Help - 6 weeks PAF post ablationn irregular heart beat. What to do?

After first ten days had one or two short episodes and one 3.5 hour one. Seemed to improve. Then a week ago began to have short bursts up ton150-160'lasting 1-5 minutes. Now very frequent and have problem that even walking upstairs in my house causes episodes. Cannot go walking or do anything. Much worse than I was before ablation. This morning have developed very irregular heart beat - keeps going in and out of short bursts of normal rhythm with Heart rate 60 - 80 and won't go away. Feels like my heart is in my throat. I'm scared. This is something new never had this before the ablation. Advice on what to do?

Do I presume that ablation has failed or will I get any better or worse. OP appt not until 15 October.

7 Replies

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  • It is still far too early to say it has failed. Why oh why is it not explained more forcibly that it takes AT LEAST three months for the heart to settle down. If you are worried then please speak to the arrhythmia nurse where you had the procedure or ring your EP's secretary and explain. What may help the team is to go to your GP and get a ECG done , ask for a copy and show it when you next see one of the EP team, or better still e mail it to your EP. Many of us have done that with benefit.

    Above all don't worry. What is the worst than can happen? Anther ablation? Many of us had several before we were sorted out. Try to relax. Do your deep and slow breathing exercises (count slowly , deep breath from you diaphragm and keep to no more than six breaths a minute for five minutes. ) You will be amazed by how much this helps.

    Bob

  • Thank you for the reassurance - again! No arrhythmia nurse to contact at hospital where ablation done. I guess I just didn't expect to be much worse before I improved or to not be able to do any exercise.

  • Oh please do not presume that. The blanking period of heart healing is a full 3-6 months and some say a full year. Your heart is reacting to being burned or frozen and it is like an angry toddler acting up! You can't picture what is going on inside but just presume that a whole lot of tissue needs to be healed and once that happens your heart will settle down. I don't understand for the life of me why there is not better education from the medical staff on this particular topic. It seems to be the same on both sides of the pond that this is the forgotten bit of most important info to discuss with us to keep us from freaking out. Speak with your EP and ask if he/she wants to tweak your meds at all or see a rhythm strip but don't panic! All will be well in the end....if it is not yet well it is not yet the end! :-)

  • Many thanks for your reassuring reply. I don't understand either the lack of proper information on what to expect afterwards and post ablation care and reassurance. It is a very expensive procedure and information is an important element of success or failure. Is it the arrogance of the medical profession or a simple inability to understand the patient perspective?

  • I wish I knew the answer to that, Lyn. I think people get more information when they get wisdom teeth extracted than for a procedure of this magnitude. As a nurse practitioner teaching my patients was always one of my absolute top priorities. Just not sure why this seems to be specifically neglected. :-(

  • Hi Lyn,

    Sorry to hear what you are going through. I am in a similar situation to you. Ablation also 6 weeks ago. I have had some great support from a couple of forum members. I won't embarrass them by giving their names, but they know who l mean. Feel free to private post me.

    Kind Regards

    Barry

  • Agree with all the above. I am lucky to have contact details for the EP's secretary, arrhythmia nurse (a Sister) and the cardiology day unit. Advice given was to get an ECG if AF persists for more than 4 hours post ablation and to fax it in. The EP can then see if there is anything untoward happening.

    I hope this becomes at least the minimum standard across the UK - no doubt AF teams in many areas may still be in their infancy or subject to financial and other constraints. I certainly noticed the difference in how the team operates between ablations.

    Presumably you will get a follow up appointment within about 3 months or so with the EP - a good time to raise your concerns and hopefully you will come away with more information.

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