Pulmonary Embolism after ablation

Hi all

Not as bad as it sounds honestly  and I really don't want to panic anyone but I just wanted to flag this up  having recently seen my EP for my follow up appt 3 weeks after my ablation.

It's a bit of a long story but basically because of another  issue ( liquid around my lungs) after my ablation I had a CT scan where very small PEs were found in the outer reaches of my lungs.   I had been taking apixaban for 9 months before the procedure and also had a pre-ablation TOE which obviously was clear.   On discovering the PEs the hospital swapped me into a clot busting dose of rivaroxaban and I will now remain on this drug for 6 months at least. 

I only missed one dose of apixaban, as instructed, on the morning of the ablation but my EP is convinced that this could have been enough to cause a clot from my groin to travel into my lungs.  He freely admitted that experience with NOACS is limited and that perhaps in hindsight I shouldn't have missed a dose.  

I must stress that the PEs were by all accounts tiny, probably would never have caused me any issues and might never have been found unless I had had the scan.  My EP told me that because no scans are routinely done after ablation it is possible that this happens to many people but is undetected.   

Nonetheless I think it's worth mentioning  and perhaps raising with your EP if you are on a NOAC and considering ablation especially if you have any other health issues - I am a reasonably young (50) and otherwise  fit person with no history of any health issues so I was a little perturbed by all this! 


6 Replies

  • Many EPs now perform ablation without stopping anticoagulants so this very rare situation will happen even  less in the future.  As you say maybe  never discovered unless you had a scan. The whole ablation scene is still very new science when you think about it and knowledge is advancing all the time.

  • I have been told to stop Apixaban 2days before ablation this worries me

  • Don't worry - as I said this was probably a one off and probably wouldnt have caused me any issues  it hadn't been discovered.  I would mention it to your EP though especially if you have any other health issues. 


  • My ablation is scheduled for the 28th. My EP told me to keep taking the warfarin but to stop the Sotalol 4 days prior to the procedure. I hope I don't go into Afib during that time! Yikes! 

  • This is something where warfarin scores though - I gather it's normal for warfarin to carry on because if there is any bleed it's possible to do something about it!  

    I hope it all goes well - sure it will be fine .

  • Thank you Perry, always appreciated.

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