PVI and PAF Ablation

It's been nearly 3 weeks since I had the procedure and although the doctor said it was a great success and I should come off the Flecainide after about one month I don't feel ready for it.

I felt overwhelmingly tired in the first two weeks but today I decided to go to the pool and get some exercise (I would swim one length and walk 2 lengths). My heart protested at first but after 15 minutes and rests in between each length it settled down. I'll maybe go every 3rd day from now on until I see the consultant in May.

What is bothering me more than anything though is being breathless. I was never like this prior to the procedure so why am I like it now? Any ideas?

14 Replies

  • It takes at least THREE MONTHS for the heart to heal so don't be in too much of a hurry. Give yourself time and all will be well I am sure.

  • Thanks Bob - maybe swimming/walking in the pool today was a bit ambitious but because I sit at a desk all day I feel the need to break out sometimes and stretch my legs. I'll bear in mind - 3 months!

  • You can always do gentle walking.

  • You don't say whether or not you had a general anaesthetic. If you did then you can expect to feel its effects for up to 6 months.

    It's very early days yet but it sounds to me that you are doing very well.

    It took me several weeks to wean myself off flecainide. I now use 100 as a pip. I was too scared to stop using it abruptly. I reasoned that slowly was best to give my body time to adjust

    Best wishes.

  • I didn't have anaesthetic but sedation and insertion via the groin. I'm tired one day ok the next but today I felt well enough to swim. I won't be coming off the flecainide until I've seen the consultant but the breathlessness is too much for me sometimes. I can be sitting at my desk at work and it'll start for no reason

  • I don't understand where this information is coming from. I think people need to be cautious about stating things that are not necessarily correct generalizations.

    I know of one friend who was back doing heavy exercise after two weeks.

  • I would suggest that your comment is somewhat cavalier!

  • Did they have AF or flutter?

    The information above is what people have been told from their medics and in various sites. We were told do nothing for two weeks and then gradually doing things and nothing strenuous. If you had a major bun on your arms and hands you wouldn't be doing things so quickly. The heart is even more sensitive and critical.

    Drawing an analogy just because one person got away with darting across 3 lanes of heavy traffic does not mean that everyone will.!!!

  • What does the Doctor say about the breathlessness. Do they know how much it is bothering you? I am in permanent afib and somewhat envious of all the Brits getting ablations but I Am swimming 50'laps pretty easily so stay with the water and the pool ..... It is a great form of movement for body and soul. Good luck and best wishes for your healing ..... I would however talk to the Doc about the breathlessness

  • I came off Flecainide on the day of ablation and never looked back. Flecainide is a powerful drug and has side effects. If your EP says to come off it, you should go for it.

  • I thought the same thing as I started to read Jan-Wtrs's post. My consultant stopped all medication bar the Warfarin prior to the ablation. The logic being that they are attacking all problem areas and do so until they believe they have fixed you. In theory the other drugs should be unnecessary and logic suggests that if somebody without a heart problem takes the tablets, it will cause problems.

  • And other EPs will put people on Amioderone for 1 month before the ablation and then 3 to 4 months after to help the heart stay in sinus. Obviously there will be some differences from patient to patient under the same EP but significantly different EPs have different ideas.

  • Eight years of AF: Having experienced two catheter ablations, the first in which I overdid the exercise and dropped back into AF after two weeks; the second where I rested up and took things easy my body told me what to do. As you recover from the Ablation and things heal you will go through that process of being out of breath and wondering whether things will come right. For me they did but it was not a process to hurry. Gentle exercise; a quiet walk building daily but stopping when you felt the need was there. I am back to physical work now with the second ablation last September. I was away for a long walk yesterday with the family. No thought of breathlessness. What a relief. Get well. Dave.

  • Hello,

    I have had 3 ablations March August and December last year. It's taking me longer this time to recover. At 73 I suppose my body takes longer to recover. I can't seem to do much physical exercise. I find stairs and inclines make me breathless. I understand it takes around 3 months for the inflammation in the heart to settle and then a further 3 months to really recover. If I overdo things I get a lot of ectopics. I am trying to be relaxed about them and be patient. I tell myself that it would appear that the AF has been cured and that is the reason I had the ablations done. I think we must take things slowly and allow the heart Time to resume normal service. I still haven't allowed myself to believe that the AF won't come back but hopefully as time goes by confidence will grow.

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