Phrenic nerve damage

I had my first ablation April 26th and it was an extensive ablation also. My shortness of breath and dry cough were my major complaint after the procedure. Could not get a definitive answer as to why I was so short of breath. My EP came to town and I was able to see him and found I was out of rhythm in just a few weeks following the ablation. A cardioversion was done and I seem to be back in rhythm and also given Multaq in addition to the Eliquis and Metoprolol. I had googled the shortness of breath after ablation and found the phrenic could be damaged. Have gone to pulmonary doctor and after some reading have only 50 percent in the right lung with an elevated diaphragm. Got started on medication for pneumonia and will have a SNIF test performed in July to confirm the phrenic nerve damage. I am so glad I found this group which has given me hope that my breathing should get better within 12 months ( hopefully,) please let me know what has helped in the recovery of the phrenic nerve for those affected. This is so disappointing in what I had hoped would be the result of my ablation. My EP has over 14 yrs and is a fine doctor..I know this is only a complication and do say my prayers for full recovery..Any words of encouragement are welcome. Thanks

8 Replies

  • Sorry to hear you have had this complication. I have not had an ablation but know many on this forum have so there should be plenty of experience people will have to share with you including phrenic nerve issues.

    It's a concerning and disappointing time for you but please keep positive as things will improve and life will become brighter again for you. Keep your chin up. Best wishes.

  • There have been several posts about this complication so hopefully someone will see your post and reply.

    I seem to remember that recovery was 6-12 months.

    So sorry this happened to you, as you say very disappointing.

  • My opinion is that with the elevated diaphragm it is a lung issue now and would need to be dealt with by a lung specialist, There are various things that can be done to reduce the elevation depending on the cause of the condition?

    I have multi-conditions so I do not think I am a good benchmark. I have had right side diaphragm paralyse for 5+ years and lung issues most of my life. The inability to swim now is my biggest loss to my routine.

    I hope you get back to normal soon.

    Be Well

  • Thanks. Seeing pulmonary doctor now.

  • whenever this has been mentioned in our patient support group talks the consultants have always said the phrenic nerve does recover! I hope you are feeling better

  • Thanks, this has not been pleasant. Really appreciate the positive message..

  • I am sorry to hear you are having to go through this. I have been dealing with this complication since September of last year when they did my heart ablation and injured my phrenic nerve. At that time I couldn't even make a bed without sitting down. I am thankful to say that my breathing is a lot better and they are going to check my diaphragm at the end of July regarding the paralysis. I don't think the issue is completely resolved as of yet but getting close. Don't give up hope and keep praying as I will pray for you also. It will get better, just try to have patience. Take care

  • Thanks so much for responding. Is there anything that can be done to improve? Any breathing exercises? This is so frustrating. I won't have my first SNIF test until the end of July..Tha so again. And you will also be in my prayers..

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