15 Months Post RF Pulmonary Vein Ablation

My last update on my successful ablation was at six months so my apologies for not coming back earlier but life has been busy and very active. Still in rhythm with a good regular resting heartbeat of 42bpm but like a lot of us out there sensitive to any variance ache or pain. Still don’t like sleeping on my side but that could be because of cycle racing injuries, I’ll come back to that! I have been lucky so far touch wood but won’t stop looking over my shoulder and would not hesitate to have a second ablation if need be..

I last reported that after my 3 month Review my EP said I could compete again and was signed off at 12 months. I have been back in the saddle climbing mountains in the Alps and Pyrenees with my partner who is no slouch and races semi pro for a women’s race team, glad to say I dropped her which was payback for all the times she dropped me when I was in AF.

I have competed at a number of road races and criteriums and have placed top 6 at a national level for my age category and have taken a 2nd in a league race but that first still alluded me until I took a first in my category at a Nott’s and Derby League Cyclo Cross Race recently. So as you can see I have been fit and well, losing two stone and spending too much money on new bikes and kit. I even took up track racing again which is fast and furious and that is why I am a bit sore now as I hit the boards at over 30mph racing the Devil takes the Hindmost 3 weeks ago and broke my collarbone ( another rider rode into me). On the mend now and have my first National Cyclo Cross Race lined up at the end of the month.

I know some of you may think I am mad and should have stayed retired, but after being fixed with the ablation I am doing what I love and living life to the full, albeit with the risk of losing skin and breaking bones, but then again that’s not new to me and comes with what I love doing.

I’m mindful that this might all sound a bit over the top or even foolish, but the purpose of keeping you all up to date is to tell my story and that with a successful treatment for AF there’s no stopping you like me from living life to the full or in my case to the breaking point! Stay safe out there and may all your gods go with you.

27 Replies

  • Hi Elbows,

    Just great to hear your story, and don't stop what you are doing. You are an example to us all. Hope to get a call soon for my ablation, and will continue to bike/run as before, it's my love as well.

    Best Wishes


  • The whole purpose of the ablation is to that you can return to normal and live your life. What you are doing is the very definition of success. Be well, ride on! Try not to break anything else :-)

  • I can't stop playing with race cars and probably never will.

  • Great to hear you are doing so well and even racing again!

    As you may know I am also a cyclist who likes to compete now and then, maybe our ways are crossing one day. I only did one road race with LVRC this year and was not up with the strongest. But I enjoyed the day as it is when you are doing what you like most.

    Just back from the cardiologist who took me off the Warfarin (11 months post ablation). He was not concerned about me racing on the bike. As I told him about my slightly elevated HR since ablation he jokingly said "Get fitter". So happy days.

    Hope your collarbone heals well and you are back in action.

  • It's good to hear you are doing so well and thank you for keeping us updated. Who was the EP who performed your ablation?

  • Mark Earley at Barts after seeing Professor Schilling.

  • Great post! So good to hear that you are so well 15 months down the line. Long may it continue.


  • Thanks for this. It's so good to hear news like yours.

  • Fab news. Sounds like there is hope for me then. X

  • Marvellous!

  • Great to hear your good news!

  • Thats great news, af really does make you look at your life. An outcome like yours sets the bar for us to aspire to.

  • Well done to you, what an inspiration!

  • Well, leaves me standing. Just happy at three months plus to be able to walk and play golf without having to worry about AF suddenly starting. Well done!

  • Brilliant elbows I don't think it's foolish of you to be doing what you love doing , your ep gave you the heads up so why not , I'm about 11 weeks post first pulmonary vein complex ablation I still get runs of normal then a few quick beats hoping this is not the dreaded af as I'm still on all the meds , I'm back jogging at the mo as cardiologist told me not to exert myself too much , I would love and hope to get back to how I was I never competed like you but enjoyed running , your post is very inspiring all the best mate cheers Paul

  • Great post, great to hear :-) :-) :-)

  • The gods are definitely on your side, any chance you could send a few in my direction, it must be wonderful to have your life back, and living life to the full again. Brian

  • What a wonderful story to read first thing this morning. I'm so pleased for you. You have a great determination to get back to the things you love doing. I must have at times been scary as you have the thoughts of can I can't I, will it or won't it?.

    I am about 10 weeks post pva and feeling so much better. Back to exercise classes and lots of walking but holding off going on my bike. Maybe this weekend. Don't you overdo it though but life does have to be lived and not wait around.........


  • Hi elbows, l am 2 weeks post 1st ablation and your story is very reassuring and I am pleased for you that everything is going so well. Just shows that we can sometimes kick this AF into touch. Keep well and respectfully say 'on your bike'.


  • thank your for your post. It's encouraging to know there is life after this scare!!

  • May I ask how long after your procedure did it take for you to get back on your bike and after that, how long before you started putting stress on your heart? I'm three weeks post ablation and am itching to get back to my exercise routine and although my cardiologist told me I could start exercise, I'm a little wary of pushing it too much.

  • The advice on this forum and my advice is to give your heart 3 months to recover after an ablation and if you google Dr John a keen cyclist and expert on AF you will find he says the same.

    After my ablation 15 months ago I completely rested up the first month, second month I did some walking and into the 3rd month I started riding my cross bike but watched my heart rate and didn't really go much out of level 1 training zone. After my 3 month Review my EP said I could compete again. I then started by doing some roller sessions and did my first x race 2 weeks later. In my racing and training to begin with last year I was at most on level 3/4 and did not push it to my max. I saw my form improve slowly. I didn't start pushing it a bit further till this year and some 7-8 months afte my ablation. It is of course all relative to where you are coming from and where you want to go.

  • Great info...thank you

  • It's great to hear success stories! It can give hope to those who are at the start of their af journey or still going through it. I had the same procedure as you and they ablated 3 ppulmonary veins it was a few rough months recovering and I also lost my job during that time but since then I've been getting better and better, in my last post in I was 6 days post proceedure and said how much I was looking forward to the future, that I wanted to get back into running.... And I have, I did my first 5k 30mins Big Fun Run last month in 30mins, which for me is an amazing achievement concidering I could not even get up the stairs and had no quality of life as my af before was so debilitating!

    Now life's all about getting out there and living and enjoying life, having the energy to now run around with the kids, take them to all their clubs, shopping, house work, running all this was impossible before... I still take blood thinners and on sotalol... But that's just fine with me and accept that.

    Sounds like your doing what you love and why not, don't let anything hold you back and if problems do creep in at a later time then deal with it then don't let it stop you living in the moment.

    Kindest Regards. 😊

  • Hi Elbows. What a wonderful post! I have read your other posts so am up to speed with what you have been through the last 2 years. Can I please ask how old you are and whether now, after 15months since your ablation, you are on any drugs? I have recently been diagnosed with PAF back in August and denied drugs and continued to exercise however things have gone quite a lot worse quickly. I have just started taking Flecainide (a week ago 2 x 50mg per day) after being in AF for 4 days constant, I have also just had an MRI and am waiting to see an EP to discuss possible ablation. I started running and cycling a couple of years ago and intensified my training this time last year to run London Marathon last April. I did have a charity place for next year but on the advice of my cardiologist, have given it up. I was gutted about that but think I need to get myself stabilised first, somehow, before I start training again. Reading your posts however gives me much encouragement and positivity. You are clearly a very positive person!! Well done and I hope things get better and better for you. yan

  • Hi Yan, too old... Been a veteran racer for a long time now. Give you a clue I won the over 50 national mountain bike champs in 2003? I'm vain and I know it. Still trying to roll back the years with another comeback.! Came off Amiodarone shortly after the ablation and warfarin 3 months later as I'm zero Chad Vasc and I have a habit of crashing... Good luck with your journey and stay positive although I know at times that's easier said then done.

  • Hi Elbows. Well, either that photo of you is very old, or you look great for your age!! So you're off all drugs. Amazing. Such a great story you have. I do hope your positivity rubs off on me and others. Long may your health continue and here's to you not crashing!! Best wishes, yan

You may also like...