My specialist consultant has said that he is putting me forward for a cyroablation. As I am having AF episodes virtually every day which are lasting upwards of 7 hours I am really pleased that something is now being done. The medication hasn't worked and I have tried numerous tablets most of which have given me some awful side effects.

So my question to you really helpful people is: if you have had this procedure done what was your recovery like? I live on my own and think I will need to have someone stay with me for a few days. Your advice would be very much appreciated.

Thank you. Gloria

10 Replies

  • Hi Gloria.....i am inthe process of being refered too..and i was wondering the same as you.....i dont know wether i am brave enough to go thru with it tho...all the very best to you.

  • Hi thank you for your reply. I just feel that the AF has got so bad, it is really affecting my quality of life that I don't have a choice. Nothing else has made any difference and it is getting worse not better. I hope you get things sorted. Gloria

  • I was having episodes 4 or 5 time a week lasting 5/6 hours. I had ablation in November 2013. I did not live alone but i would say if you prepare well -have enough supplles indoors, freeze meals for 2 weeks you would be fine. Are shops nearby as second week you should be able to do light shopping but nothing heavy. I recovered very quickly and had to stop myself doing things / going out etc.. It is of course useful to have someone on standby in case you need them. Some people take longer to recover. I had quite a lot of AF and other arrhythmias after, gradually reducing and then gone! It took 5 months but since then bliss.

    Go for it and good luck 🍀

  • Thank you so much Lally. I think being prepared is really good advice. I would probably get my sister to stay with me overnight for the first two nights just to have someone there.


  • It's a relatively straightforward process and I am pleased that I had it done after having put it off or several years: my Op was carried out at the RSCH in Aug 2016. The Op itself only took a few hours but felt a lot less - the pain was controlled and I hardly felt a thing. Recovery was 4 hours which was fine and then home. The AF returned a few days later which is very common so on advice I starting taking my prescribed drugs again. I was back to normal within a week or some - some chest discomfort along the way but all to be expected. This time the drugs controlled the AF so that was really pleasing. Three months on and I have stopped taking all the AF drugs and I feel fine: no episodes of AF. Recently cycled 50 miles with no issues so very pleased. I do get the occasional erratic beating and palpitations but that's normal I have been told but no more breathlessness or hot sweats :) Pleased I eventually did it because I feel so much better. If it returns I will be back for what they call some "spot welding" . Good luck!

    PS I am 50 years old

  • Thanks for your rely Julian. It certainly sounds like the cyroablation is the way to go. It would be so great not to have hours and hours of AF every night.


  • Hi Ashburton, good news that you will be having a cryoablation. If you really want to know what it will be like, there is a video of the procedure on YouTube being undertaken at St George's Hospital. I had mine there last July and if you check my posts, you will find my account of what it was like for me. Some important things to remember:

    If you are being sedated rather than having a GA, don't be hesitate telling the EP if you feel any discomfort so that they can increase sedation levels. You will have to lie still for at least 4 hours after the procedure, so think of things you can do to pass the time with minimum effort.....I downloaded some programmes on my iPad, but don't forget your earplugs!! Generally, you stay overnight so that they can be sure your groin has healed and that your natural functions are all OK. No driving for at least a couple of days, although it may be longer if you have a GA. You need to be sure you can manage an emergency stop without straining the wound in the groin!

    Arrange transport home, no stairs, no lifting and if at all possible, do nothing for the first week and not much more for the second. This might be difficult, especially if you feel well, but you must remember that your heart has taken a bit of a pounding and it will need time to recover!

    You may have some AF for upto 3 to 6 months, but try not worry, this is not uncommon, but often they don't mention this on discharge.

    Provided you have filled the freezer etc, you should be OK on your own after a couple of days, but whatever you do, do not fall into the trap of doing stuff just because you feel OK, even if it means a lowering of standards at home!!!

    Hope this helps, please let us know how you get on.....all the best, John

  • Thank you so much for that information it is really helpful. I shall certainly stock up the freezer! The consultant is putting me forward for an urgent operation so I am just waiting for the call. Will keep you posted.


  • All good advice above. Just make sure that you have somebody to collect you from hospital as you will not be allowed out alone usually and preferably not by public transport. (it is bad form for people just out of hospital to collapse in or bleed all over trains and buses. )

    Preparation is everything so make sure you have ready meals in the freezer for a week or so . No lifting (heavy things) for a month so click on line for groceries rather than lug heavy bags about. Do nothing for the first week and not a lot more the second and then ease gradually back to normal. Ignore the tumble weed blowing across your rooms and get somebody else to put out your refuse and re-cycling.

    Before you go in make sure that you prepare a bag of all your essentials such as lip slave tissues, phone and charger and a sports type drinking bottle with a teat or tube as you will have to lay flat for about four hours. Have this close to your bed so you can access it easily.

    Relax it will be fine


  • Thanks Bob, just can't wait to get it done and get a normal life back.

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