Had my ablation

Hi All

Just thought i'd report back after my first (and hopefully only) ablation.

it was done using the cryoballoon technique which i wasn't expecting, and i opted for a local anaesthetic.

Quite a few people with the procedure coming up have posted about pain, or being told it would be painful, and in my experience the worst 'pain' was the injections of local anaesthetic. So not terrible. I was warned in advance that i would be getting a big 'ice cream headache' during the procedure and it was all explained to me as they went along so there were no surprises. sedative was given at the start, and more when it became uncomfortable. Yes there was some discomfort, but actual pain? nope.

I went into AF during the procedure, and had temporary paralysis of the phrenic nerve, but recovered after a few minutes,. Still in AF after the procedure, but this stopped after a few hours with flecainide/bisopolol and has not returned.

Saw the doc the next morning who said they had successfully isolated the 4 areas, and was successful as far as they were concerned. The AF afterwards is most likely nothing to worry about and should not return (unless i am one of the rare ones where the disruption is coming from somewhere else) but only time will tell.

Was well looked by all the staff at St Georges and all in all not as bad as i feared.

A lot of you told me that, and BIG thanks to everyone that contributes to this site, and help us newbies get over the fear of the unknown.

Back home now, bit sore, as expected, but perfectly fine :)

17 Replies

  • Glad we were right! Now rest plenty for at least two weeks. Don't worry if you do get some blips as it takes at least three months for the scar tissue to form blocking the rogue impulses.


  • Yikes. Did you say 2 weeks, Bob? When I have mine, I was planning a week then back to work.

    Why do I get the feeling I'll find your reply 'shocking'?

    Seriously though, if I need to consider longer, please advice.


  • Slow recovery is best. My nurse said do nothing for eh first week and not much more for the second. I think it does depend on whether you have GA or sedation of course but please don't over do things.

  • At least I know what to expect. Thanks, Bob

  • That is wonderful, well done you! Take it easy now and thanks for your feedback to the forum it does us all good to hear some positive news.

    Be well.

  • Glad it all went well. Having my 2nd Ablation at St. Georges on Tuesday - went in a few weeks ago but sent home again as the Anaesthetist had to leave and there wasn't time to do it before he left! Did Dr Gallagher do it? Take it easy for the next couple of weeks.

  • Hi, no Dr Gallagher was supposed to but was tied up in another lab, so another doc did it but he was in to check up on everything and made the final decisions. thanks. have my dairy milk oreo and netflix recovery programme underway :)

  • Good news, I am having the cryoballon Abalation on the 17th February, so nice to know all was pretty plain sailing, good luck with the rest of your recovery and that you remain AF free going forward.

  • Fab news. Enjoy your rest and recuperation. Thanks for reporting in.x

  • Great news, I wish you well.

  • Yes, certainly hope your AF becomes a thing of the past. Fingers crossed for you

  • I'm so pleased for you and wish you well. Sorry if I sound dim but what exactly is the cryobaloon technique? Can you choose sedation or general anesthetic? M

  • Yes you can choose to have local or general, well i cold anyway. Cryobaloon is where they freeze rather than burn, thats about the sum of my knowledge.

  • Well. I wasn't told by the doctor, or was too out of it to take it all in at the time but the discharge summary and my GP have got it down as a failed ablation, and a hit to the phrenic nerve, which i know can happen. After a week i am in AF more than ever. Maybe this is normal after the disruption of the ablation, but rather disappointing. Follow up with Cardiology not till mid june ;(. May have to see about that.

  • That does not sound good matt, and rather a long wait till June if your AF is worse than ever, good luck anyway.

    Not discuss the failure as mine is next Tuesday with the same type catheter, not sure my AF and QOL could get any worse at this stage anyway.

  • Just had a cryobiology ablation for paroxysmal AF at St George's (Dr Kaba). Was treated very well and no bad experiences to report. My AF was very occasional, so it's too early to say whether it's worked yet. The discharge form did say that the procedure was a success. I think the cryoballoon procedure is very good as it involves the inflating of a small balloon at the base of the four pulmonary veins. This means four contacts rather than 50-75 burns made through RF ablation. The balloons freeze and adhere well to the tissue before destroying the cells. It's the creation of scar tissue that stops the passage of the rogue signals from the pulmonary veins to the heart. The technology seems really clever and the skill of the consultants is amazing. My thanks to Dr Kaba and St George's.

  • Last post should have said cryoballoon not cryobiology (that's spellcheck for you!)

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