10 Weeks Post Ablation - Bloating/Digestive... - AF Association

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10 Weeks Post Ablation - Bloating/Digestive Problems


Dear All,

Would appreciate your help and advice especially from members of the forum who have or are suffering from bloating/digestive problems post ablation.

I feel very uncomfortable at meal times and the feeling of a bloated stomach lasts for hours afterwards. In addition shortly after my meals, my heart starts kicking off with PACs/Ectopic Beats (same thing?) and also brings on AF.

Maybe this has something to do with the vagal nerve (which I know little about).

I was just wondering, will this condition resolve itself in due course? How did you deal with it? Is it advisable to see my GP and have a blood test? I'm thinking maybe gluten is an issue?

I am seeing my GP this week about arranging Kidney & Liver Function Tests in respect of having been on Apixaban for 3+ months now, maybe I should bring this matter up as well?

Kind Regards


29 Replies

Hi Barry

I'm not going to be of any help as fortunately for me I didn't suffer from anything like this post ablation - except to say I think it may take a bit longer to recover than you might be led to believe - it was a good 3/4 months before I started to freel like my old self again.

However, I think you definitely need to speak to your GP about the issues you are having - don't wait for a blood test - just go and talk to him or her. I know GP's aren't always the most knowledgable on AF issues but there may be tests that can be done as you say.

Hope you feel better soon.

Barry24 in reply to Perrylees

Hi Perrylees,

Many thanks for your reply and comments.



Barry - I've not had an ablation but am currently having similar symptoms with the addition of frequent bathroom dashes. I suspect an old food intolerance has worsened but it definitely affects my heart too - seeing my GP tomorrow. Eating makes it worse and ramps up my heart rate and ectopics.

I would certainly advise talking to your doctor who may wish to rule out food intolerances etc with a blood test. My EP told me not to assume any symptoms are AF or drug related but to get checked out.

Hope you get some relief.

Barry24 in reply to Finvola

Hi Finvola,

Thank you for replying and your advice. l will speak to my GP on Thursday and request a blood test. Yes l am the same with ectopics, powerful thumps in my chest, feel it in my throat.

Kind Regards


Hi I had an ablation last October and had the symptoms you describe .they were pretty bad .For me,this has to do with the phrenic nerve ( because it's so close to the oesophagus and the cryoblation had irritated it and also the stomach does not digest food as efficiently because of this ) I couldn't eat food felt very full and bloated and had terrible wind ! Sorry😀 I was already on lansoprazol but if you aren't it may help if the GP prescribes something like it ,it helps .my GP prescribed extra gaviscon and that helped too . I did a bit of research and followed a gastroperesis diet( see online) and that really helped alleviate symptoms . All in all it took about three mths , the GP offered me an endoscopy but thankfully the diet helped and I didn't need one as I am symptom free now ( also there are contraindications in having endoscopes soon after ablations I have read )

Interesting that my EP insisted I have an endoscopy exam a few days after ablation because of possible overheating.

Some of the leading EPs in the UK have for some time reduced the power they use for each "burn"

To reduce the risks of heat transfer outside of the heart and it provides other benefits. I think one paper / article said procedure does take slightly longer using reduced power.

That is interesting! Also interesting that you have read it can take 9 Mths for it to get better .I can relate to that!

Basia12 in reply to Basia12

Oops I meant vagal nerve!

Hi Basia12,

Thank you very much for replying. The information you have provided is much appreciated and gives me something to work on. Would it be ok for me to post any questions l have privately to you.

Kind Regards


Basia12 in reply to Barry24

Yes that would be fine x

Hi Barry,

Some 4 to 6 months after being diagnosed with paroxysmal AF I found food brought on an AF event. I consulted a Nutritionist who put me on a course of probiotics, also suggested I go wheat and gluten free.

Originally I discussed ablation with my cardiologist but rejected the procedure, even the thought of it. I didn't want anyone barbecuing my heart !

I later embraced the FODMAPS diet and have got a considerable list of foods in the no go zone.

My symptoms were massive, massive bloating, burping, intestinal gurgling and diahorrea, all at random and in no particular sequence. Nutritionist and I aimed at calming the vagal Nerve, on the basis that the calmer this was the better my gut would be and the less AF would occur.

It took a year or so to go through this process but I haven't had an AF event since April 2015!

The bloating was the worst and the pressure and pain in the chest was unreal!

Frankly, no good going to a GP, or a Cardiologist or an EP, go to either a Nutritionist or a Gastroenterologist for advice. The others wouldn't have a clue!

Good luck.


Hi John,

I cannot thank you enough for quality advice you have give me.

Kind Regards


Hello Barry24,

I ve not had ablation, so can't compare notes there.

But do suffer with bloating after certain types of food and also my AF often gets triggered after certain foods.

Have kept a "diary" and 2 of the main culprits are cake, even a small portion, and dark lettuce leaves.

Not sure if this is just a coincidence or someone could help explain why maybe this happens.

Many thanks 😊

Hi Lizie-Loo - It's strange you mention cake, because I've discovered this can bring on my AF. In fact as soon as I used to eat some I'd become aware of my heart bumping around. This is the first time I've heard anyone else say eating cake affects them. Oddly though, I can eat biscuits with no effect.


Hi Lizie,

Thank you for your reply, appreciate the point about keeping a diary.

Kind Regards



I am 6 weeks post ablation number 3, and I do suffer from bloating too. IF i eat too much, and if I eat too little - I get what feels like vagal thumps to my heart. Cake and too much bread does it too...so all the comments above verify the same trail of thought. I find drinking more water during the day helps and moving around a bit more. Its a bloomin nuisance I know!! I do have some tea called Tummy Rub that contains Chamomile, liquorice, fennel and peppermint that has been my saviour in all this!

Hi Ann,

Thank you for your response and thoughts on the matter.

Kind Regards


I did not have those symptoms after my ablation in June, but my EP started me on two antacid-type meds immediately following my procedure. It didn't make sense to me, but now I see why.

AM/PM--30 days: Pantoprazole sod dr 40 mg tab1--2x/day

AM/PM--30 days: Ranitidine 150 mg tab 1--2x/day

I hope your GP can help!

Barry24 in reply to Hallju

Hi Hallju,

Thank you for your comments.

Kind Regards


Probably rare, but I have similar symptoms over 1 yr. now after ablation. Not clear if caused by ablation, general anesthesia, or? It helps to use gastroparesis/low fiber diet and tips, take omeprazole, and my PT and massage therapist taught me stomach massage. Symptoms are about 50% better. Another poster reported took 9 months for improvement.

Dear Lorna,

Many thanks for your reply and the information you have kindly given.



I am about 10 weeks post ablation and i am having all the same sort of digestive problems,bloating feeling full etc just wondered if it eventually all went away and how long did it take,its quite unpleasant to live with at present

Hi Andy,

Hopefully your symptoms will go away shortly. Mine are still ongoing 12 months later.


andy1875 in reply to Barry24

Thanks for the reply barry sorry to hear you are still having problems after such a long time,that must be horrendous i am getting pretty distressed by it and its not 3 months yet,i dont know how i will cope if it went on that long,to be honest i think this is worse than having AF at least that used to come and go whereas this is constant

Hi Andy,

I'm sure it will go away soon, my problems are to do with the vagal nerve, the EP may have touch it, as in his report he states "dramatic vagal response" where l feinted during the procedure and he had to pace my heart to get it going again. Very rare to have the vagal nerve damaged during an Ablation. Pretty bad, l struggle every day.

As l said you should be ok, many people on the forum have similar problems to you and they last about 3 months, some EP's put their patients on PPI's after Ablation to protect their stomachs, others do not.



Do you have hx of diverticulitis? R u on Rx to slow heart rytjhm? I endef up in ER for same after ablation. Taking Sotalol

Barry24 in reply to hock217


My situation is to do with the vagus nerve. Nothing else.


Barry you should let doctor know all your symptoms. The Rx to slow your Heart is likely slowing digestion as well. I ended up in emergency with diverticulitis. Taking Metamucil first thing before eating may work wonders. Do consult with doctors available.

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