Afib and Valve problems

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dick0236

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Welcome Twobike. You will find this site very informative. While these two conditions sometimes occur together, it is not a "given". I believe A-fib is related to an "electrical problem" within the heart, while the majority of valve issues are due to disease or congential issues(bicuspid valves). As far as I know, I have never suffered from A-fib.....even tho I had corrective heart surgery a long time ago. I have a number of friends who now suffer from A-fib and they have no evidence of valve problems, as far as they know.
 

Adrienne

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They can be related in the sense that if, for instance, you have a lot of mitral valve regurgitation as I did before my surgery, the left atrium becomes more and more dilated. If it becomes too dilated, it screws things up involving the electrical signals being sent to it.
 

Twobike

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Thanks for the welcome. So if the AFib is controlled with medication, valve surgery can be performed with no problems? Or is the AFib controlled at that time by something else being done. I guess what I'm asking is, after valve surgery will there still be an AFib problem?
 

dick0236

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Twobike;535643 I guess what I'm asking is said:
There are some on this forum that may be able to give a more professional opinion and maybe they will post. It seems that your cardio or surgeon could best answer this for you.
 

ElectLive

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I guess what I'm asking is, after valve surgery will there still be an AFib problem?
No guarantees, but there are surgical options (such as an open Maze procedure) that could be done at the same time as valve surgery to potentially "fix" the A-fib. Very high percentages of those who do have a significant improvement...including the elimination of Afib medications in many cases. 100% cured may be a little overoptimistic, but definitely a conversation for both cardio and surgeon...
 

AgilityDog

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Oh DOOOOO talk to your doctor about the Maze. I had one, and my afib is nonexistent now (although I am on extra beta blockers for v-tach, plus the coreg for heart failure!).
Although, there is a possibility after the surgery, esp. with the Maze, you may require a pacemaker. NBD, it beats feeling like you are hopped up on speed & decongestants!
 

gerrychuck

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Afib and valve issues certainly do seem to be closely related for the reasons mentioned above; afib was my first sign that something was wrong, a week before I was into full crisis and eventually got a diagnosis of mitral valve failure. After my valve was replaced, I had intermittent afib while recovering. I was told that it was a direct result of the dilation and weakness of my heart after what it had been through, and that it would decrease with time as the heart recovered. I was on anti-arrythmics (amiodorone) for one month post-surgery, and low level rate control (metoprolol) since. Did a loop monitor last month which showed brief periods of paroxysmal a fib with certain triggers (walking outside in very cold weather was the main one). At this point I have virtually no symptoms from it, and I expect it will continue to diminish further with time, and was told that that is a fairly common scenario.
 

Adrienne

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In my case, I had cardioversion (the paddles), was on Amiodarone until my surgery (and for about 5 weeks after it). My surgery included a left Maze procedure. It's been over 7 years, and I have not had A=Fib since. Possibly it would have subsided without the Maze since the left atrium gets somewhat smaller after the surgery since the heart does not have to compensate any more. However, with the Maze, there is at least a 70 or 75% chance that it will be gone.
 

Oilman

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I would like to chime in here too, because I'm hoping that with time my arrhythmia's and little PVC/Afib goes away. Back two months before my surgery. I went into Afib and needed a cardioversion to get back to sinus rhythm, never had it again. I was not placed on any other drugs except the warfarin that I was already taking, which helps with Afib, they say. When consulting with my surgeon about our surgery, i asked about a maze being done, so not too end up with Afib post surgery and recovery. He didn't think it was the thing to do for me, he said I have only had one big Afib attack in the past, and thought the valve replacement and closing a hole in the atrial would hopefully solve the issue in time, I sure hope he is right. I only had the amiodorone for a week post op.

Today at almost 4 months I have started to feel a little more arrhythmia or Afib, just in the past two weeks. I'm not sure what it is, but I don't like it anyways. I see my cardio in May, so this will be one of my concerns if its still active. I currently take 75mg twice a day of Metroprolol and my warfarin. I was hoping the valve change would elevate the arrythmia.
 

Cooker

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I had some a-fib that occurred on and off before I have my AVR for a congenital bi-cuspid valve ... I had ablation done along with the AVR and it as completely solve my a-fib problem ... Ask you surgeon if you are a candidate for ablation or maybe maze .... good luck and welcome...
 

Twobike

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Thanks for all the feedback. We were told in 2004 that surgery would be needed some day. They thought because of illness as a child. In 2007 the AFib showed up. The first cardioversion didn't last long. And the doctor in Orlando didn't want to do a second, saying it probable wouldn't last either. But because the the valves being bad, he wanted us to choose a hospital for future surgery. We choose Cleveland Clinic Ohio, and sent all info there. They said surgery wasn't needed at that time and referred us to Cleveland Clinic Weston Florida to a heart rate specialist, Dr. Penski. He did another cardioversion and it has been under control, since then, with medications. The last visit he said he would want more testing and one of three cardiologist to check him over the next visit. Energy seems to be way down, which I think is a sign of surgery getting closer.
 

Superman

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I was not placed on any other drugs except the warfarin that I was already taking, which helps with Afib, they say.
Minor correction offered (which I invite others to further correct if I'm mistaken). Warfarin doesn't necessarily help with the A-Fib so much as it reduces the risk of clots forming as a result of the A-Fib. Clotting is a risk of A-Fib as blood doesn't leave the chamber as thoroughly and efficiently as during normal sinus rhythm. Clots forming in the chamber and entering the blood stream increase the risk of stroke. By reducing the clotting risk, Warfarin reduces the stroke risk.
 

Oilman

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Superman,

I agree with your explanation of how warfarin helps with the Afib, just by handing any clotting that develops and not preventing any Afib. The Afib origins is strictly a electrical problem. I find mine are more of arrythmia's and not a big run of Afib. More prevalent while sitting or laying, also maybe more noticeable with the presence of my mechanical functioning. Anyways, I'm hoping it tames down by mid May and maybe we can start backing down the Metropolol dose.
 

Luana

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This is one of the newer drugs that does not have an antidote to stop bleeding as warfarin does (vitamin K and/or blood transfusion). When taking any medication, it's a good idea to read the package insert. Here's the one for your med.
 

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