Alcohol post ablation: Hello everyone- First... - AF Association

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Alcohol post ablation


Hello everyone- First post. I'm a pretty fit 44 year old male. Healthy lifestyle, but drink 3 glasses wine/night and weekends vodka or tequila. Diagnosed with AFIB 6 mos ago. Started anti-coag and beta blockers, then a cardio version. Continued with wine and some vodka with no issues for 3 weeks. 1 night had several cocktails (along with too much food) then 2 days later went back to permanent AFIB.

EP then scheduled ablation. It's now been 3 weeks since ablation with no alcohol. EP says not a drop, however several people I know have had the ablation and continue to drink with no issues. Is my Dr. to conservative? Do other people here continue to enjoy their alcohol?

Any advice very much appreciated!

46 Replies

Do not drink

Or only occasionally and one drink. Like a beer with pizza occasionally.

Do you really think that you should ignore the advice of your Specialist Cardiac Electrophysiology Consultant who has been trained for years and has years of experience and take the advice of your friends or even members of this forum instead.

Alcohol is a known AF trigger.


Alcohol triggers my AF! I'm too afraid to have any now.

If u want an AFIB free life listen to the EP. Doesnt mean to say u won't ever drink again but just do it for now.

Ihave a couple of glasses of wine a night ,I have permanent AF/heart failure no triggers so far ,!


If you've always enjoyed a few drinks it must seem like a pretty bleak future to think that at 44 you won't be able to drink again.😕 However for the time being at least do heed the advice youve been given.

A little bit further down the line you may be able to drink moderately without it affecting you but tread very carefully. Certainly alcohol, usually in excess , is a trigger. I rarely drink alcohol at all but that is because it sends me to sleep now instead of giving me a buzz!

At the end of the day it is your choice but hold steady for the meantime. You may be aware that heavy meals are also a trigger. particularly late at night.



My wife and I went tee-total about 5 years ago. Definitely better drinking zero alcohol. It's not just the immediate trigger effect, it's just as much or more the longer term benefits. Can't describe it except to say I feel calmer and cleaner.

......and we've both very slowly lost weight.

I like wine with meals, so I drink alcohol free wine which can be quite good if you get the right one. At first it can taste like fruit juice, but your taste buds adjust eventually.


Mo-ararat in reply to Hidden

Hi Koll. Can you please recommend an alcohol free wine. Thanks

Hidden in reply to Mo-ararat

Well Sainsbury's was good for the price (£2.50) but they've just changed it and it's truly dreadful. Taste's like neat Ribena on the first day, and then goes off next day!

Marks & Spencer did Torres, white and red (probably available elsewhere), and that was really good, but round by us they don't sell it any more.

So I now buy online at from alcohol-free shop, I just bought a load of all sorts of reds and they are all good. I've only bought the cheaper ones (£4.50'ish), but very pleased with them.

Good luck testing.


Mo-ararat in reply to Mo-ararat

Thank you

Stinky1953 in reply to Hidden

Koll I've been off all alcohol since the beginning of last Nov and I'm really disappointed I haven't noticed any benefits.

Hidden in reply to Stinky1953

Lucky you 😀

Some people have triggers some don't. Your EP must think alcohol is one for you. It could also have been the heavy meal or a combination. You can take his advice or experiment. Depends how much you trust him and how lucky you feel!

azriverrat in reply to Barb1

If EP thinks OP binge drinks or drinks exessively then most likely would presume possible trigger.

Havent touched a drop for over a year, advised its doesnt mix well with alcohol

You are young to be anti coagulated. Your CHA2DS2-VASc score will have deemed it necessary . So you must have more than just the AF to warrant the anti coagulation. Your EP is right to tell you not to drink but you need to be clear what the other factors are Eating heavy meals and drinking both of them known triggers for AF but also may be exacerbating the other factors that require you to be anti coagulated.

I can drink one to two glasses of wine (small measures) max. I accept it as I don't want to encourage the AF. A very small price to pay for the relief.

Did your EP say don't drink - ever again? Or was there a time scale?

The idea of never drinking again scares the bejebus out of me, but I could happily abstain for 3-6 months if it would help in the long run.

I drink for the effect, not the taste, so when my intake is limited I prefer water or a soft drink rather than one or two glasses of wine.

Haven't had a drink since last August although I keep thinking that I fancy one so buy bottles of Prosecco and Chateau Neuf du Pap without ever opening them!


Drinking alcochol is a major trigger and extremely toxic for the body

Maybe nows a good time to stop

Although you do seem to drink quite a lot

Inthink that maybe you need to discuss with your doctor in the guidance of how to stop your alcohol

If u have been drinking that amount for years and years U may experince some problems when stopping

So better get help from Gp abd explain why you are stopping or thinking about

Please remember alcohol is very toxic for the body and can cause systemic problems in long term high use

Find an alternative maybe This is a blessing for u in disguise

I wish you well 🌺

I enjoy wine and thought I'd have to stop after my ablation last October. But have found a glass or two doesn't seem to bother me. Talk it over with your GP and see what they have to say. Everyone is different and has different triggers. Good luck!


I had ablation 14months ago and have weened myself off alcohol as before I had ablation, wine, in particular, would kick off my AF. (I have never been a big drinker as probably alcohol has never really agreed with my system and can be the same for lots of people I reckon, but "social life " certainly includes lots of drinking as part of any activity in seems...!)It's a hard one, but personally I really don't want to live with AF as a constant companion and actually, there are worse things to have to give up , and after a while , one gets over it! Good luck and hope the ablation works well for you.

Hey, your body could become even more of a temple!

With good wishes


Whatever triggers your AF avoid ...listen to your body..AF appears in many forms.. there is no one size fits all answer to any condition..stay well

Entirely your choice. Afib or not your current consumption greatly exceeds what is considered "safe". Over the years I've given up fags, booze, chocolate and caffeine. Each seemed impossible to quit but my quality of life improved with each one I stopped. For me (fast approaching 60), I'm happy with these choices and none restricts me in any way.

Remember that after an ablation it takes up to 6 or even 9 months for the heart to fully heal. Ablation works because of how the heart heals in that time, not because of what they did on the day, so consider yourself to be 'undergoing serious medical treatment' for at least that much time, if not a year.

Mess it up and you could be facing many more years of unpleasant meds/symptoms/ablations etc. Be absolutely firm with yourself now - and all could be well for many years!

MarkySmith in reply to Polski

Where does the "it takes the heart 6-9 months to fully heal" come from? My EP told me 3 months for catheter cardiac ablation. But it is also true that recovery depends on the type. Suggest individuals ask the EP.

lallym in reply to MarkySmith

It took 5 months post AF ablation for my various arrhythmias and bumps to stop so the 6 to 9 months is a reasonable timescale. That was Nov 2013 and am AF free since then.

MarkySmith in reply to lallym

As I said, depends on the procedure and the individual

Yes my EP quotes 3 months and Bob often says 6 months

Rellim296 in reply to Polski

I feel MarkySmith and others have given you very sound guidance jmorod and it would be prudent to stick to your EPs advice at the very least until you next see him. You could perhaps discuss it further then and seek an opinion about how much, in his view, would be too much and what would be the perils of ignoring his expert knowledge.

How much are you prepared to give up in order to control AF? On the other hand, how much are you going to let AF rule your life?

Shame to waste a £15000 procedure for the sake of a few drinks, don't you think? Especially as looking at your previous consumption (and I believe doctors always assume you drink more than you say!) you might find it hard to stop at one......

Bagrat in reply to Buffafly

I was going to say the same. The NHS is so strapped for cash it seems an awful thing to wreck an ablation for something you can ( probably) learn to live without.

It can be difficult to determine the triggers for AF. A beer, just one, was definitely one for me. Not the only one, true. 12 months on from procedure and AF free, for now, I still keep away from alcohol. You can live without it. Never a wine drinker I used to enjoy a beer or two, rarely anymore than two. Don't miss it. A member of this forum did suggest that Guinness was a drink that 'suited their AF' as it were. Perhaps if progress continues ok I may try a half.

AF is no joke stop drinking it's a very common trigger. On the plus side I think you are drinking too much according to government quidelines so it could be a blessing in disguise . Good luck .regards mary

Do what the DOCTOR tells you i wish u had that choice !

Well I will no doubt bring the wrath of many with my following comments but it's my opinion/experience. Like the several people you know I have had (VATS) ablation last October, it has been 100% successful, from day one I have not skipped a beat and I had been in permanent AF for a few years previously. I have drunk since and slowly built up my amount, common sense says if you start having any issues then stop. Yes it's easy to give a blanket 'no alcohol' but if you enjoy a drink then try one, after a while, it has been proven drinkers do tend to live longer than tee totallers, why? Unless it's the effect of lower stress levels then who knows? I only drink at the weekends and never at home, not for medical reasons but I drink socially in others company so I probably have 5-6 days between drinking. I'm 61 so not a child and feel that if you listen to your body you can live happier. Red wine was a trigger and I have had very little since my op, so again take care but enjoy life. For those that feel annoyed by my comments remember stress is by far the greatest trigger, as the cliche goes, 'keep calm and carry on'.

pottypete1 in reply to johnk1956

Dear John

Whilst I respect your opinion I still believe it is the best option to do what your EP tells you.

The cost of an ablation is not inconsiderable and I personally believe that recipients of this type of help with their AF should take notice of what is suggested by the clinician.

Giving up alcohol is not easy, until last year I had have enjoyed an alcohol drink since I was 15, yes 15, and I too am not a child, I am 70.

Stress I agree can be a killer.

No wrath


Jonty_13 in reply to johnk1956

John, what is the VATS ablation please?

As others have said, follow your Dr's advice! I have now had three ablations for AF and flutters, giving up caffeine was much tougher than alcohol! I am able now to have a few glasses of wine on weekend, but only because my EP approved it. Good luck!

Before I got adequate treatment in the form of prescription meds and then a flutter ablation I found that the combination of alcohol and caffeine was a reliable AF trigger. I drink pretty rarely so I can't provide a testimony there.

It's been 6 months since my ablation and I've had no more AF. I enjoy beer and started gradually drinking again after a couple of months. It does not seem to be a trigger for me. Red wine was a trigger before and I've stayed away from it, I prefer beer anyway. Take it gradually, whatever you choose.

I don't think any EP would ban you from drinking reasonable amounts of alcohol unless it is a known trigger for AF for the person , but only once your heart is healed after what is a major procedure (aka a major operation but for some reason they don't call it that !!)

Use to enjoy a drink ,after two A/E visits have not touched alcohol for a year now definitely a No No for me.

Even a mouthful of wine will start up an AFib episode. Not worth it.

I'm surprised there have been no replies which mention the data sheet for Bisoperol, a common beta blocker for Afib, says avoid alcohol. Is it common for legitimate warning to be so regularly ignored.

I went alcohol free after my ablation as even 0.5% alcohol cider resulted in AF. This was several years ago . It is possible to live without it !Loads of beers and lagers are available at 0% .

If you don't want episodes the only thing to do is avoid your known triggers.

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