Day 4 after ablation - the ep said it went well and he also ablated the flutter line because there were signs of atrial flutter too ( I had

Been telling them that for ages!). He told me to expect palpitations etc and not to make any judgements too early about the success of the procedure. But I've been in permanent atrial flutter (I think) since early Friday morning.... Anyone else had this? Is it really not to be worried about at this stage?

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17 Replies

  • It takes three months for things to settle down so far too early to even think about failure. Maybe in six months but not before. This is quite normal so don't worry please.


  • Thank you Bob - reassuring to hear.

  • Hi Scottie,yes don,t worry about funny beats and things in your chest it took me 6 months to feel (normal)but it was worth it as I now feel fine,just take it easy for a couple of weeks at least,Don,t over do it just take your time over the next couple of months and you should be fine.good luck argzxoni.

  • Thank you - taking it easy is good advice too. I just went for a short stroll round the block and judging by my breathlessness now... It was a bit too far. This is going to take a while....

  • Hi Scottie,Yes I started walking around the block to start then slowly built up so now I try to get out every day and I walk about 2.5 miles i,m lucky to live very close to a large park area so it,s quite enjoyable but it took me 4 months to get too that distance but now i can do it faster than when i started,but i,m told by my GP that distance is more important than speed

  • That's really interesting. I'd never heard of a flutter line. I keep thinking that they won't actually know what they're faced with until they're into your heart. I just hope that my problem will be obvious. I feel so rotten some days that I definitely don't want to feel like this for ever.

    Hope your recovery goes well.

  • Thanks jennydog. Apparently the EP tried to put my heart into Afib after he'd ablated and it wouldn't go, but there were signs of flutter so he said he ablated the line it usually emanates from.... Who'd have known such a thing existed? Good luck with yours.

  • Hi. I had exactly same procedure for AF and they found AFlutter too. I had 7 week review last week and that was further explained. I had very strange flutters for several days post ablation. I still get some each day but was told this is normal for up to 6 months after ablation. The secret to recovery is take it slowly as your body tells you. I know all are different and think it depends how fit you are pre ablation. Good luck!!

  • Thanks French Goose - it's good to hear of others' post ablation experiences to help calibrate expectations. How are you feeling 7 weeks down the line - fluttery but otherwise well?

  • To explain further flutter is in the right atria not the left where the fibrillation occurs. Since they take the catheter into a vein and arrive in the right atria before punching through the septum into the left it is an easy job to ablate an area of the right atria on their way out as it were. Many centres can do flutter ablations but lack the expertise to do AF because of the complexity of having to pass through the septum between chambers but an EP who can do PVI for AF often touches up in the right for any flutter they may find.. Hope that explains it a bit more.


  • Thanks Bob - I hadn't appreciated that the flutter ablation took place in the right atria, the EP just referred to having ablated the 'flutter line' after he dealt with the AFib . Apparently they punch through the septum at the the thinnest point, which is usually towards the back of the heart. In my case it was at the front, which was a little unexpected and he had to do a few three point turns to then ablate the veins in the left atria. It must all take some time to settle down and it is hard for our nearest and dearest to understand all this when it is all invisible. I had very peculiar and never previously experienced visual disturbances last night which seemed migraine like (never had a migraine though so it is mere supposition). In the end I put it down to walking a bit too far to the post box yesterday. Am having to learn patience - never a strong quality of mine! - I guess this is why they call us patients! In case anyone is interested, my ablation was carried out by Dr Duncan in Bristol.

  • The migraine type visual disturbance is a common complaint amongst ablatees but usually goes away over a few weeks. Nobody seem to know if it is a result of the GA/sedation or interference with the heart but lots of people report it.


  • Bob D has explained the procedure for A Flutter exactly as I had experienced. Our hearts have had a battering, and like any other muscle, takes time to return to normal and heal. I had a migraine aura in recovery which caused a little concern, and had several migraines, some with aura for about 4 weeks after. This can affect 1% of patients as they punch the septum. Right atria for A Flutter, through the septum to left atria and pulmonary veins for AF!!

    I am beginning to feel better and more energised 7 weeks later...feel quite vulnerable at times, and takes a while to get confidence back. And I know how it is when people think you look OK, no scars as such and expect you to be 'feeling better'. Does not help!!! But we all know here how it is!!!

    I have to cut back my Flec slowly and 1,25 mg Bisoprolol too.....they are my comfort blanket!!!

    I had mine done in Birmingham!!

    Just take care of youself. Ann

  • This "punching through" business is a bit worrying for me since I have a patent foramen ovale and suffered excruciating headaches for years possibly due to this hole, the last thing I need is more migraines....must discuss this with my EP thanks for alerting me to it...

  • I talked about this with my EP last week at my follow up appointment..he said migraines can happen in 1% of ablations, but they also have found that some people who already have the hole, find their migraines reduced post ablation!!!!! Hope that is for you!!!

  • Does anyone know why , punching through the septum should cause migraine with or without aura? I'm just interested to know as it helps me to accept what may happen. It's good to be mentally prepared. X

  • I think if you've been very symptomatic, can tell when the little flutters turn back into regular AF post op. It only took me about 5-6 weeks to know that the ops had n't worked.

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