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Colonoscopy and Afib
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We had a discussion about this before. Many of us had a colonoscopy and while being prepped or during or shortly after colonoscopy got afib. I don't think this was posted before. Take a read. It comes from a hospital website. petey


Surgery or medical procedures
Patients undergoing surgery or medical procedures seem to have an increased likelihood of developing atrial fibrillation. Almost any type of surgery seems to be associated with an increase in the likelihood of developing atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation may even prior to surgery with the administration of sedatives or anesthetic agents, may occur during the surgery, or after the surgery. Heart surgery is associated with a significantly increased risk of developing atrial fibrillation, in many series up to 20-30%. Medical procedures such as endoscopy (looking down into the esophagus or stomach with a camera) or colonoscopy (looking into the intestine or colon with a camera) are also more commonly associated with atrial fibrillation. Even the colonic “washout” preparation for colonoscopy may precipitate atrial fibrillation. Surgery and medical procedures may alter the autonomic nervous system, stimulating to different degrees the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. Endoscopy and colonoscopy are associated with a particular degree of parasympathetic activation.
Posted on 09/01/12, 11:09 am
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Email me when others reply to this topic help
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Reply #21 - 09/03/12  5:24pm
" Mine was a gatorade prep (miralax). They checked my electrolytes in ER and my potassium level was low, so the gatorade wasn't enough for me. "
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Reply #22 - 12/08/13  8:07pm
" I'm in England but this site seems not to let me register a UK address.
I Had A.F. in May 2012 after aortic valve replacement. It was cured by cardio version four months later.
Last week I had a colonoscopy and during it my BP went down to 40/30 with heart rate 30. They pumped drugs into me and I quickly recovered.
They suggested that the sudden drop had been caused by dehydration, the sedative used or that the probe had stimulated nerve.
I felt OK the next day and was out all day. Two days later I felt my heart beating erratically when I was out. I checked my BP when I got home and it was 102/71 with heart rate 151. My AF was back and I am about to be put back on Warfarin..
I wish now that I had a virtual colonoscopy but I let my GP persuade me other wise.
Have any of your post colonoscopy symptoms settled down without medication or cardio version.
At least I am more fortunate than my uncle who went into cardiac arrest and died during an endoscopy as did one of the doctors at a medical practice I used to attend. "
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Reply #23 - 12/08/13  9:30pm
" Most everyone I have seen on forums thought their first afib attack was triggered by the colonoscopy or the prep and they have since gotten it under control. Those that already had afib prior and had an episode due to the colonoscopy also settled down with whatever meds they have.

My biggest advice is hydrate. The prep is bad. Cardioversion is kind of a temporary fix in most cases, but it seems your afib comes from procedures. They might put you on rhythm drugs as needed. Whatever, they will get it under control.

petey "
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Reply #24 - 12/08/13  9:32pm
" Let me clarify... I meant to say "Most everyone I have seen on forums THAT thought their first afib attack was triggered by the colonoscopy or the prep and they have since gotten it under control.". "
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Reply #25 - 12/09/13  11:59am
" Interesting and informative revisit/update to this thread.

This year 2013, is almost over and for me it was wicked interesting as I had my first colonoscopy a few months ago and earlier this year, I had three endoscopies. All of these procedures were related to two studies that I was invited/screened to participate in.

I was terrified on all four occasions that I would have an AFIB attack.

Fortunately for me, I guess I got really lucky and nothing happened!!

Just thought I'd share this. ;) "
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Reply #26 - 12/09/13  3:42pm
" surfrat,

Glad to hear yours didn't bring on any more a fib. My colonoscopy is due in May of next year. I'm really afraid it will trigger the a fib again. I wish there were some preventative thing they could do.

I'm getting some palpitations that are taking a long time to quit lately... "
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Reply #27 - 12/10/13  2:22pm
" I think that in the US you can get faster treatment at ER than here.
I went to see the out of hours doctor at the hospital (Don't ask...OK our GP's don't work nights or weekends) He said if I waited there for an ECG it would be at least four hours to even be seen. Better to go to my GP surgery in the morning. I did and had an ECG. The nurse said that she would put it in the doctors in tray.
I asked if I should wait she did not know when he would look at it.
I phoned the next morning but my GP was not there, they only work a 3 1/2 day week. I had an appointment with a young Locum. She confirmed AF but did not prescribe anything. She said that I would need to start Warfarin again and would phone later to give me a dosage to take and a date to attend the warfarin clinic for testing.
I told her that my next cardiology appointment was not until late January. She said that she would write to them but it might take two weeks for a letter to get to them! I said that I would phone the consultants secretary to ask for an earlier appointment. She said that she would get her letter typed but not send it until I told her If had managed to get an earlier appointment.
I phoned the consultants secretary and got voicemail and left a message.
The locum phoned back and said to take 10mg of warfarin on Friday and Saturday, 5mg on Sunday and to attend the INR clinic on Monday 16th.
Yesterday one of the hospital consultants team phoned for more details of my problem. I go for another ECG tomorrow and then see him.
I should have sat it out in ER. "

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