I have just received a phone call offering me an ablation on 9th October now I don't know if I should go through with it really worried now as been waiting months and the reality of all the risks have sunk in.

I am on rivaboxban and worried how safe it is to have ablation on this drug as when I had angigram the consultant would not do procedure while on drug as he said he could not reverse bleeding if necessary. I also had a stroke in january so worried I maybe at more risk of this happening as I have already had one ( i wasn't on any blood thinners when I had stroke).

Would really appreciate any advice should I not take risks and just live with AF and have no ablation as there are risks and not guarantees that ablation will work anyway.


27 Replies

  • Yes, the risks of an ablation are a worry. However the odds are very heavily in favour of having an ablation. It could go wrong, but is unlikely to do so. Yes, it may not be completely successful - but don't see it as either working or not working. It is likely to improve your situation. This might be slightly, partially, considerably or completely. If you don't go for it, will your situation ever improve?

  • Firstly I am sure they will discuss when you need to stop the rivaroxaban so that you are under control. I was on warfarin but had to stop five days before and inject clexane till the day of the procedure.

    Secondly the risks are mainly very rare and you are only told about them so that you or your family can't sue the doctors in the unlikely even that anything did happen. I have had three and would have a fourth tomorrow if needed and trust me when I say I am a devout coward.

    If you turn it down you will never know how good you may feel. It is a no brainer to me.


  • Thank you for advice I think I would be silly to turn it down

  • Thank you Bob I am going to go for ablation I have to try to get rid of this now, it is taking over my life thinking all the time I will go into AF. How long could you not drive after or did it affect you as I run my own business?

  • I understand that the minimum DVLA period is 48 hours but I didn't drive for a week as this was the time back along when I had my first ablation. You may not feel like it anyway. It depends also if you have GA or merely sedation as GA takes a while to leave your system. The longer you can take off the better. Two weeks if possible. Do nothing for the first and not a lot more the second was what my arrhythmia nurse told me, but then she knew how I do everything at 1000mph. or used to. ha ha.

    Avoid heavy lifting for a month or so to enable things to settle in the groin and all the bruising to fade to grey. If you work sitting down then you can probably go back in a week or so if you listen to your body. We are all different and I know people who were hard at it after a few days. Personally after my failed first ablation I took much longer to recover after my second out of fear that maybe I caused the failure.


  • Robert - it also depends on what you have done, your particular circumstance and as Bob said your groin. When I had my ablation done my consultant said no driving for a minimum of 7 days. Also with the groin you have to think could I do a full blown emergency stop? You may also experience some wavy light / flashes lines in your eyes (particularly if your septum was punctured). My suggestion is pick a period that is better but don't delay ablation for months or years - it will only get worse in time.

  • Hi Robert185,

    I concur with BobD and Rellim296.

    Best Wishes


  • Hi Robert, Im on Rivaroxoban and i think i stopped a couple of days before having my 2 ablations. I have never felt so well looked after as during and

    after my ablations. Everything we do, we take risks and Im sure you

    would not be offered an ablation if they didnt think you would have an

    improvement in health.

    Good luck.

  • Thank you for advice everyone is so helpful. I am going to go for it so fingers crossed if I don't I will never no.

  • Hi Robert I go to glenfield hospital tomorrow for abalation will let ya know how it goes I've got other problems as well as that problem ,carnt start other treatments til hearts sorted oaky

  • Good luck let me know how it goes

  • Hi Rob, I have the same thoughts as you and I have not even been given a date yet so goodness knows what I will be like when I am. However I (try to) agree with Bob. My cardiologist and EP (who made a decision based on my ECGs and history) were very positive that something needed to be done and I just have to trust them. One thing I am sure of as my EP told me is that your chances of having a stroke are higher if you don't have an ablation than the chance of having one during and of course if you do they are prepared and you would have much quicker and better treatment than if you had a stroke elsewhere.

    Best wishes, Julia

  • I think it should be a decision based on how bad your symptoms are- if you are suffering it may be worth the risk- if not, you may want to consider carefully??

  • I am awaiting ablation too and feeling great so concerned if to go ahead.

    However regarding the rivaroxiban I have purposely been commenced on it because of the ablation as I struggled with blood levels on warfarin prior to my cardioversion last year . I am low risk and don't need anticoagulant otherwise. You need the rivaroxiban due to your previous stroke, I can't stress that enough.

  • Mostly you have to leave the anticoagulation aspect to them because different CCGs (aka trusts) / different hospitals / different consultants / have varying policies and practices and some include assessments of each individual. Some no doubt views and preferences. You can always ask why and in particular remind them of the peculiarities of your situation.

    In my case the consultant did my DCCV last November whilst I was on apixaban. However when it was decided about an ablation I had to change to warfarin. Also I even had to take warfarin the night before as usual and then even though I had ablation late morning and finished at 6.00pm I still had warfarin late that same evening. Also they weren't worried about my INR not being in Range for 4 weeks beforehand (it was yo yoing all over the place) which is just as well as I could have waited many months to be in range over 4 full weeks with weekly tests (ie 5 tests in all). Also the INR range varies (I was reminded of that last week when anticoagulation nurse phoned me up to do an update as I am waiting for 2nd ablation). Apparently quite a few have INR 2.00 to 3.00 for ablation but mine is 2.5 to 3.5. Some people on this forum have had procedures cancelled because INR too low. Just as well they were not too worried wheel as I had mine done because INR was only 2.1 on the morning of ablation when I arrived at the hospital. As the nurse said at preop assessment and different nurse on the morning and as consultant said they always do a TOE and do injection(s) to make adjustments.

  • I too had a stroke in 2013 and I didn't know I had a fib and I was on no medication whatsoever . I was saved be the fact that I collapsed in a hospital in the states . I'm having my ablation tomorrow and was told to stop rivaroxaban 48 hours before coming in . So I'll let you know how it goes !

  • Thank you for reply all the best for today and please keep me informed

  • Doctors can deal perfectly well with most of the complications associated with ablation and truly life threatening risks are so very rare. But believe me, life without AF is so very wonderful. Only an ablation really offers us that prospect.

    However much you might think you could put up with your current AF symptoms, remember it is 99% certain that they will get worse and your quality of life will continue to deteriorate unless you take this ablation.

    I'm on apixaban and, like me, you will find that you won't be off your anticoagulant for long - probably no more than 24 hrs - so don't worry about that. In comparison, warfarin users can be unprotected for days so you're already ahead of the game.

    Go for it - you'll not regret it.

  • Thank you for reply how many ablation shave you had and are your symptoms much better than before?

  • sorry didn't make sense first think in morning meant to read how many have you had and have they helped?

  • Just the one and that was a little under 4 months ago. But my EP is confident that I'm a 'one ablation' patient. He was particularly happy with his part in the ablation and I've not had the slightest 'twitch' since the procedure. This despite being exposed to several of the 'triggers' that used to send me into AF.

    I'm not silly enough to think that's it - I realise, of course, it could return and perhaps I will need another ablation but believe me I wouldn't hesitate for a moment to have it. Feeling as I do now and not having an arrhythmia is absolutely fantastic. I won't ever put up with AF again.

  • thank you for advice

  • Hi! Robert185

    When you consider the hassle yo get as an AFer it really is a pleasure to be offered an ablation. You still have the high risks of stroke with AF, even with the blood thinners and you could be on a channel blocker and a beta blocker as well. All this dragging you down.

    It is a very personal decision to take but I now stand in the land of the living having just had my second ablation - Wednesday morning and feel so much better and more optimistic.

    AF is not just physical. It has a psychological effect which at times can be even worse and makes you feel so depleted mentally.

    My channel blocker is now finished with and I hope the beta blocker will follow as well; leaving me with the Dabigatran anticoagulant.

    Read BobD above and Shirlygirly again. They have that optimistic feel about them and in what they write. It's a great feeling.

    The LGI? Well they're just great to and so massive a support! Get Well!


  • So pleased to hear you are doing well you are right I am going to go ahead with ablation last couple of days I have not gone into AF but had so many flutterings I have had enough. Thank you for message really positive. Did you stay in hospital overnight and how long is it until you can drive.

  • Hi! Robert,

    Arrived Wednesday morning at 8 am and was on the table by 10.00. Procedure over by 13.00 under local anaesthetic and then back onto the ward. Both Ward and Lab teams helpful and sympathetic. Couldn't do enough. A quiet afternoon lying still and the Electrophysiologist popped in for reassurance and to see how I was. He took me off the Diltiazem and gave me some feedback of what they had done. Back for a sleep. Something to eat at 17.00. Lights out 22.30 and warned of an ECG at 6am next morning. Emily sharp as they come at 6 next morning with ECG, Blood pressure and Oxygen level. All good. Royal order of the boot at 8am and that's your 24 hours. Done and dusted with someone to drive you home. Plenty of rest and TLC. Like Bob the first time I was off like shot from a gun: Shifting slabs and long walks. The only gun available this time is that held by my good lady. She's in control. You'll do just fine. Get well.


  • Really pleased you are doing well. thank you for all the information I just want to get it over and done with now.

  • I had ablation last November and it went ok. Just had a few blips in months after as it all settled down and now I feel really good. I am free of AF after several years of drugs, cardioversions and A and E visits. Hope it lasts and hope your ablation goes well too.

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