MEDICAL UPDATE: Time For The Ablation
I’ve been pretty quiet about my medical situation for the past month mainly because the only thing to talk about was waiting for my insurance company to see the light of reason. Eventually, and with a lot of help from the fine folks in my cardiologist’s office, they did … and they approved my cardiac flutter ablation procedure that was originally supposed to be performed in early June.
Thankfully, the folks in my cardiologist’s office were planning for success, and we tentatively rescheduled the procedure for mid-July … and now that works out PERFECTLY. So with only a little bit of warning, I’m going into the hospital very early tomorrow (Tuesday) morning for what is supposed to be a very straightforward surgical procedure. The goal is to run an electrode catheter up a vein in my thigh straight into my heart. Once there, it uses electrical pulses to identify the mis-performing cardiac tissue, then uses radiofrequency energy to neutralize just that tissue. Basically, they’re going to microwave my heart from the inside. (Apparently, they hate when people describe it this way, because it is a very common and very safe procedure … and the phrase “they’re nuking my heart from the inside” tends to freak people out.)
All in all, it should be a relatively short procedure (3 to 4 hours … and most of that apparently is the slow, careful process of getting the catheter up and down the length of my torso) and I should be able to go home early in the afternoon (quite probably before most of you actually read this post). Having talked to several people who have had this procedure, all reports are that I should wake up with little to no post-operative discomfort and be ready to just jump right back into my busy life … only with a heart that no longer is fluttering. (Whether this will cure the a-fib or just makes it easier to manage is something we’ll have to see in a follow-up appointment with my cardiologist in a few weeks.)
Anyway, I wanted to let you all know what was going on. I certainly will accept all thoughts, prayers, good wishes, and other positive vibes that you care to send my way. And I’ll make posts on my Facebook and Twitter accounts for those who want to keep a closer watch on the action.