AF Association

First ablation

Just been given a date! 4th Feb. Now i feel sick and wish i'd gone for the flecainaide option :) I'm sure i'm just being a big baby and it won't be as bad as i think and really the only option with a shot at being drug free (as far as i unnderstand). I know everyone is different, but how long can i expect to be out of action afterwards, as apart from PAF otherwise healthy and still active 50 yr old?

25 Replies

Dont worry about it everyone gets the "collywobbles" when they get the

date, I certainly did, fear of the unknown. The staff in the lab i felt were

very very nice and each introduced themselves and what their job was.

I was suprised and dont know whether this is usual but its a nice touch.

There is so much going on to get you ready that once you get in there

they were chatting away that you can just relax really whilst they tell you

whats happening. Thats my experience the 1st attempt but on the 2nd

I had to have a GA so of course thats totally different. My advice is just

go with the flow and dont worry. Let us know how you go on and Good

Luck. Shirley.

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Thanks for your reply Shirley

I'm sure it will not be as bad as i think, and i've read as much on here.


My sisters friend has filled me with fear about people dying from the procedure , coupled with my fear of needles and pain, I'm not sure if I want it done. If I did I'd want to be put under, but they won't


There is risk with any procedure, but i think with this procedure its tiny. My EP is very experienced and does about 400 of these a year so i think i'm in good hands. You don't HAVE to have it done, its your choice, just have to decide whats best for you. From what everyone says there is nothing painful about it, just a needle. I just look away when they put the canula in hehe


Yes you are being a baby but quite understandable. Most people are frightened the first time as it is the unknown but from my considerable experience root canal dentistry is far worse. Yes it is your best option for a drug free life but do remember that it takes a long time (three to six months) for everything to settle down again afterwards and you will have some funnies in that time. Don't be in too much of a rush to stop the warfarin either.

Just make sure that you prepare a pack of things like phone, drinks bottle, lip salve etc which you can easily reach as you will have to lay flat for four or so hours afterwards.

You will be fine.



Hehe thanks Bob, i've had a root canal or 2 and survived that so expect i'll wonder what all the fuss was about afterwards. As for the drugs, i'll just do as advised, i know its not guaranteed that i'll be drug free again:) And thanks for the advice on hopsital kit!


PS. Forgot to say I took it very easy for a couple of weeks then gradually over

the next couple picked up as I felt like it, Im sure you will be quicker as Im

a lot older than you. S.


It almost certainly won't be as bad as you think. What exactly are you worried about? Feeling things that might hurt or the after effects, the riskiness or whether it's the right thing to do or will you babble foolishly while sedated? Will you get a spectacular bruise? Maybe. It will probably be almost pain free once they have inserted the cannula in your arm (and that won't hurt much), you might feel just fine afterwards (I did and had to try not to do too much for the first couple of weeks). It's usually very successful and the things that might go wrong rarely do and I certainly think it was the right thing for me to do. I am so pleased to be flecainide free and (for the last couple of months) AF free too. But did I babble and if so was it coherent and what did I say?


Babble foolishly: done that already when drunk

Spectacular bruises: already had a few of those.

Had many cannulas, as i'm sure we all have.

Just the procedure itself, i've never had anything more than a skin cyst removed before. Only got a call from the hospital this afternoon so its real now and not just something in the future eventually. So i thought i'd have a 'collywobble' to people who know what its like :) I will get a grip now. 'm sure its the right thing and i'll be fine and probably less unpleasant than a trip to the hygienist.


Yes, you'll be fine. Definitely better than going to the hygienist. Actually, it is really interesting with lots to look at and just as you are settling in to be further amazed and fascinated ... you wake up and it's all over and they give you a drink in a little thing that invalids and old people use and you have to perch it in your armpit and sip whilst lying flat. Good luck!


I was back to normal very quickly. I felt tight in the chest for a week, but was about all. And had to be careful with the groin entry point till it had healed over properly. I was back at work within a week but didn't do anything strenuous for some weeks.

I was 55 and fit, and I came out 55 and fitter, and no drugs (except anti-coags) :-)

Have a good one.



thanks koll, good to know and glad to hear you had a great result :)


Hi, what made you choose ablation over drugs,did you choose or did your EP recommend it. Perhaps the answer to that will convince you that you have made the right decision for you.

Be well.



Thanks Dee

I chose it as it seemed the only shot for a drug free future, even though its not guaranteed. The cardiologist thought it was the best of the 3 options and the EP was happy to go ahead with it.


Hi Matt, I also have similarreference Hio yours.My ablation is next wed.However I have found it massive relief talking to these great people and slowly the nerves are becoming less and less.

Im 31 and thought last week 'what am I doing' putting myself through these risks, however they we naturally fear the worst, and the risks are quite rare.

im sure we will be fine, and both ultimately want a better quality of life as a result of the ablation. So its a positive step in my view.

All the best,

Rich p.s is the pga a golf referance

1 like

Hi Rich

No, its my initials :)

yes, everyone on here is great and i'm really glad i found the site. Great to have the wealth of experience and peoiple willing to share it. feeling better about it now.

Hope everything goes well for you next week and you can come back and tell me we were worrying about nothing :)


Hi, how long have you been suffering with PAF before you made the decision to have the ablation? I feel that my cardio is going to suggest one (my first too) when I next see him and I'm not sure I'm ready yet. Have had PAF for about 2 years now.



Hi Tim

About 10 years, but in that time i've been mostly fine, but admitted 3 times for AF that didnt stop for about 48 hours. After seeing the results of two 24 hour holters last year it seems i am in AF more than i realised (the longest episode was 37 beats, but there were quite a few of them) and this is the first time i've actually been offered any treatment. Just sent home after the first 2 and then tests that lead to nothing. The hospital seems to be taking it more seriously this time so the choices were an ablation, something like flecainide every day or still do nothing, and probably end up back in A&E. It seemed the best option and the cardio agreed.


Its understandable to be worried. Its the unknown. When I had my PVI I focussed on the benefit that would arise after the procedure. As the procedure date got closer I projected myself to the day after the procedure, saying to myself, 'It will be over in 48 hrs' or whatever time period took me beyond the procedure date.

Post op I was up and about within 24 hours but with very limited stamina and still in AF. Within 10 days my AF was much reduced, as the healing process continued, and I could walk around a mile without getting too tired. I was weaned off the propafenone I was taking and the warfarin after 3 months. I now only use the propafenone as a PIP as I still get ectopics and the occasional trill. Compared to my pre procedure shape I am 95% there and live a full active life generally unaffected by AF.

So on an upbeat note ' Go for it. Think of the benefits , they will so much outweigh the strain of your current condition. The procedure is the initiation ceremony for a new life. You won't regret it. Best of luck


Thanks Jumper.

Great to hear. Feeling much better today thanks to all you great people and glad its worked out well for you :)


I am a fit and active 53 year old and have my ablation this Thursday under GA. Extremely nervous of the unknown and cannot wait for it to be behind me. Are you having sedation or a GA? Will report back when I can. Wishing you all the best for yours :)


Hi Kiwi

i opted for the sedation. Had GA before and not a fan of the 'hangover' i get afterwards.

All the best with yours and look forward to hearing about it afterwards :)


My ablation was 5 weeks ago. Since then I have felt very well. The procedure itself under local was not nearly as bad as I had expected and the staff kept me fully formed throughout. My recovery was less than 2 weeks. I am now back to swimming for an hour twice a week and walking 4 miles with no ill effects. go for it and be positive you won't regret it.


Great. Thanks Sharon. Regular at the gym myself, so if all goes well shouldnt be out of action for too long. Great to hear yours was such a success.


I've had four, you're in one day and out the next! Nothing to be afraid about! First time is always more anxiety provoking because you don't know what to expect. You will be wondering afterwards what you were worried about!!


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