Cryo ablation for AF

After suffering with paroxysmal AF for the last 7 years (since I was 24), and with my Flecanide becoming increasingly ineffective, I elected to have PV ablation (a big deal for me as I'm super scared of all things hospital related, especially needles!) which was carried out on Monday this week.

Firstly, the folks at Manchester Royal Infirmary were amazing. It was based on my trust of the EP that I decided to go for it, despite my anxiety.

I had the procedure done under general anaesthetic (they couldn't have held me still otherwise), and it took about 4 hours from going to sleep to waking up (a very peaceful experience I must say! I've never had surgery of any kind before).

I'm at home now (they let me go after just over 25 hours in hospital. Amazing really) and recovering reasonably well. I am continuing Flecanide and now also taking Apixaban for the next 3-4 months. So far I have had no instances of AF, only a few skipped or double beats every now and again. The side affects I've noticed so far are:

- Increased panic attacks (I'm an anxious person anyway). Does anyone suffer with the same related to AF?

- Increased heart rate (I'm about 15 bpm up on my normal resting heart rate). Not sure how long this will last?

- Migraine (with Aura before hand). I didn't expect this, but it has happened every day for the last 3 days at about the same time and lasting for 3-4 hours (I just have to lie quietly in a dark room, paracetamol and ibuprofen does little to take the edge off the intensity). I'm hoping this goes away soon, I've seen a couple of other posts on here saying similar.

So I'm feeling pretty optimistic (although keeping my expectations in check). I started to potter around the house a bit today, and I'm hoping to maybe go for a little walk on Sunday to watch the Tour de Yorkshire come past our house. I might even be back on my bike and out rock climbing again soon!

Best wishes,


6 Replies

  • Hi Stuart and well done you for having it done.You will not regret it.

    Please take it easy for at least two weeks. Just because there is no big scar doesn't mean your heart hasn't been attacked pretty hard. By the way it isn't surgery . only a procedure so you can relax on that front.

    You will have some funnies for the next three to six months and this is quite normal. It tales that long for the heart to recover as I am sure they will have told you.

    Raised heart rate post ablation is also quite normal and again I bet they forgot to tell you that, It should settle down again in a few months ditto the migraines. For some reason known only to our bodies this again is normal and something to do with the puncture of the septum between the right and left atria. Most people who have it find it passes in a week or two. You may also find that you are forgetful and this is again normal. (I killed two kettles by putting them on the Aga and forgetting about them). I think this to be due to the GA. That's my excuse anyway. You shouldn't be taking ibuprophen by the way. Not good for AF.

    Panic? Well I think that goes with AF to be frank. Some people are better at dealing with it that is all. It's seven years since my last successful ablation and I still worry it will come back!

    Take care. relax and enjoy.


  • Thanks Bob, that's really helpful and reassuring stuff! I appreciate you taking the time and sharing it with me.

    No one ever mentioned an issue with ibropofen to me before. Is it known to trigger AF?

  • This was research from Denmark I think about two years ago where they found that Ibuprofen use had brought on AF in a number of patients and was named as a cause rather than a trigger. Of course those of us on warfarin can't take it anyway.

  • That's good to know, thanks Bob.

  • Hi Stuart. Just had ablation 3 weeks ago. Was my 5th ablation and took 7 hrs. So far it is successful. I experienced all the symptoms you describe post ablation. I think these are generally normal. After the first week these symptoms will fade and you start to feel good again.

    Good luck with your future health.



  • Hi Greg, that's great to hear. Thanks for taking the time to post. Here's to a brighter future for both of us!

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