Ablation day at LH&C hospital

I am due at LH&C tomorrow for my 1st ablation. I am so surprised at the level of anxiety. I am feeling scared and I am struggling to be positive about the outcome. I have had many operations in my 69 years and never felt this anxious before. I am even considering cancelling....but then if I do I still have this condition. I know I have to have it done but for a while I have not been able to see past tomorrow. My thoughts are running away with me......All the what if that, what if this......sorry about allowing my weakness to surface....but struggling right now. Roy

22 Replies

  • Your feelings are perfectly natural. I have my first angiogram tomorrow and am nervous. The scale is obviously different, but I think of the outcome if I dont do it and that is unacceptable to me.

    Good luck and I hope you find the foirtitude to make the right decision for you.


  • You aren't on your own! It is a very scary prospect. Take something funny to read while you wait or something to occupy your mind. Do tell the staff you are apprehensive because they will be supportive. I have to say that immediately before my second ablation I wrote a sloppy letter to my other half but I found, when I was walking in to the Cath Lab (almost certain that they would be the last steps I would ever take) the panic subsided somewhat. There is an air of competence about the place. I was very impressed by the technology and the professionalism and felt in safe hands.

    See if you can find a bit of fortitude and courage. Do hold on to the fact that it's not a 50/50 sort of procedure. It's a nettle that can be well worth grasping with a very high chance of significant improvement. I think most of the few for whom it didn't go well have no regrets about going for it even if it did not do all they hoped.

  • Roy.

    It is natural that you have apprehensions and have things whizzing through your mind. This is something new to you but many on here have been through this and also had their first ablation and then said it is a doddle!!! I know that you will have read those posts and that others will conform this later on in the day.

    I can assure you from personal experience that after having my ablation and then, as expected, going back into AF, I had NO hesitation in going back onto the waiting list for a second ablation.

    Good luck and don't bottle out!!! You would regret it later, I'm sure.

    Don't forget your sports water bottle (one you can drink from whilst lying on your back) and lip salve.

  • I remember that feeling very well, worked myself up into such a state on the day, staff were fantastic and was given something to calm me down, had my fourth last year and went down with no concerns at all, what you are feeling is plum normal when facing the unknown,but as others have said you will be fine.

    Keep us posted


  • Hi Wendi - did your 4th ablation work?


  • Hi Jean,

    Not quite, have had an AV node ablation and pacemaker since and apart from a few hiccups I am feeling great!


  • That's interesting and heartening. Glad to hear you are feeling so well.


  • The first thing to understand is that it is not an operation in the normal sense. From the patient's perspective it is a very simple procedure. Less so for the EP of course. Most of the risks you will have been told about are every small and in this litigious society for the protection of the medics rather than anything real. There are risks in anything we do but because this is our heart and unless we are timelords we only have one , we tend to worry more. There are risk in not going forward and for sure if you do not take this opportunity you will never know how good life could be.

    Just look at how many post ablation members here have stated that they wished they had not waited so long.


  • When i went for mine i was shaking so much that they had to sedate me just to give the local anaesthetic in my groin as my legs couldnt keep still so no, you are not alone but it will soon be behind you and you will be on the ward recovering. X

  • It is completely normal and natural for you to be anxious! I had my first ablation last year and was wracked with terrible fear and anxiety. All I can say is that I looked at the alternative over the long term if I didn't go through with it - worsening condition, more AF episodes. No thank you! So I went through with it and have no regrets. I talked to the consultant just before the procedure and told him how terrified I was, and he was able to reassure me. Be strong and positive - don't give in to negativity. It is hard and not pleasant, but the payoff is worth it. Think of a better future. I hope all goes well for you whatever you decide. Keep in touch with the posting too!

  • Roy, you have written exactly how I felt prior to mine! Believe me, if I could have run out of that hospital I would have done! But it's now just over 4 weeks since I had mine done at LHCH and I am so pleased I went through with it. It will be over before you know it and the nurses and doctors are fantastic, I can't say enough good things about them. Like deodottie I was so nervous they gave me some sedation before the local anaesthetic in the groin. They asked me how apprehensive I was before I went down to the Cath Lab and I said very! So, let them know and don't try to be too brave! It will so be worth it, good luck and let us know how it goes.Jean.

  • I was amazed at my fear level because I had elected to have a spinal op a few years ago which could have had dire consequences and felt no fear! When I told the nurse she had obviously heard it before and nodded and simply said 'It's the heart'.

    All I can say is 'feel the fear and do it anyway'. It is hard because you have a choice, you won't die if you don't have it, but you have to trust the advice that you will probably be sorry later if you don't.

    Good wishes!

  • This sounds so familiar! I was shaking to bits when I walked to the Lab. The team were brilliant, had bit of a laugh with them, they are used to putting anxious patients at ease. Then all of a sudden it's over and you feel hungry! It has to be done, you know that.

  • Well as the chaser says "it is just another day at the office" for them.

  • Best of luck, remember, courage is doing something, despite being afraid of it. And please let us know how it went, for all of us still to go though this.

  • It isn't weak to be anxious Roy, it is only natural. I don't doubt you know all will be well but it's the fear which binds us and keeps us in a state of nervousness. It's all part of our basic fight and flight mechanism. Indeed without these doubts in general we would walk into all sorts of trouble.

    So please go with the anxiety, try not to over visualise the process and trust in your medics. All will be well and your future health improved. You know what they say, " feel the fear but do it anyway".

    Best wishes, you can do brave I don't doubt.

  • I think you would be an idiot if you were not fearful. I did strongly consider doing a runner from the waiting area on the morning of the procedure. That was Nov 2013 and I have been AF free since. It changed my life. Try to hang in there and the very best of luck.🍀

  • Thank you to everyone for taking the trouble to respond to my post...it as been so helpful and reassuring reading the very positive comments everyone was kind enough to send...it has helped me a great deal......so a big thank you to everyone it is so appreciated. THANK YOU!! I am now switching my computer off and I will let you know how I went on when I get back home...hopefully sometime on Wednesday. Thanks once again to everyone. Roy

  • I can understand. I was terrified when I had an angiogram, I read so much and decided that it would be bad news. It is hard to be positive, (or it was for me), I'm sure the hospital staff will understand and are used to helping people get through, try to take it one step at a time. Go to the hospital, you don't commit to having it by going, then tell the nurse or doctor your fears and see what they have to say. In the end if you still don't feel you can go though with it, you can still come home. It sounds silly, but that helped me, just knowing I could back out!

  • Understand how you feel. Had my ablation done there, hallowe'en last year.......very apt! They are all so good at what they do, and so calming. You are in the safest of hands, and it will definitely be worth it.

  • Hi Roy, I was exactly the same as you and nearly cancelled after 8 years of putting it off. But I didn't, I went through with it, under a GA, and have come through the other side feeling great.

    It will be 6 weeks this Friday since I had it done and I wrote a daily blog for the first 7 days. See if you can find it.

    Mine was done at Leeds General and I can honestly say it was a very positive experience and I feel great. No AF and just a very occasional ectopic beat.

    I think that the things that can go wrong seem to be foremost in your mind and it's hard to see beyond them.

    I look forward to reading on here that you are fine and glad that you had it done.

    All the best. Denise.

  • Hi Roy

    All I can say is I felt a similar feeling as my ablation date approached.

    Had it on April 8th and all I can tell you is, I am so pleased I went through with it!

    I. I feel very brave and proud of myself

    2. Within 6 weeks and almost off all my medication and so far so good!

    Groin area no problem . Take it all very very slowly and expect to feel very tired, but being AF free is amazing an liberating and made me realise how rubbish I had been feeling dragging my poor old body around with my pump not working properly!

    3. Go in on the day and be as positive and "up for it" as possible. The heart teams are so lovely and put you at ease, and best of luck.

    4. Look forward to hearing about your progress afterwards..

    5. If I can be of any help having just having a cybro ablation done, will be happy to chat.

    Best wishes


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