1st Atrial Fibrillation and Atrial Flutter Ablation last Monday. Went very well and hopefully successful but on Wednesday

I suddenly had visual disturbances, having had a previous T.I.A. and stroke I was obviously worried but this was different. With the T.I.A. I went blind in one eye for 5 minutes with this disturbance I saw shards of crystal clear glass in a zigzag pattern crossing my eyes whether they were open or closed ,felt quite nauseous but with no pain or headache. This lasted for approx. 20 minutes .Having researched on the internet and having seen my G.P. today it has been diagnosed as migraine aura. This seems to be a very rare occurrence after catheter ablation and I was wondering if any of you have had a similar experience or knew of this condition ?


11 Replies

  • Hello Fi,

    Welcome back.... I've never had that problem but have many times had the squiggly live in my vision. I could see them with my eyes open or closed. I was told that it could happen with a blood pressure problem. I'm glad it only lasted a few minutes and hope that it doesn't come back.

    How did your procedure go? How do you feel? Did the Dr give you any kind of a prognosis after?

    Take it easy and write when you feel like it...


  • Hello Fi, I used to get lots of migraine when I was still working but they would start as a wiggly thing like a light filament and I would have to look round it to see things. It would get larger and larger till it went of of vision and about 20 mins later the pain would start. I have a vague recollection of having a few of the wiggles without the full migraine after one of my ablation and put it down to the GA which can do very odd things. I also had bad memory problems for some weeks afterwards. I'm convinced it takes several months to recover fully from a general anaesthetic. After all it is a good three to four hours you are under!


  • Thanks Tim.

    All went well and was marked on my hospital discharge papers as successful. I feel very good although a little tired. Not surprising I suppose as I went down to the Cat Labs at 8.00 and was woken in recovery at 14.00. I then had to lie flat on my back without moving until 22.30 when I was allowed to sit up. This was because they left the sheaths in the groin which are normally taken out before you wake up ( not sure why they were left in unless there was a bleeding problem - I continued with the Warfarin right up to the procedure, I imagine that was because of the previous stroke ) .After the sheaths were removed I had to stay still for another couple of hours .It sounds a bit awful but please let me reassure everyone it was not a painful procedure just a long one ,not that I knew much about it.

    TIP -

    1) for anyone due to have an ablation if possible have someone there when you wake up. You will be incredibly thirsty and lying flat on your back makes it very difficult to drink even though you have a cup and straw you will need someone to hold it for you.


    2) buy a few bottles of water with a sports top opening and leave them to hand opened .Then you won't spill loads of water over yourself

    I am just very grateful to have been offered it and already think the AF is under control just a few ectopic beats and a couple of minutes of very minor AF that I barely new about.


  • So happy to hear that all went well. They also left my sheaths in but it was due to a high INR. And yes it sounds much worse than it actually was. Expect to be tired for a while. I could feel it for a few weeks.

    Don't worry about the brief flutters or attacks. I had attacks for the first few weeks and have been AF free for about 12 weeks now. I know many that have had attacks up to the 5 month mark and then had them just stop. Many call it the "Angry Heart" syndrome. Just your hearts way of telling you that it didn't agree with what you did to it.

    Anyway, I happy that it went well and you are home and recovering. Keep us updated on how it's going


  • Thanks Tim and Bob, your help ,advice and encouragement are invaluable.


  • I have had 2 ablations and each time especially at night my heart played funny b for at least 6 monthsx

  • Hi Fi,

    I used to suffer very badly from migraines until my mid forties. I certainly had the visual disturbances that you describe , particularly the zig zag pattern which surrounded whatever I was focusing on plus dreadful sickness.In addition I sometimes had temporary paralysis in my legs just to ensure i was well & truly frightened! Fortunately I have not experienced any of this after my ablations.

    The only thing close to this that I experienced 2 years ago was an episode of what is a phenomenon known as Exploding Head Syndrome ( no, seriously ) & that is quite a story . Google it! It was the most frightening episode in my life -- worse than my 1st AF attack ! I wonder if anyone else has had this?


  • Hi Sandra

    Exploding head Syndrome - just googled it ,sounds horrendous and very frightening. Hope you never get that again.

    I've never had a migraine before and this was weird ,no pain or headache but very interested in what you said about paralysis in your legs. I experienced weak legs as though my body had become much to heavy for my legs and was wobbly walking. I read a study on the internet that out of over 500 catheter ablations 3 people had experienced this migraine aura within a day or so but it didn't seem to be a long term condition.


  • Once again really good to hear about something that's has happened to me in the past the zig zag effect,never had headaches with it but a little disturbing ,not had ablation yet but If I get the effect again won't be blaming ablation.Thanks for bringing this one up:-)

  • I have had two ablations, and after both I had 2 or 3 migraine attacks. In the past I have suffered from migraine and my method of dealing with them is to immediately take 2 Paracetamol at the onset of the blobs and zigzags. This usually clears my sight and prevents a really bad headache, although still left feeling unwell. Glad to say no return to this, so I wonder if it is stress after the ablation? Hope you don't get any more.


  • Thanks for all the answers. Very interesting to find out that this does seem to be related to the ablation. I never have had a migraine before this. Could all be due to anaesthetic though I suppose .I was out with a G.A. for 6 hours and still feel slightly pathetic as the day goes on.


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