Question - Dear Doctor:
Recently in the last six months I have been diagnosed with Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome (WPW) and have gone through 2 cardiac ablations to get rid of the extra passage way. In the last surgery the doctors learned that I have 2 passageways instead of one and I was wondering is it common to have more than one?
Extra or accessory connections between the atrium and ventricles (upper and lower chambers of the heart) are not common but are also not rare. However if there is one extra connection it is common for there to be two or more connections. In addition there are other types of rapid heart rhythms that can mimic WPW syndrome. Usually, during an electrophysiology study (EP study), the type of fast heart rhythm can be determined. Sometimes there are multiple types of theses fast heart rhythms in the same person. Hopefully, after your second ablation (specialized EP study that burns the spot that the fast heart rhythm is originating from) you will have no further problems. Sometimes it takes more than one ablation/EP study to figure things out and to cure the heart rhythm. People commonly come to the Cleveland Clinic Foundation after a failed ablation at other institutions, but needing a second ablation attempt is not rare.
Answer provided by: Bruce L. Wilkoff MD, Director of Cardiac Pacing and Tachyarrhythmia Devices