What should a carer expect after ablation? Recovery time

Thanks to everyone who answered my question a few weeks ago when my partner and I were about to see the consultant. Your replies were much appreciated.

We saw the consultant again this morning for a second time, and my partner will be having a catheter ablation on 6 June. What I'd love to know from all of you who have had this done is how he will be feeling afterwards and what he will and will not be able to do. We currently live in a flat with many stairs, and I wonder how long it would be before he is comfortable with stairs. Fortunately, once in the flat, everything (kitchen, bathroom, bedroom) is on the same level!

I want to make sure that I have taken everything into account to help his recovery. Also, any little tips on what would make him feel better would be appreciated.

Regards.

JayEm

5 Replies

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  • JayEm,

    Everyone is different so two people going through the same procedure can have two completely different experiences.

    That being said.... Most find the ablation a fairly easy recovery.

    Mine was performed on Feb 25th this year. I checked into the hospital that morning, they got the IV and everything ready, took me to the EP Lab (which was about 100 degrees below zero) and within a few minutes I was out. It took about 5 hours and when I woke up it was all over. I remained in the hospital over night (didn't get a lot of sleep) and was released the next morning. I was still pretty "groggy", probably from the sedation, as we went home, but I felt ok. I was told not to over exert myself or lift anything over about 10 lbs for a week (mainly due to a risk of bleeding from the insertion points). I was also told not to take a bath for a week and when I showered not to get the area around the insertion points too wet. For that entire week, I felt pretty tired and didn't do very much. I slept quite a bit. I was a little sore around the insertion points and also sore from laying on my back for the day in the hospital. I was given a prescription for a pain killer but never had to take any. It took a few weeks to feel "back to normal", I seemed to run down easily. I have honestly had no real pain and the bruising was gone within two weeks. I did have a few AF attacks in the first few weeks after the ablation but they were so mild that I could barely tell they were happening. And since then they have stopped completely.

    Upon coming home, I would take it very easy and slow going up the stairs to your flat. It might take a while getting up there. After a few days he should be able to do the stairs without much problem (just taking it slow). Some are back to work and normal activities (within reason) about a week later and some it may take a few weeks. My wife watches our 2 year old grand daughter and she stayed with me that Monday at the hospital and at home the next day but went to my sons house on Wednesday, I was fine and able to do anything I needed (although she called me many times that day).

    Hope this all helps...

    Tim

  • Thanks for this Tim. I was wondering whether I should stay off work with him, but from what you say, he needs TLC rather than constant monitoring.

  • HI JayEm, I would agreeTim having had three ablations all told. The worst part is the bruising from the entry point and I would also mention that you can use that as a judge of the rest of the recovery. When the bruising has gone then the heart will have started to heal as well but be aware that it takes three months for the scar tissue to from inside so there may be events in that time and you should not get overly worried.

    I was told to do nothing for the first week and not much more for the second and then gradually start getting back to normal..

    Bob

  • That's very interesting about the bruising. I'll remember that. Thanks.

  • Bob is right about the bruising. But it looks a lot worse than it feels. It will take a week or so for the bruising to start fading and I think mine was almost gone in about 2 weeks. My wife hurt much more than I did. She tried to make me stay down that first day home but after being on my back from 8 am Monday until 9 am Tuesday.... I wanted to move around. I got yelled at a lot.

    Tim

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