Recovery time after ablation?

I had an ablation 6 weeks ago - have been taking it easy til last weekend when I got into the garden, mowing etc..I took it easy didn't go hard at it.

That night I had a bad ache all across my top body, tightness in the chest , think I was back in AF , pulse had gone to 110 ( normally about 80) resting. It lasted about 3 hours, was going to call an Ambo but new they would admit me and I'd spend a week in hospital and come out a zombie on the drugs I'd been on before the ablation.

Told my GP and got a huge lecture ( like most he doesn't understand AF and freaks out ) .

I'm pretty sure I must have over done it or maybe there is something else going on, but my question is to those who have had ablations what was your recovery time?


19 Replies

  • Hello Brian101, I had cardiac ablation done 3/2013. I went back to work in 6 days but I didn't over do it. I didn't really start doing anything exhausting until maybe 2 months later. I still had some irregular beats and discomfort. After about 6 months I didn't and still haven't felt anything. I have heard a lot of people say it takes about 6-7 months till scar tissue has built up so take it easy. Exercise is great but don't over do it. Good luck, will be praying for ya.


  • Thanks Naomi for answering -good info thanks again


  • hi brian , I had an AF ablation last September , I started mild exercise 2 weeks after, increased to a 30 minute mild daily workout at 5 weeks and then gradually increased to a 30 minute strenuous workout . I had some problems along the way with ectopic beats and a little exhaustion , but no recurrence of AF, they were initially induced by bending over when gardening or by doing too much and reached the worst point at about 7 weeks, however, the biggest problem for me was rapid heartbeat in the night caused by left side sleeping, i ended up having pillows down the middle of the bed to stop me rolling over. Since then the situation has gradually improved and at 4.5 months post ablation I feel totally recovered. For me, at no time did over exercise cause a rapid heartbeat , it only caused exhaustion.

    good luck


  • Thanks Phil interesting to read -thank you


  • Hi Brian101

    I had my ablation nearly 3 months ago. I did almost nothing for the first 2 weeks and and not much more for the next 2. I gradually increased activity after that but was careful not to push myself - which was very difficult as I felt so much better. I have had flutters and other 'oddities' but no tightness in my chest or pain. If I overdo things I feel that I need to rest and sometimes feel a slight discomfort in my back but my PR is regular and less than 90bpm.

    It is a slow process so patience is the word.

    Best Wishes


  • Thanks Angela

    I think that is the problem - because I've felt like "crap" for so long and now feel great and took it easy for 6 weeks I forgot the ordeal my ticker had been through.

    Maybe I'm too impatient


  • I've had three. ONe I took five weeks off but I did physical things after a few days and one two weeks and the other I went back to work (I am a writer so sedentary) the same week. I felt the most ill I have ever felt for a night after one. My pulse is resting 100 whatever I do. I was a bit stumped when my consultant told me to take some painkiller strong one for the heart swelling - something they didn't tell me about - but that only lasted 24-48 hours. I'm still not right and on drugs forever but I just think of the anti coag and carry on. Can't walk up hill though but wonder if I ever could!

  • I must admit after all five of my ablation procedures I was up and working the next day. The only thing to be really careful off is the puncture wounds in your groin which is why they insist that you take it easy. The scar tissue from the ablation itself as I understand it is tiny and heals quickly. In nearly all cases the procedure seemed fine initially but sort of undid itself after about 3 to 6 weeks, when I'd get an irregular and fast rhythm with some chest pains. With each procedure this seemed to improve (the first was the worst) until the fifth one which so far seems to have completely cured the problem. I do think there is a certain amount of "pushing through" to be done to get healthy and get fitness back. Exercise can initially feel terrible, but in time settles down and does nothing but improve your heart condition. The procedure may not have worked this time but don't let it stop you from leasing a full and active life. Do what you can to stay healthy and active, and dont let it get you down

  • Hi Brian!

    I would be happy to tap in to answers given to you! I had my ablation 20/12/13 and for two weeks I was ok. Mid this month I had a recurrence while hurrying to an appointment destination and had to rest for several minutes before feeling better. Now I have a flutter that comes whenever I am anxious or exert myself but quickly goes away when I stoop or sit down. It usually lasts for about a minute or two. I haven't reported to the electrician yet but will do so soon!

  • I had mine in late September, I honestly believe it depends on what kind of shape you are in prior. I am a runner and I go to the gym, so I jumped right back in after about 2 weeks. You will pop in and out of afib for roughly 3 months (it takes that long for everything to heal, all the tissue around your heart is inflamed).

    If you do go into AF, you "should" come out, it only happened to me once in November.

    Like anything else, recovery time is subjective and different for everyone.

  • Hi Paul, I think I may be in the same situation. I'm 36, an athlete, I have ablation for VT about three weeks ago. I started very easy work outs about a week after and have been ramping them up slowly. I finally went to the on week 3 and half way through started getting palpitations and left immediately. It's seems like they start showing up when my heart rate goes above 130 bmp. My resting is around 50.

    It's hard not knowing what to think. My procedure was complicated and I was in the OR for 5.5 hours. I'm hoping it's just not fully healed yet. The idea of having to give up physical activities is pretty terrifying

    How did you're experience pan out ?

  • Have worked out all my life , and it is very hard not to do anything. Had ablation done 5 weeks ago. Started walking after 1st week and increased distance gradually. Rule of thumb--after bruising heals from catheter incision you can start increasing workload. Went back to gym strictly on machines for 2 weeks , and have now returned to free weights,but with reduced loads. Plan to increase weights and intensity slowly. So far so good only 2 episodes of missed or premature beats in the last month.

  • I'm a farmer and I was driving my tractor (on my own land), nothing too physical, within 2-3 days. I wouldn't handle sheep or anything like that though, but only because of the groin wound.

    I had zero symptoms afterwards at all, just completely clear for 8 years.


  • Gee Koll 8 years that's terrific

    Must be the farming life


  • Brian, My EP said to expect to have another ablation in 5 to 15 years after the first one, so he was spot on in my case but indicates some people go a lot longer?


  • Hi Brian, We are all different in the way we recover and whilst some may do so quite quickly others take many weeks It is also important to remember that it takes at least three months for the scar tissue which blocks the rogue impulses to form so you will get all sorts of funny things happening in that time. Don't be taken in by those who have not had any problems as they are just plain bloody lucky. All three of mine took a long time to settle down and another thing is that heart rate in general will be higher after ablation for some time. Mine was over 80 for at least a year.but now back to 65 ish. Take each day at a time and don't panic.


  • Wow - thanks for all your input.

    Great to have informed answers.

    My GP really scared me and this has settled me down.

    Have to see the EP in about 3 weeks - that will be interesting.

    I didn't want to go back on the digoxin, Sotalol, bisoprolol mix I was on before and that's what would have happened had I called an ambo. Warfarin is fine - inr is all over the place but who cares better than a stroke.

    My Cardiologist solves everything by giving me another pill to take - the EP is different he wants to get me off them.

    Apart from the other night all is good

    Thanks again


  • Hi Brian!

    As you know I had my Ablation on the 21st Nov last year. Since then I have had short episodes of AF with a heart rater around 130 and just sitting or driving the car. This passed after a couple of minutes. My GP said I should have called an ambulance.

    It is now just over 2 months since the ablation and the episodes are less frequent now. Hopefully they will have stopped bu the end of February.

    My cardio man said if after 6 months of being free of AF I can stop the Warfrin and go back onto aspirin.



  • Hey Barry

    I was wondering how you were travelling. Good to hear all is good.

    The problem with going to hospital you know when you come out you will be on more drugs - it's the only way they know to deal with it.

    Keep good


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