AF Association

first ablation realy worried can any help ,hello im due to have a catheter ablation on 24th jan , at john radcliffe oxford

hello im due to have my first catherter ablation on the 24 jan , i have paf . i was realy glad to be offered this at first ,but iam now going out my mind with worry , i just keep thinking the worst that i will be that one who dies during procedure . i keep trying to tell myself everthing will be fine but its not easy , iam 41 with no other health problems , i take flecinde 50mg twice a day at moment and bisoprol ,dagibatran as well , and things are fine except for the odd extra or missed beats . i have had epsidoes of paf for 3mins at a time every 3months over nearly 8yrs not knowing what it was , i then had a big attack which lasted hours ,thats when they said i had paf i had another one a month after while i was on beta blockers,. and that was not so bad .i have had nothing while i have been on flecinide .please can anyone help with what i should do , my little girl keeps worrying that i wont come home she is 7 and is thinking the worst to it is awful . any advice would be so grateful thankyou

18 Replies

Just want to say I'm sorry you are anxious - will leave it to those who have had ablation to re-assure you when they see your post but I hope, because you are young, you will be even more likely to come through this with the success they have reported.

i know there are risks from medication and it is thought unwise to have to take these drugs for the rest of your life when you are young. Also, the risks of ablation vary depending on the experience of the EP doing the ablation- I'm sure you will have checked who this will be and what their record has been- this is the best way to stop worrying.

I think you will feel better after hearing stories here.


Duckpopper I do understand but please do stop worrying. Your worry will be picked up by your daughter and make her worry. The truth is that the doctors have to tell you all the worst possible things that could happen so your relatives don't sue them if it did. I don't know of any deaths from ablation. When I first met my EP . and he gave me all the chat I asked him when was the last time you killed some body? He looked quite shocked when I asked him to put me on the list for the week after he did as I knew he would be more careful..We have a great relationship now founded on mutual respect.

I had three altogether before it sorted my AF although five years since the last one and if I ever needed another I would go for it like a shot. There isn't a lot I can tell you about the procedure that you can't read on AFA website as I was always under GA but the worst thing was having to lie flat for five hours afterwards as I don't do inactivity very well. I must tell you that you will get some odd rhythms afterwards for up to three months while the scar tissue forms so don't think it hasn't worked. You should also not be in too much hurry to get back to work or for that matter play. I was told do nothing for the first week and not a lot more for the second.and then gradually start getting back to normal life.

O K I an a great fan of ablation and frankly think you should go for it for two reasons.

1 Your worries are understandable but largely unfounded.

2 Your AF WILL get worse if you don't.

These were the two things I learnt when I refused my first offer of ablation.


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Hi.what you are feeling is perfectly normal. I had mine in November and only made final decision to go ahead a few days before. I was ok and meds were managing my condition but kept thinking about the advice that it was better to have it done early. Also that it would probably get worse etc etc.. I am sure this is your dilemma. I went ahead and am now off meds (not counting warfarin) and looking good. Lots of odd beats and af episodes in first month but now seems to have settled and nothing for almost a month. I would say go ahead as risks are quite low but I'm afraid only you can make the decision and it's not an easy one. Best of luck. Marie

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Hello duckpopper. I have had my first Ablation of Atrial Arraythmia 12 days ago. I was afraid like you but the EP assured me that by the time he finished I would say "is that it?". And that's actually what happened. It finished before I even knew it started. Because it was done very late afternoon I stayed overnight and left the following morning with no pain except that feeling of having been invaded(lol)! Up till now I haven't had a recurrence since it was done but still keeping it easy on the body. Good luck and don't worry yourself for nothing.


Hi duckpopper,please don,t worry I had my ablation 5 months ago and now feeling brill.There,s no pain apart from a small injection and you,ll feel drowsy,I fell asleep and woke up 2 hours later and it was all over.Had to lie still for a while and kept in over night.Take it very easy for a month,then slowly does it for another month don,t rush it and you,ll be fine.The surgens allways tell you the worst,but really it,s fine.Good luck and Happy New Year argzxoni61


Hi duckpopper

I've had 2 ablations and both have been a total breeze and I'm not just saying that to make you feel good, I mean it. I'm due for a 3rd this coming year and I am not the slightest bit concerned about it, in fact I look forward to getting it done.

Some people take time to experience the benefits of an ablation, a few weeks/months, but with me it was 100% and immediate success. You are supposed to rest for a week or so afterwards, I was straight back to work (carefully), just driving my tractor but no lifting or quick walks etc.

I felt GREAT, no drugs, no heart jumping all over the place, wonderful. That lasted for 8 years, now it's coming back as expected. Ablations aren't usually a one off and EP's say they should be considered part of an on-going treatment so probably will need repeating, may not though.

I've had one under local only and was awake while they did, that was amazing. I could see what they were doing but I was in lala land, so it was even enjoyable. Second time they just put me straight out. Not bothered either way really, whatever they consider easiest.

There are risks, all operations carry risk, but they are very low with an ablation. The journey to the hospital is probably more dangerous.

Good luck, hope you have a good result



Hey there. Had my ablation done 3/2013. Woke up and didn't remember anything. I had NO pain at all. I also felt the same as you. I cried as I went into the operating room but fortunately I had such a wonderful group doing my procedure. They comforted me. Thank god I haven't had any issues. I actually have a 24 hour heart monitor on right now. It's for my 9 month check up. I'm hoping to get off one of my meds so I'll see what the results show. Honestly the procedure isn't bad. Mine wasn't and I pray yours will be as easy. BTW I am 42, had my procedure at 41. :)


Hi Duckpopper,

I had my first ablation for PAF two months ago. It was just so easy. Down to the ablation laboratory, prepped by friendly, efficient staff, fascinated by all the monitors showing views of my heart, then fully awake and back in the ward feeling fine. Immediately off heart meds and feeling so much better. The best thing for me is the return of my energy! My EP played down the risks as they are so small, he even said that he was only telling me because he had to.

Honestly Duckpopper if you survived childbirth you will find this a doddle.


I came home yesterday from my first ablation and naturally felt slightly anxious prior to the procedure. I can honestly say that I would not hesitate if I need another one. I am taking it easy but feel much better than I expected to. I only wish I had managed to get it done sooner as I was having episodes of PAF every couple of weeks, which lasted up to four days at a time. Do not worry. Just think about the future and how much more energy you will have to enjoy it with your daughter. You will be very surprised, as I was, how straightforward the procedure is.Just put your trust in the EP and the team. They certainly gave me confidence. All the best.


Good morning duck popper and a very Happy New Year. Many many of us on this site have had ablations, just listen to their help and wise words of advice, and you will one day find yourself offering the same knowledgeable calming words to others about to have the same procedure. There are also others on this site who struggle to find the correct and helpful channels to get them to the point you find yourself at. Look forward to the 24th January with all the normal trepidation that we all feel, but with an anticipation that this is the perfect start for 2014.


Hi Duck popper,

Please don't be anxious, I had my 1st ablation 20 days ago after a roller coaster 6 mths. I was diagnosed with AF in May this year after having occasional palpitations for 4-5 years ( originally diagnosed as hormone related and px'd HRT and advised to stop caffeine, which I did) it was a big shock to have a heart condition diagnosed as I'm a healthy, fit, active 51 year old, also a nurse and we don' t make good patients.

This condition accelerated so quickly, that I have been off work for most of that time, had palpitations everyday, been on a variety of drugs, some which I could n't tolerate some which made little difference, culminating with being px'd Amioderone, which I was very reluctant to take, due to the possible long term side effects, I had 3 hospital admissions and an emergency cardio version.

I really wanted the ablation, as the condition was controlling my life, breathlessness, dizziness, fatigue, not too mention the horrible feeling of the palpitations, and I felt I was running out of options.

That said, I was very frightened, and anxious, I rushed around getting everything ready for Xmas and in case I did n't come home.

Initially after pre op blood tests, I was told that it was possible the procedure could n't go ahead as my INR was too high, I felt so disappointed, but when repeated it was just within limits, and then everything happened so quickly.

I had a GA, so once I was hooked up to all the equipment, the next thing I knew I was waking up.

I went home the following day, and the worst thing has been a sore throat from the intubation. I felt a bit groggy and had a headache from the anaesthetic for a couple of days. My groin felt a bit tender, but that's cleared up now.

Best thing, I came off the Amioderone 6 days ago, had a few flutters but nothing compared to the AF and I now I feel almost normal, hopefully this will continue.

Everyday I feel more like the old me, I think I'm going back to work on Monday and the last time I tried that, I ended up in A&E, but I feel so much better and different now.

We are all different, and I thought after all the drugs I've tried and cardio version, that nothing would work, but hopefully, I'm wrong. Good Luck, you'll be fine xxx


thankyou to you all for your very reasuring advice , it has made me feel a lot better , i keep coming on here most , days to read replies over and over again , and it realy does help thankyou , xx


Great. Stay positive and let us know how you are and what your final decision is.


Hi duckpopper, I'm new to this forum and just wanted to try and ease your worrys, I've just had my 3rd ablation on Thursday, its only natural that you are worried, they have to give you the risks to cover themselves, but like my EP said he's never had any major complications and since my last ablation in 2012 things are even safer due to the catheters showing how much pressure they are putting on your heart whilst ablating, I have complete faith in my EP, please try not to worry your in good hands. I've had AF for nearly15 years so I'm hoping this last ablation will work but if it doesnt I would try another as soon as i could, I don't want to live with this condition any longer. Wishing you all the best you will be fine.


Hi Duckpopper

You're not far off having your ablation now and I wanted to reassure you that you will be in great hands. These cardiologists are amazing and you will wonder what all the fuss was about after the procedure.

I have had 2 ablations and I would have another if I needed to without a seconds thought.

Please be positive and know that they would never consider putting anyone at risk, you will be absolutely fine in their very capable hands.

All the best. X


I was 43 when i had mine in September, if you are in good shape, you should have around a 75% chance of it being successful (where you do not have to have it again, and it ends your AF issue).

To be honest, the only bad part for me, was being sore in the groin area for a few days afterward, you will have to pretty much lay immobile for 12 hrs post surgery, but after that they encourage you to walk around.

Keep in mind, you will pop into AF over the overall recovery period (roughly 3 mos) BUT you should also pop out of it on your own.

Good Luck


Hi duckpopper, hoping everything's gone well with your ablation, how did you find it, take it easy with your recovery.


hello , everything ok now still getting some pains but not to bad . had to stay 3 nights instead of 1 due to a bit of fluid around the heart, . i found it ok was still realy worried when having it done . i was sedated but still felt pain at one point . and had quite bad chest pain after . ive had 1 week of work at min and going to take next week of as well , as im a dinner lady and look after a disabled child so there is a bit lifting . do you think i will be ok with the lifting by the 10th of feb still worried dont want a set back .


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