Increased heart rate 3 months after ablation

Hi all. I had a successful catheter ablation in February. Following it, I no longer had a heart flutter, and my AF had also gone. My pulse was down to 55-60 bpm and I felt well.

However, about 3 months following the ablation, my pulse has gone up to approx 100bpm, regularly. I saw my GP last week, who said that it was not an abnormal heart rate (I tend to disagree!), and could offer no explanation why it had suddenly risen. I had an ECG which showed, thankfully, that I was not back in AF (my big fear!). However, I don't feel as well as I did immediately following the ablation, and I'm wondering if anyone else has had the same experience? My follow-up appointment with my EP is not until July and I am still on all the same drugs (warfarin, bisoprolol and amiodarone) as I was before the ablation.

My experience seems to be the opposite from what everyone else reports following an ablation!

Thanks!

18 Replies

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  • Hi Lizzo. No actually your experience is just like mine. I would bet that you have atrial tachycardia which I had after two of my three ablations. Easily sorted with a cardioversion but annoying anyway. Why not speak to your EP's secretary and explain or the arrhythmia nurse if you have one. . Raised pulse post abalation is quite common but 100 seems a bit extreme. My settled around 80 for nearly a year but is now down to mid 60s most of the time. For the record most cardiologists say that anything over 80 is tachycardia and anything under 60 is bradycardia..

    Bob

  • Thanks, Bob. That does make me feel better that a) it is a known experience and b) that it is curable. I have had a cardioversion in the past, so that doesn't scare me! Thanks for your suggestions - I think I will get in touch with an arrhythmia nurse I used to see when I had my cardioversion a few years ago. I probably have more chance seeing him than my EP!

  • That rate would be normal for me but for my wife that would be racing heart. Can't see how a doc can just say that's ok, we're all different. Koll

  • I agree, Koll. It just isn't right for me. I feel on edge all the time, and considering I'm already on beta-blockers, there must be something not quite right. I'd felt so well in the 2 or 3 months post-ablation, so it's disappointing now.

  • Sounds right - check in so you can relax. My EP and research all say that the heart rate often goes up post ablation, and can come back down again with time. Are you walking, do gentle cardio to exercise? Could help.

    Hope things improve for you!

  • Thanks, iris. I'm "moderately" active - dog walking type of thing, and work full time, but my job can be quite stressful, so probably doesn't help! I think that the worrying thing for me was that it was fine post ablation, but then has deteriorated. However, from the replies so far, this is not abnormal. That helps!

  • Exactly, was this your first ablation? Many EPs do the minimum the first time and warn, you might be in for a second one for touch-ups. Once you've done the first the follow-up is easier! Remember most of the successes aren't on the forums anymore! I live in Switzerland, and I can assure you, the insurance companies here would not "finance" surgery with poor odds! Take care, keep us posted.

  • Yes, it was my first, and I was warned that there could be more! Mind you, it took 5 hours, so I dread to think what a more thorough one would take! I still consider it as a success, as my AF and flutter have both gone. I'm still glad that I had it done, and am grateful for the chance for a normal life that I've been given. It's a good point that you make about the "successes", and good luck to them! Thanks, iris!!

  • They don't generally take as long... it is like spot welding! Remember a good part of that time can be the TOE, the recovery.... the procedure itself is approx 2-4 hours. Much of that too is mapping, waiting for things to calm down again. I am amazed it goes by so quickly, and I only have conscious sedation! All the best Lizzo.

  • thanks, iris!

  • Yes only a few of us old stagers who like to give something back by hanging around. Either that or we love to feel smug about our success. Only joking! I say again I have never met anybody who says that they wished they hadn't had their ablation.

    Bob

  • And thank goodness for you, Bob! The experiences you can pass on and reassurances you can give are priceless, and I, for one, really appreciate it. It is a scary business when you first enter the world of arrhythmia, and it does help to know that others are going through the same and, even more importantly, have come through the other side!

  • No one is so faithful to a forum just to be smug! Thanks Bob!

  • Following the excellent advice given on this forum, I saw an arrhythmia nurse today about my heart rate. An ECG detected that I have Atrial Flutter.and it was explained to me that this could be due to scar tissue following the ablation. It looks like I have the option of a) ignoring it (don't really want to do this), b) a further ablation or c) cardioversion. I'm seeing my EP next month to discuss the options. My gut feeling is that I should try the cardioversion first, then go for an ablation if this is not successful. At least I've been reassured that I'm not in immediate danger, and something can be done about it, so I'm glad I went!

    I just wish it would all just go away, but then I guess that's what all of us on here wish for !!

  • Hi Lizzo. I had my catheter ablation June 4 of this year. At first my heart rate was around what it normally was 50-63 then one week ago while taking a shower I thought I was going into Afib because my heart started beating so fast. When I took my pulse, it was like 125 so I took my meds thinking all would be back to normal in about an hour. Well one week later, my heart rate is still going 103-110 after my medication. I called the doctor's office twice. They tell me that they are not alarmed with it being that high and that I should expect the full 3 months to recover. I get very short winded going up steps or doing housework. Frustrating to say the least. I can't even walk around the block right now. I have tried deep breathing exercises, etc., but sometimes that just seems to send it up higher. Not a whole lot I can do about it either. I am also having pains in the center of my chest, and a tender soreness under my breast area which my regular doctor is treating as reflux.

  • Hi Ruth. Did you ever sort the problem with your heart out? I've just had my 2nd ablation and im experiencing exactly the same problem. Just wondered how you got on. Kind regards Barry.

  • Hi Ruth. Sorry to hear you are suffering. I'm not getting the pains you are getting, but I do get breathless going upstairs. I'm seeing my EP in a couple of weeks, so I'll let you know the outcome. Hope you feel better soon - it's early days for you yet.

  • after my second ablation everything back to normal resting heart rate 60-70 bpm ..the 3 weeks later rhr went to 100 bpm ..I was alarmed but did the same thing after first ablation one year earlier w.. I believe the heart has been through a traumatic event and this trauma will resolve itself as soon as the scars form scabs which will fall off and then the heart will heal itself .I do not believe worrying about it will help anyway ..so I wait and I am patient ..all will be fine after my heart heals itself ..it's just a way for the heart to react due to all those burns ,,I think my heart is a bit tick off at me for hurting it ,but we will become friends again even though it make take several months of healing ..

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