After Av node ablation: Had an av node... - AF Association

AF Association

20,240 members24,772 posts

After Av node ablation


Had an av node ablation April 11 this year. After about the second week the palpitations began and have continued all day and night since. EP sent me back to cardio doctor who says they are nothing to worry about. Today cardio doc said to increase the bp med carvedilol to 25 mg from 12.5 at evening dose. Pacemaker is set at 70 BPM. Walking any distance makes me short of breath. Any suggestions on where to go from here?

Is this a normal progression after av node ablation? Do av node ablations have to be done more than once? Had hoped to be able to walk, talk, and breath at the same time.

12 Replies

Sorry to hear you are getting this trouble donnajak. I haven't gone down this route ( yet ! ) so unable to help you. There are a few on this forum who have done so hope you get some advice here. Will be interesting to hear the outcome.



My husband had pacemaker fitted Jan 2014 and did have some palpitations. My understanding is that pacemaker is set at a certain rate so that you cannot increase your heart rate so yes you will become breathless on exertion. After some months his pacemaker was adjusted so that it allowed his HR to increase on exercise and his tolerance improved so that may well improve after your first review.

Regarding the palpitations - do you know what the palpitations are? I have ventricular ectopics which can feel quite uncomfortable but are benign. It would be good to know if this is anything unusual or something you could ignore but perhaps it is something you could ask your doctor about? Maybe someone who has had Pace & Ablate AV bode may answer with their experience.

Best wishes CD

donnajak in reply to CDreamer

Turns out not palpitations but diaphragm contractions. Pm settings causing contractions of diaphragm. Changed settings and reduced contractions.

CDreamer in reply to donnajak

Well that was a lot simpler! Hope you feel better.

Hello Donnajak

My hubby had AF for about ten years. The first year he had 60 attacks and had to retire on ill health grounds. It put a real hold on all our lives during that time. He had to have it done twice due to lesions apparently, and they had to ablate the lesions again. Since then he has been fine but I have heard of people having it done 3 times. He had it done in Plymouth and I think there may be a lot of info on their website. He doesnt have a pacemaker but is still on warfarin and doesnt want to change to NOACs, which means he wouldnt get a regular IiNR check as he does now.

Also may be you could ask your GP/consultant for a 24 hour tape or even a weekly one to check out the palpitations. I would also be asking for a second opinion in view of what the cardiologist said. How dare he say there is nothing to worry about - afterall he doesnt have the illness does he?!

Hope you get sorted soon.


Hello Donnajak

I am sorry to read about your distress and completely understand as I had AV node ablation in Nov 2015. It was hell afterwards and I became really upset and lost, wondering where to go from here as I felt I had been left for the scrap heap. My pacemaker settings are set at 60 bpm up to 130 bpm. This should give room for exercise. I still have AF and it is as frequent as before but where it used to last 24+ hours it now has nsr in between. I hope you manage to sort yours through the cardiologist . Don't be fobbed off . you have been through enough and should expect to feel better. Hope to hear good news from you. Sending Best Wishes


seasider18 in reply to sunigirl

I have the pacemaker and due to have an AV Node ablation but have been wary of having it and have held off. I know that it does not cure AF (my GP seemed surprised when I told him that) but what was your difficult situation after it and are you in any better than before?

sunigirl in reply to seasider18

Hi Seasider18.

I needed hip replacement surgery and the surgeon would not do the op because of AF. I was in great pain and just made the decision to have AV node ablation. That was Nov 2015. The worst part was the heart settling down . Palpitations and strong ectopics. They eventually settled. I don't get the long bouts of AF like before. But still have them in small doses probably 1 day a week. I have had 2 pacemaker checks and been told it is working ok but I still get breathless on AF days when everything is an effort so something is amiss. I should have been transferred from EP at Wythenshawe to cardiologist at Wigan. I need appointment but am having great difficulty contacting secretarys about my notes leaving answer-phone messages and not getting replies. I hope I have answered your question and apologise for rambling on. Very Best Wishes


donnajak in reply to seasider18

I guess I don't know the difference between ectopics and palpitations. The hard beats that shake my abdomen and chest are almost continuous. I have counted them for 60 seconds and average about 15 beats per second. Cardiologist increased bp med carvedilol to 25mg at night thinking that might slow them down. Hasn't helped. I think its time to go back to ep since it would seem that this is an electrical problem. Thank u for you input

Thank you. Your answer does help.

Re hips, one surgeon said that he would not operate on anyone who has had an aortic valve replacement. Another said that he would but thought that it would not help my problem and in a year I would be back complaining that he had not sorted out my problem.

Actually my hip looks worse on X-Rays and scan than it actually is. I had Perthes Disease as a child and have at 81 well beaten the forecast then that I would be crippled with arthritis by the time I was 35!


Does anyone have any positive experience about having an av node ablation. Its hard reading about all the problems and would be nice to hear some success stories.

Seankevan in reply to TRIPLE7

Hi, I had been diagnosed with paroxysmal AF but with an unknown source. I underwent an exploratory electrophysiology procedure at St Thomas’s during which AV node re-entrant tachycardia was identified. The AVRN was ablated there and then and .... instant resolution! Stopped bisiprodol and haven’t looked back. That was in December 2016 and fingers crossed all has been fine since. I am told that 94-96% of AVNRT is resolved completely with this procedure so an surprised at the relatively pessimistic balance of accounts related here about this treatment. It may be that I was lucky .... but the stats seem to suggest many people are! Hope this is of some help?

You may also like...