Patient Comments: Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome - Symptoms


What are the symptoms of your Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Cary, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 26

I was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome 5 years ago, at age 57. The tachycardia began in earnest when I was 52. Beginning when I was 14 years old, I developed severe head pressure along with visual disturbances and low blood pressure; I consulted with many doctors over the years and no one could figure it out. I had an ablation 2 weeks ago and 3 pathways were found. So far, the tachycardia hasn’t returned and there’s less head pressure. The ablation itself was not a problem.

Comment from: Stephenc, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: October 29

I was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome at age 30. I always knew my heart would beat a little faster than normal but it was only after experiencing blinding short-term headaches after orgasm that I had an ECG and treadmill testing, and I finally got diagnosed. I felt relieved to know what it was but also worried when the doctor told me there was no course of action and to carry on with life. Now 7 years on I wonder about seeing another doctor after reading about all the successful ablation stories here.

Comment from: Stacy, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 03

Multiple sclerosis, cancer and a patella dislocation of the right knee caused my neuropathic pain.

Comment from: Taralya, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 01

I had an auto accident when I was 20 years old. I had a splenectomy. The surgeon left 8 pieces of rotting infected spleen inside me. It was on my abdomen, uterus, and appendix. When they removed the pieces of spleen, they also took my appendix because the adhesions were so bad that they didn’t want to chance having to take my appendix in the future. I’m in pain most of the time. I have these episodes that are so painful I would rather die. They last from 6 hours to 3 days. Pain medications don’t help much at all, and I’m on the strongest. I have adhesions wrapped so tightly around my pancreas that has caused chronic pancreatitis with pancreatic insufficiency. It’s all from adhesions. My adhesions are so bad they show on a sonogram. The extreme pain is right under my diaphragm. It feels like it is twisted. The pain comes out my shoulders and back. I vomit, and usually run some fever.

Comment from: Lali, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 16

I am 41 years old and have just been diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. I first went to see a doctor about a vague dizzy sensation that started about 10 years ago and in recent years I have experienced intermittent racing heartbeats and breathlessness. I was continually told that nothing was wrong, questioned about possible anxiety, told to drink less coffee and had my asthma medication increased to deal with my breathlessness. Lately the palpitations have been getting more frequent and I had put it down to getting older, which was making me feel really sad. I hated the idea of not being able to be as physically active as I like to be due to a 'dicky heart'. Finally a doctor suggested an ECG and a cardiologist immediately picked up the delta wave and diagnosed WPW. This was only a few days ago and I feel so relieved to finally have an answer that explains what has been going on. I am hopeful the ablation procedure will cure my symptoms and I can get on with my life.

Comment from: Anslem , 19-24 (Patient) Published: October 09

I have been diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome but due to the poor health system over here and also lack of medical insurance, I have been living in frustration that nothing can be done over here. My heart keeps racing very fast most of the time which makes me so uncomfortable. I have got my ECG result and I was placed on a drug called procainamide.

Comment from: Mom Lou, 13-18 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 18

My son was diagnosed at 18 with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome and had heart ablation. He is normal now and extremely healthy. He had no symptoms and it was only found through EKG. He had two extra circuits! It is a miracle. So grateful to the doctors that froze and then burned his extra circuits! Don’t wait! Do something now!

Comment from: Ellla., 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 17

I would like to give hope to any one with MRSA. I was diagnosed two years ago of having MRSA in my buttock. The wound was the size of an orange and I was in terrible pain. To cut a long story short I was put anti-fungal capsules and strong antibiotics, for a course of three weeks. I had three three-weekly courses and bingo, it's all gone. Now a year later it's fine.

Comment from: Jani, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 16

My first SVT (supraventricular tachycardia) was in the summer of 2009. I was sitting quietly talking on the phone to a friend when I suddenly felt faint. I held on to the table to support myself. After a bit, I tried to stand but I was very dizzy. I felt tightness and pressure in the front of my neck that radiated up into my jaw and up to my cheekbones. An ambulance was called and when an SVT was diagnosed en route to the hospital, the paramedics called the emergency room doctor for permission to give me the drug adenosine to stop my heart for a few seconds. My heart rate slowed from 190 to 130. I was immediately put on a beta blocker. The cardiologist diagnosed Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. I started wearing a watch with a pulse monitor. It makes me feel secure when I feel my heart speeding up, to check my pulse rate. I avoid caffeine and stress. I have had three more SVTs when in stressful situations. The symptoms are the same each time. I have been considering an ablation.


In the U.S., 1 in every 4 deaths is caused by heart disease. See Answer
Comment from: wadehool, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: October 18

I've had (WPW) Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome for 35 years and until recently it went undiagnosed. The episodes varied in duration, topping out at 11 straight hours. The symptoms are almost unbearable. I've passed out numerous times. My condition was finally discovered, and my heart doctor performed ablation surgery on my heart. It turned out that I had WPW and superventricular tachycardia. After having catheters run through both sides of my groin, the doctor was able to pinpoint and eliminate the trouble spots in my heart. Two days after surgery, I feel like a million bucks. My doctor thinks that I will never have another episode, and I don't even need to take any medication anymore. Amazing doctor and procedure!

Comment from: Bolle1974, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 05

My son, aged 13, was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome about a month ago. He doesn't experience any symptoms. The cardiologist said he can live his life as before; which is great news. He decided to do research on WPW syndrome for his science expo project and would love to talk to other WPW patients about their experience living with WPW.

Comment from: WPW, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 03

I've had Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (WPW) for most of my life. I had a partial ablation last year. Now about 6 months after, today, I had a 170-190 heart beat for about 15 minutes. Not sure what that's about. I did alert my doctor.

Comment from: Candy, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

With Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome symptoms, I would feel the rapid heart beat and if it continued for any length of time-half an hour or longer-my chest would begin to ache. No other symptoms ever occurred with the episodes and I was able, 99% of the time, to convert it by standing on my head.

Comment from: Sugar Cube, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I was 19, sitting in my college class when I felt my heart racing. I got up to tell the teacher something was wrong when I collapsed. Three hours later I woke up in the hospital. The doctor told me that in the ambulance my heart rate was 252 beats per minute (bpm). He said I was lucky I wasn't alone when it happened because my heart may have stopped all together. Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome was my diagnosis; I received an ablation a few days later. I haven't had any issues since.

Comment from: AKmiss, 13-18 Female (Caregiver) Published: July 12

My sister was just diagnosed at the age of 18 with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome. She was doing absolutely nothing and her heart just started going crazy. Rapid heartbeat, feeling faint, and she said her heartbeat felt as if it was ‘rolling.’ She was told she would either have to be on medication for the rest of her life or they can go in through her femoral artery and do an ablation.

Comment from: wiillie76, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: June 14

I have had problems before with very rapid heartbeat and in the last few years palpitations where my heart will slow and I feel it skips a beat. In the heat I will feel extremely hot with a rapid heartbeat limiting what I can do without feeling weak and faint so I went to the doctor thinking it was a problem with my blood pressure. They did an EKG and Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome was the diagnosis. Now I am wearing a heart monitor for 30 days. I have to limit how much hard physical labor I do now, as well as stress. I am 36 years old and feel fatigued.

Comment from: Champagne Nanna, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 25

I was diagnosed with WPW when I was 30 years old (1970) which is normally when this abnormality manifests itself, and for six years after never had another occurrence. However, when it happened again in 1976 I was told that as I got older I would experience more problems, which unfortunately I did, culminating in cardiac arrest three times in as many minutes in 2009, when I was taken to the Intensive Care ward and my husband and children were called as I wasn't supposed to make it. Thanks to modern science I am still here and had an ablation at that time. Now, although 72, I am leading a relatively normal life style with the aid of Amiodorone which, as far as I am concerned, is a miracle worker. Once you have experienced tachycardia from WPW it won't go away. So my advice to WPW sufferers, especially young people, is to get an ablation as soon as possible and if you smoke, STOP. You won't regret it. My thanks to all the people involved with my recovery at the hospital.

Comment from: annupshaw, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 06

I had regular periods of palpitations from the age of 15, I was always told I was anxious, until I saw a different doctor when I was 29 I had started to black out I was diagnosed with WPWS during atrial pacing my heart beat was over 300 per minute, I had 3 children then and was told that if my heart had gone into that rhythm I could have died. I had an ablation which took 5 hours because the pathway would not go, but did eventually and I was fine until 2004. I then started having missed beats and had another ablation possibly from previous scaring. The last two years I have the same missed beats pattern getting more regular and may have to have another ablation with the possibility of having a pacemaker, I have missed beats, arrhythmia and chest pain, recently had a spell in hospital. However, I am finding it hard to convince the Cardiologist that I need something doing before I am having them every day like the last time, I'm wondering whether this is all related to the WPWS.


Heart Disease: Causes of a Heart Attack See Slideshow
Comment from: emily, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: January 24

I was diagnosed with wolff-parkinson-white about a year ago it wasn't that hard to decide to go through with surgery they thought I had one or two extra pathways but it turned out I had seven it took eight hours for the surgery and they could not get a pathway because it was too deep in the heart tissue they also found out that I had AV node tachycardia it was really quite interesting but it's gone now and my heart is three times better but I cannot have energy drinks.

Comment from: shellmac, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

Since finding out I have Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome my life has been an emotional wreck. I'm scared and hate that I have this. Perhaps I am crazy for feeling like this. I worry a lot about it and I'm scared to try the ablation. I'm on medication and so far so good. I'm exhausted and still so depressed over this.

Comment from: sybil, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 22

I have had Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome for 61 years, since age 11. I had numerous episodes until my 20s and then they seemed to go away for several years. When I reached my 60s the episodes became more frequent and I consulted about an ablation. I did not have it done, but am considering getting it now. I was interested in other ways of stopping the episodes. I have always lain down and if on a bed, I hang my left leg off the side. This seems to work for me. I am going to try the other methods when I have another episode.

Comment from: 25-34 Female Published: May 31

I was diagnosed last year. My friend had to take me to the ER as my heart was racing and I was shaking. The doctor thought I was having a heart attack. After a lot of tests, I was finally diagnosed. I still have chest pains, but I don’t take medications for them.

Comment from: Luvantique, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: April 09

I learned as a child how to turn off these episodes and have gotten more proficient at it as I have aged. The process involves moving my head backward in such a way that it stretches and stimulates the vagus nerve. It takes some experimentation to find the right "feel," but it works under normal conditions. One of my triggers is low blood pressure, so too high a dose of blood pressure meds can trigger episodes. These are also very difficult to switch off and are usually more severe than spontaneous episodes. It is also often true that the longer an episode lasts before any effort is made to turn it off, the more difficult it is to switch off, and so nighttime events can be more bothersome.

Comment from: 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: February 25

I am 22 and I have had four ablations so far. I am going in in a month for a cryoablation. The procedure isn’t that bad but when I first started having problems my heart rate got up to 288 bpm for 4.5 hours. The doctors had the crash cart out and all together this wasn’t a fun time. If anyone else is suffering from this all I can say is to try to stay positive. Mine still isn’t fixed and I will probably never be able to really enjoy myself but at least I’m still alive. Good luck to everyone.

Comment from: ALS, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 21

I first started having symptoms when I was 12. My symptoms were rapid heartbeat, nausea, and dizziness. I had several episodes in a year before I was diagnosed. I had an ablation procedure to cure the syndrome shortly after I was diagnosed. The procedure was not successful the first time. The second ablation I received was successful and I have been symptom-free ever since.

Comment from: Nicky, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 25

My first episode of palpitations occured when I was only a few months old, and apparently I almost died. Since this time the palpitations and occasional 'thumping' occur several times a year and have caused me no problems at all. I discovered a simple way of stopping the palpitations when I was a child. I simply sit quietly, breath out, hold my nose and close my mouth and don't breathe in again until the palpitations stop. This usually takes 20-30 seconds during which time the palpitations feel more intense and 'thumpy' and my chest starts to heave involuntarily once or twice. Then my heart abruptly goes back to it's normal rhythm and I let go of my nose and start breathing normally again. I find that it is a peaceful and quick way of stopping the palpitations and always works for me.

Comment from: Dave, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 25

I have had since I was 17 and am now 58. My symptoms include an increased heart rate and if I let it go long enough, I will start getting light headed and feeling like I am going to faint. I have dealt with the racing by bending over and getting my heart below my waist. This slows down the racing immediately and you can actually feel the relief of the slowing rate. Sometimes you have to repeat this several times to get it to work, but eventually it slows the rate. I'm getting a stress test soon and probably an ablation to fix it before I gets too much older.


Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome See a detailed medical illustration of the heart plus our entire medical gallery of human anatomy and physiology See Images
Comment from: ThomasZellner88, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: December 13

I am 24 years old and was diagnosed with WPW about two years ago. I quickly learned to stay away from an abundance of caffeine, energy drinks, and over exertion. I need help with smoking though, I am highly addicted. I am a very active young adult with no ablation or medication.

Comment from: grey1234, 19-24 (Caregiver) Published: November 29

My 14 year old brother was just diagnosed with this disorder. He had none of the symptoms. It all started when doctors thought he might have bronchitis or pneumonia and did a chest x-ray. From the x-ray the doctors thought his heart might be enlarged and decided to send him to a cardiologist to have an echocardiogram done. The doctors said it was borderline enlarged so we all thought it was just because he was such a big kid (6'3" 220 lbs as a freshman in high school). The cardiologist found what looked to be an enlarged valve and thought it would be best to have a pediatric cardiologist take a look too. They diagnosed him the WPW syndrome.

Comment from: R, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: September 26

I was diagnosed with WPW when I was 4 years old. It was severe. I took medicine, had surgery four times and visited the hospital many, many times. The longest period my heart raced for was a little over two days. I don't remember the exact speed, but 300bpm is likely. I had multiple pathways, and I guess this made it more difficult for the medicine to work, and more difficult for the surgeries to be successful. Luckily after four surgeries (which were between, I believe, 10 and 16 hours long), all my pathways were ablated. That was when I was 10 years old. I am now 26 and can run and do activities like most anyone else. I'm grateful to the doctors who took care of me.

Comment from: Phil, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 16

With my Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, I have had palpitations and hypertension and fatigue.

Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 23

I was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome two years ago. I have had a few bad episodes where I just pass out, and I have hurt myself due to falling. I also had a very bad episode before I was diagnosed when I was having my son. I woke up and my heart rate was 200. The doctors had lines drawn on my stomach, and they were ready to take my son. I have fatigue and dizziness. I am scared to go for the treatment. I really do not want to have surgery. Do the medications seem to work well? I know I cannot keep passing out the way I have been doing the past couple of years, and I will soon need treatment.

Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 30

I was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome WPW in 1994 while pregnant with my son. Being pregnant the doctors did not want to put me on any medications that would interfere with my pregnancy. After my son was born I found out after an 8 hour heart catheter that I had WPW. They could not find the extra path and I was put on medication for 2 years. My symptoms increased (fast heart rates, fatigue, chest pain, heavy, tight chest). I went to another cardiologist, three years later, and another heart catheter was performed which they supposedly found the extra path and it was abated. Five years after that procedure the rapid heartbeats stared again. I have since been on medication for 10 years with symptoms progressively getting worse and the cardiologists seeming content to keep me on medication. Not really wanting to go thru another heart catheter but thinking there may not be another answer to (hopefully) finding the answer to my issues.

Comment from: Sammie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 12

None of you should be alarmed about Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome. There are medications for this problem as well as the ablation. I started at age 21 with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome. I was in and out of hospitals as not much was known then. In 1996 I had the first ablation done in Florida at age 45. I had been on medications prior to that. I have not had any problems since and I am now 60 years old. Do as the doctor says and you will be fine.

Comment from: scooby, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 08

Horrible sudden palpitations that feel really thumpy and like something is fluttering through my chest, I went all clammy and sweaty and found it slightly hard to breath and after when it subsided (ten minutes or so) my legs felt tingly and I was cold and looked really pale and felt very tired.

Comment from: John, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: August 13

I've had Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome since I was 20. I'm 44 now and I've had the ablation done in 2005. Its 2012 now and it’s back. I'm having an episode now, bad one too. I'm sick of it. A lot of people in my family have it as well.