that in the vast majority of cases the new expensive often less effective 'superdrug' seen on TV is prescribed anyway. Often the doc just gives up and can't spend any more time explaining things to patients. When the waiting room is full of people with downloaded information and TV derived information, there is simply not enough hours in the day to do the job correctly. One of my pet peeves - drug advertising should be banned! Definitely!
    So internet research and education can be great, but it is a double edged sword, too.
    But my original point was that sometimes the limited knowledge you find, especially on talk forums, and self diagnosis and treatment plans only wastes valuable visit time with an already busy doc. So don't book a quick "squeeze me in" appointment then arrive with 7 topics and 32 alternatives to fully discuss. For some patients there is simply not enough hours in the day.
    It's tough for patients out there right now, and no picnic for the consciencious doc, either. Most docs are darned good , but some are downright greedy and don't give a darn, too!
    Getting a bit philosophical again, you have a very expensive unwieldy system that costs too much on one hand, and a lot of demanding overserviced patients on the other. The whole thing needs at least a major tune up at minimum. Put enough feathers in a truck and sooner or later the axle will break - it's giving away now! It'll crunch pretty soon. What system can increase at 15 - 20 percent per year, not even counting the billions spent on alternate medicine of every sort, etc. When bacteria do that they kill the host! LOL
    Sure glad I'm out of it................Glad you are doing OK now Denver, ...

  20. #20
    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobkat View Post
    My doctor friends tell me that unfortunately when people come in with a bundle of stuff printed from the internet they rarely, if ever, find anything new, and often the internet stuff is either things that have been covered by them already (takes a lot of time to explain and go over EVERYTHING to a patient) or inappropriate investigation and treatment.
    Now come on Bobkat. You don't really think I would do something like that?

    I research carefully, look at serious options, and come to the doc with some really thought out questions and concerns, based upon everything I have learned.

    Give me just a bit of credit here. You have been reading my posts for several years now. Do I seem like someone who would carry a bunch of articles and stuff printed from the internet. Really!
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 09-03-07 at 07:36 AM.
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  21. #21
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    @dnvrFox
    I'm glad you did your research and learned some on your own about the alternatives relating to your situation. One thing to keep in mind though, is that there is alot of controversy regarding Afib. The big question is whether to convert you to normal sinus rythym or to keep you as symptom free as possible and retain you in Afib (To convert or not to convert, that's the question). Ablation is what is considered a conversion technique. Some doctor's prefer not to convert for many reasons and i'll quote you a very minor portion of some text to back up their reasoning:
    "COMPLICATIONS The potential risks and benefits of the procedure, as well as alternative treatment strategies, should be discussed in detail with the patient prior to proceeding (show table 3). Patients must be aware that there is a small risk of heart block requiring a pacemaker as well as emergency cardiac surgery, stroke, and death related to the procedure.
    Incidence In a report of 1050 patients who underwent catheter ablation using a temperature controlled system, a major complication occurred in 3 percent and a minor complication in 8.2 percent [50].
    Those complications include the following : Death (0.1 to 0.3%), heart block requiring pacemake (1-2%), complications like bleeding, infection (2-4%), cardiac trauma including valve damage (1-2%), pulmunary hypertension due to stenosis and last to mention, radiation exposure.

    So besides costs, there are other risks and considerations before trying to 'convert' a patient. The cost of not converting a patient is high as well so i'm not soo sure that would be the final determinant.

    I'm glad it was successful for you and that you found the option. I'm sorry your doctor may have seemed to brush you off when making this choice but he could have been avoiding the option for other reasons.

  22. #22
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    All these heart issues are near and dear to my own heart!

    For 6 or so years, before I had a maze procedure as part of my open heart surgery in July, I battled afib. I live in a part of South Florida where there are lots and lots of cardiologists because of our aging population. So far, I haven't found a single one locally who is current on medical issues dealing with afib in otherwise relatively healthy, active people.

    There is a website at http://www.afibbers.org/ which has tons and tons of information. I started trying to read the medical journal articles, or at least the abstracts, several years ago. The current medical approach to afib is vastly different than it was 10 years ago, but the docs around here have not kept up.

    For instance, digoxin and/or beta blockers are frequently given to afibbers, regardless of the type of afib. Some afib is persistent. Some afib is intermittent and is mediated either vagally or andregenically (I can never spell that word). Basically, if you go into afib after a stressful time, at night, etc., but not during exercise, you are vagally mediated. If you go into it during the stressful time, during exercise, etc., you are the other kind.

    Most endurance athletes who have afib are vagal. Beta blockers are contraindicated for vagal afibbers because we usually have a slow HR anyway and slowing it more increases the tendency to go into afib. Digoxin is contraindicated also.

    Coumadin or wayfarin is another controversial issue. Mayo did a long term study concluding that the incident of stroke is statistically the same in anti-coagulated and non anti-coagulated paroxysmal afibbers, or ones who are not persistent affibers. There is a similar study in Europe. If patients have no other risk factors for stroke, they are not at greater risk from this type of afib. Of course, it is different for those who are always in afib.

    It is true that there is a lot of garbage on the internet, such as my opinions on these subjects. But there are also lots of medical articles from respected journals, doctors, etc., that allow one to read the current studies and thoughts on this stuff.

    I decided not to take coumadin or beta blockers some years ago. I managed my afib with a great drug called Rythmol SR and by not consuming any caffine. When I had the rare episode, it would usually go away in the morning. The doctors would have preferred to have me on coumadin all the time, but I printed some medical journal articles, which they had not seen, and they finally agreed with me.

    I stayed away from ablation because the national statistics have about a 65% success rate on the first go round. Cleveland Clinic has a guy with a much better success rate and there are a few others with better success rate, which means some people have lower rates. And there are risks associated with ablations, as someone pointed out. Since I knew that eventually I would have to get open heart surgery to replace my valve, I decided to just deal with afib until I needed surgery and then get the maze procedure.

    That was 8 weeks ago. Saturday was the 1st day they would let me ride and I went for 30 minutes, slow. That went good, so I did 40 minutes yesterday, slow. That went good, so today I went a bit over 10 miles a little faster. Still feels good!

    Check out the afib site. It is really good.

    John

  23. #23
    bobkat
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    No. Not talking about people like you Denver. But trust me there are tons of people NOT like you out there. I retired just as the internet was really taking off, and only had a sniff of the cork compared to the full wine bottle that's happening now.
    And yes, EVERYTHING has its risks and complications. Dozens of factors to weigh on any medical decision, not even counting that everyone is different..
    Back to the biking topics....

  24. #24
    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sillywabbit View Post
    @dnvrFox
    I'm glad you did your research and learned some on your own about the alternatives relating to your situation. One thing to keep in mind though, is that there is alot of controversy regarding Afib. The big question is whether to convert you to normal sinus rythym or to keep you as symptom free as possible and retain you in Afib (To convert or not to convert, that's the question). Ablation is what is considered a conversion technique. Some doctor's prefer not to convert for many reasons and i'll quote you a very minor portion of some text to back up their reasoning:
    "COMPLICATIONS — The potential risks and benefits of the procedure, as well as alternative treatment strategies, should be discussed in detail with the patient prior to proceeding (show table 3). Patients must be aware that there is a small risk of heart block requiring a pacemaker as well as emergency cardiac surgery, stroke, and death related to the procedure.
    Incidence — In a report of 1050 patients who underwent catheter ablation using a temperature controlled system, a major complication occurred in 3 percent and a minor complication in 8.2 percent [50].
    Those complications include the following : Death (0.1 to 0.3%), heart block requiring pacemake (1-2%), complications like bleeding, infection (2-4%), cardiac trauma including valve damage (1-2%), pulmunary hypertension due to stenosis and last to mention, radiation exposure.

    So besides costs, there are other risks and considerations before trying to 'convert' a patient. The cost of not converting a patient is high as well so i'm not soo sure that would be the final determinant.

    I'm glad it was successful for you and that you found the option. I'm sorry your doctor may have seemed to brush you off when making this choice but he could have been avoiding the option for other reasons.
    Oh, you're so nice! $$$ just couldn't have entered the equation, could it!!

    Again, I am not uneducated nor ill-informed. Of course I considered all of the above factors and am intimately acquainted with all of the statistics, although cryo-ablation is one of the newer techniques with a very low success rate.

    Man, I must give the impression on these forums of being really stupid!

    I must figure out how to change that.


    Quote Originally Posted by 67walkon View Post
    There is a website at http://www.afibbers.org/ which has tons and tons of information.

    Check out the afib site. It is really good.

    John
    Not only have I checked it out, a search there will find me a frequent poster, a survey participant, and a general all-round nice guy! I also participate(d) in 2 other afib forums.

    I don't think I am stupid? Oh well, I will keep trying.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 09-03-07 at 01:32 PM.
    Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone

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    Sorry you took my post as me saying you are stupid. I guess that's just a misinterpretation on your part b/c i did not reply with that tone. However, i did reply with the intent to give you the doctors perspective. Opting not to convert a patient is very expensive, as is opting to convert. To keep a person on an anti-arrthymic and to provide anti-coagulation along with the monitoring and the follow-up work associated is quite an expense over the years.

    Like i said, i'm glad you did your research and found an option that worked out for you. I don't necessarily agree with blaming the doctor or faulting Kaiser. Suppose they offer ablation to a patient and that patient had a serious life-long complication. In a situation where there is no definite wrong or right choice and it's a matter more of luck than of definitive medical science, it's tough for a doctor to make a proper call without upsetting a certain % of their patients.

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