2 months post ablation, strange heart rhythm - AF Association

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2 months post ablation, strange heart rhythm


It will be two months tomorrow since my ablation and apart form the odd skipped or double beat within the first week or two my heart has felt tip-top and regular.

This morning though, just after breakfast, I felt a strange but familiar feeling in my chest so checked my pulse to see what was going on. My heart beat wasn't irregular but instead I was getting three regular beats then a missed beat (/\_/\_/\___/\_/\_/\___/\_/\_/\___) and this went on for about five minutes.

It did settle down and return to normal for an hour or so, but I'm now getting missed beats on a fairly regular basis as in, five beats - pause - three beats - pause - eight beats - pause - it feels like the AF is trying to break through again!

After my ablation I was told that AF can come back during the first six months and that it could just be due to the heart healing and will more than likely pass. I mentally told myself that if it did come back during this time then I wouldn't stress or worry about it, but now it's here I feel stressed and a bit low :(

I might well message my EP and see what he says.

17 Replies

It's still very early days for you. We're all different and we're all very heart aware but my own experience is not unlike what you describe regarding skipped beats. I had read about eptopics and had not been able to recognise them until recently.

I had an ablation Aug 2014. I did not feel my heart at all for the first 6 weeks. Over the course of the next year I had about 8 episodes of mild AF, controlled by 100 flecainide. I have had nothing since Oct 2015 except a run of skipped beats (as you describe) around Christmas. Nothing since then.

We must all recognise that there is a likelihood of AF returning at some stage but I suspect that you are doing well at this stage. Try to stay stress-free and concentrate on regaining your stamina through the summer.

Best wishes.

joebob in reply to jennydog

Thanks. I know that it's more than likely just a minor blip, as PeterWh put it. I guess I'm just a bit fed up because I have felt great for the past two months :(

Kodaska in reply to joebob

I don't want to be too flip here, but ... you're still alive, aren't you? That's the first piece of data you should be aware of. After that, you might want to record other information such as frequency, time of day, duration, what you just ate, etc. Also note how you feel, e.g., angry, disappointed, discouraged - and how long the feeling lasts. The more on-paper info you have, the more you'll be able to see that your feelings are ephemeral. You might even note that your previous good experience has spoiled you for the tougher moments.

This has been my experience and it works - when it works. When it doesn't I'm just a spoiled baby crying about a wet diaper.

Best of luck!

PeterWh in reply to Kodaska

Most people in the uk don't know what a diaper is unless fans of American soaps.

It is a nappy!!!!

It is still early days. However if you don't have an AliveCor to capture a reading then I suggest you pop to your doctor's surgery where then can do an ECG. I am assuming yours does have a machine. That way you can capture it and also it may give some detection descriptions. If you do have an AliveCor suggest you set the recording time for two minutes or over.

Pardon the pun but it may just be a blip!!!!🙂🙂

joebob in reply to PeterWh

I do have an AliveCor but it has never really worked very well for me (struggled to pick up and maintain my rhythm) - however I gave the contact points a bit of a scrub with a washing up scourer sponge this morning and now it works great. I took a 1 minute read and emailed it to my EP to see what he thinks.

PeterWh in reply to joebob

Spurred you on to do a job then!!!! If it captured it great. The only reason I said 2 mins is because any initial settling down, etc only reflect a smaller contribution to the reading overall.

joebob in reply to PeterWh

I had already sent it prior to your post and it was set to 1 minute. I have altered it to 2 minutes now though and took another reading - I will email to him if he needs it.

I am 5 weeks post ablation and my AF has returned. It is so demoralising. One is told to sometimes expect it but when it happens it is disappointing. Here's hoping your odd beats are just that and they will settle down. Let us know what your EP advises.

I have had similar which I believe are ectopics, also Alivecor recording showing a group of 'strong beats' followed by a couple of 'weak' ones, ie low R wave.

I'm having my 3 month check soon so I'm taking a printout of that one. I'll be interested to hear what your comment is.

I'm still getting odd beats 7 months post ablation, I go days or even weeks in NSR and then get a run of ectopic beats, like tonight I've had 3 or 4 skips every minute for the last half hour. It's not AF as I know it, but it's not totally normal.

Still, it's 99.5% better than pre ablation, never look back, onwards and upwards.

Bob said he still gets odd beats 7 years since his last AF.

So there's hope for us yet.

Chin up.

Hi Joe,

Sorry to this news, fingers crossed your EP gives you some good news. Keep us updated.

Best Wishes


Thanks everyone for your replies, sometimes you need people to give you a little encouragement.

My EP emailed me back last night saying it's perfectly normal and could well happen again. He looked at my AlivCor ECG and said he wasn't worried in the slightest. He also said not to bother taking flecainide as it's not AF but just skipped beats. He thinks it's more than likely caused from my gradual withdrawal of bisoprolol.

Barry24 in reply to joebob

Hi Joe,

That is great news. Keep well.

Best Wishes


You probably had missed beats long before you had AF, and will have them for rest of a long life. They are very common and most people never notice them. But once you've had AF or MI your senses are tuned to any slight change in the heart.

Fifty percent of folks who have ablation for AF revert back to AF within one year, even though many doctors tell us that the ablation has an 85 to 90 % success rate. Within three years, over 60% revert back. I find that the prescribed drugs have so many severe side-effects and that the surgery has some serious downsides, so I will not be having any conventional treatment for my persistent AF. I simply monitor my heartrate when I workout and see that it doesn't get too high. I realize that I have an increased risk of stroke with AF, yet most of the treatments, particularly the ablation, do not lower this risk. I do a lot of cycling, particularly mountain biking on remote trails and mountain sides, so I do not wish to take blood-thinning drugs because if I crash and injure myself, I might bleed to death before getting to hospital. I found that tumeric/curcumin supplement helps reduce my heartrate when I exercise and I am also looking into the Chinese herb wenxin keli, which is used in China to treat AF.

MikeyF in reply to cyclist1

Too much of a generalisation. Depends who did the procedure. Go to an EP who has done 1000s of AF ablations with the best success rate and least complications. Natale and his protégés for those in the US and Bordeaux and Milan for those outside the US.

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