Anxious about ablation tomorrow!

I think I'm more anxious than I expected about my ablation tomorrow. My AF is really bad the last couple of days.

I looked at some information about the procedure and was shocked that on You Tube videos they were saying it takes an average of 3-5 hours. Is this correct? I'm also having a general anaesthetic, so surely I'm not going to be under for that long?

What was your experiences of ablation procedures?



26 Replies

  • Hi Bev

    I was meant to have an ablation tomorrow too but it was cancelled with no future date provided so am in limbo.

    Good luck tomorrow I'm sure all will go well.


  • Oh no, so sorry to hear this Brian. Well, all I can say is that you've made me feel fortunate that mine seems to be going ahead. And a tad less anxious.

    I really hope you get another date soon!


  • Bev, sometimes we stress over things that we have no control over, once your asleep you will not know how long the procedure will go for, you wake up and it is over. Good Luck tomorrow all will go well and you will be on the road to recovery. When you look at the time you have had AF and the time it is going to recover and not have AF it is minimal

  • You're right Soozie, and thanks.

  • H Bev

    I think it is perfectly normal to be anxious about this procedure so just try to go with the flow. I am due to have mine on Tuesday and I too am anxious about it. Try to keep in mind why you are having it and the probable benefits. I was told it would probably take around 4 hours so times sound about right.

    Let us know how it goes and the very best of luck.


  • Thanks Marie. Roll on Tuesday eh! Good luck to you too...and thank you.

  • I have had 3 now all under local. Each one has been a different procedure and my second was 7.5 hours my third 45 minuets. I only had GA on the first two when they did cardio versions at the end. Not sure if I am a bit strange but found the whole thing fascinating as it was explained to me all the way though what they were doing.

    I am one of the awkward ones hence the 3 I will be agreeing a pace and ablate at my next visit so that could mean no more tablets for this condition at least.

    Be Well Be calm


  • Hi Phill, yikes you sound like a real pro with all this! I am fascinated by this stuff too, as long as the patient is someone else. Ha ha.

    Get the feeling my cardiologist thinks I'm a bit awkward too. Thanks for your reply. :-)

  • Bev

    I had my first ablation last tuesday after having had three cancelled over the past 8 months. I too had a GA and it took 5 hours.

    Plenty of people with much more experience than me on here, but if you have any questions just ask while its still fresh in my mind!


  • Bev

    Honest, don't worry about it. I've had two and I'm due for a third probably and it isn't even something I would think about till a fews days before, because I'd be that relaxed about it. I'm not just trying to make you feel good, I mean it.

    First one I was not put under and watched them do it under slight medication, although I was knocked out about halfway through. I enjoyed it, thought it was amazing.

    Second time, last year, they put me under straight away. I just walked into the theatre, lay on the table, they started chatting about my work, made sure who I was which is a good idea :-) , then I woke up feeling good in a hospital bed. I was out after one night in hospital. As it happens, the PAF had gone away all on it's own, so now a repeat will be required.

    If anything's happened to you tell them though. Like a couple of days before my op, I crushed my hand in a cattle handling machine and that was quite important apparently and they had to check it out first.

    I know some people have had a bit of pain afterwards but I've had nothing in both ops, except slight discomfort in the groin so careful walking, getting into cars etc for while. After the first one, I was back at work making hay in a couple of days, got told off for that. First op was a complete, 100% and immediate cure. Not sure how common that is but my EP said that because mine was bad it would be easy to fix, which completely contradicts what they said at the Patients Day, but that is exactly what happened.

  • Hi, thanks for sharing your experience Koll, and for the advice. Made me laugh too. :-)

  • Hi Andy

    First question is has yours been effective?

    Also, can I ask reasons for all those cancellations? Gosh, I'd be absolutely gutted if that happened!

    Thanks :-)

  • Hi Bev999

    I had my first ablation last Friday, I am 67 and had a local anaesthetic.

    It was absolutely fine. I was told it would be 4 to 5 hours as well but I think that is a blanket assessment, mine only lasted 2 hours. Even though it was a local I remember very little and when it was over the nurse told me I had slept through most of it.

    I went into the recovery room for less than an hour and was straight back to the ward. I did have to lie flat for 4 hours but the bed was adjusted gradually over that time until I was sitting upright and I was able to eat and drink and chat to people.

    What amazed me was how well I felt within hours of the procedure.

    I am sure you will be fine. You probably won't know much about it!

  • Thanks for sharing your experience. Can I ask why you had to lie flat during recovery period? :-)

  • It is all to do with avoiding a bleed from the entry wound in the groin. Mine is in my right side so I had to keep that leg straight but could move the rest of me. The wound area was checked regularly for lumps under the skin as well and any found are just massaged until dispersed.

    Others on here have commented that the lying flat was the worst part of the whole thing but I didn't mind it at all, I enjoyed the rest and wallowing in the smug satisfaction that I had done it! As I said, there was a slow elevation into a sitting position, regular BP checks, regular drinks of water -good for avoiding clots and so on and so on ... the time passes very quickly.

    Just think ... on Saturday you too will be a smug wallower!

    Best Wishes

  • Good luck tomorrow and thank you for asking this question. My turn next. Let us know how you get on.

    I had a talk with a lovely lady who had had 2 ablations. She said that best advice was to take a substantial sanitary towel with you. Oh my giddy aunt! My face must have been a picture! Apparently it's to protect your groin from your knicker elastic.

  • I found that a better bet is to wear all those high leg knickers you bought but never wore because they were too scanty. Perfect comfort!

  • It is better not to go into more informations and such video since it will make you more anxious

    I had my ablation two months back and I was awake the whole procedure and talking with my doctor !

    The procedure itself took only 20 minutes but perpetration to ablation and the study itself took additional one hour

    totally less than two hours

    So actually it depends on the findings in the study

    Don't worry it is really not that big issue I will worry more for tooth removal :(

    And you are more lucky to be under anesthesia , I'm free from flutter since my ablation but I still need another ablation as touch up soon

    Just take care about yourself during recovery and expect to be low profile for a month

    Wish you successful ablation


  • Good luck Bev!

  • Thinking of you Bev. X

  • Hi Bev

    Hope your ablation went as well as mine which was on 3 days ago under GA.. I was taken to the Cath Lab around 8.45am, and while two nice young men attached numerous pads to me, the anaestheist was putting me at ease and inserting the cannula in my hand. It all took minutes before he said I may feel a bit drowsy and the next thing I knew it was 13.00.

    I've had a liitle discomfort in my right groin and varying skin reaction to all the sticky pads but no pain from the procedure. I had a trans oesophogeal scan to check for clots and a cardioversion whilst under the GA. I thought I has some tightness in my chest but discoverd during the night when I tried to turn over was was the minitor wires were trapped under my arms and pulling on the sticky

    The treatment at the Trent Cardiac Unit, Nottingham was five star. Hoping now for 100% success but will have to wait and see.

    Hope your procedure went as well and that you make a speedy recovery. Please let us all know how it went.


  • Hi Bev

    How did it all go and how are you feeling. Pat, yours sounds good so fingers crossed for you. I am going in on Tuesday for mine so a bit anxious and keen to hear your experiences. Marie

  • It is so helpful to hear about patients experiences and not just the doctors' point of view!

    The hospital I am planning on going to for the ablation (if I get my courage up to do so) says you go home the same day and can go back to work the next day! Anyone heard of this?

    Best wishes for all who are in this process now!


  • I had GA last time so stayed in overnight. Went home next day, took it easy for while so as not to cause the groin wound to bleed, but went back to work very quickly, not sure next day but not far off. Couldn't drive for a week though because I was told it was illegal/no insurance to do so.

  • I think it depends on what your job is, I have a fairly manual job that involves being on my feet for twelve hours. After my first ablation I had a week off then a weeks holiday and went back to work feeling tip top, but after about six hours of the shift I started to feel really weak and ended up going home!!

    Be very cautious

  • Thank you Timmo50 and Koll. In principle this hospital performs the ablations with a local anesthetic, so no GA barring anything unforeseen. My work has me standing most of the day and a bit of carrying, but I can put that off. Physiotherapy type of work... exercise / rehab. Thanks for all the help. Best to all.

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