?symptoms is it post ablation or phrenic nerve damage

I am feeling awful today.I don't seem to be able to walk many steps,and if trying to go upstairs have to quickly sit on stair feeling very faint & dizzy.My only option is to permanently sit down.BP is also low.Have not yet taken my doze of Bisoprolol as know that will make it worse.When told my phrenic nerve had been damaged (July 14th)was not told how that might effect me?

17 Replies

  • Hi Fastbeat, make sure you drink plenty of water which will hopefully bring your blood pressure up. I was advised to do this in hospital by a nurse when my BP dropped low. As you probably know a low BP can make you feel dizzy and faint.

    After my first two ablations I felt really weak and fragile, especially for the first week. I can't say I ever felt faint or dizzy, but then I do live in a bungalow and certainly didn't push myself to do anything that required the slightest exertion. If as you say you are feeling very faint and dizzy I would suggest that you speak to your GP or preferably your AF nurse for re-assurance.

    Please let us know how you get on.

    Wishing you well.


  • Thanks Jean I will up the water.My husband is looking after me is not doing anything.I was just concerned as don't know how phrenic nerve damage will effect me ,it's certainly having an impact on my breathing when not in a sitting position.

  • Drink plenty to help bp. I would contact GP to ask for advice on symptoms and whether they think it's the nerve or not. Worrying I know but try to get an answer from the relevant professional to put your mind at rest, that will help your bp steady in itself as the stress won't be helping. X

  • Thanks Jean just gave same advice 're water so about to start topping up now

  • Good on Jean, she gave me the advice initially and I use it ongoing.

  • Good recommendation then,thank to both will try few days see how I progress

  • My understanding is that phrenic nerve damage can affect breathing possibly by paralysing the diaphragm so I guess your symptoms may just be that you are still recovering from the ablation as well as low BP . BUT speak to your nurse contact where it was done if you are worried. We aren't medics here so unless we have experienced something ourselves really can't comment.

  • Thanks Bob going to try upping my intake of water see how that goes.Yes I do have breathing problems,laying down and effort of walking upstairs just wondered if that would effect oxygen getting round body particularly brain hence my symptoms of feeling faint and dizzy.If no improvement next day or so will phone arrhythmia nurse.

  • I guess you really need a pulse-ox reading to see if your oxygen levels are down. Wonder if your GP can do that? I do suspect it is more effort related than that though.

  • Thanks,see how things are tomorrow,just keep off my feet and rest for now

  • Hi Fastbeat

    "breathing problems,laying down and effort of walking upstairs" - that's phrenic nerve damage. My wife had exactly the same problems which fortunately resolved. I think the problem resolves for most if not everyone but it can take time, e.g. up to 12 months or longer (10 months in my wife's case). My wife found sleeping on a raised pillow in a slightly sitting up position helped the breathing at night. The problem resolved when she started getting a "pins and needles" effect across the ribcage. Hope your problems resolves sooner rather than later - just be patient and take it easy.

  • Hello Fastbeat,

    Immediately following my second ablation, I mentioned to the nurse that I felt as if there was not enough oxygen in my body. Sorry if that description sounds odd but I was not out of breath but I felt the need to breath in more often than normal. I had a general anesthetic for that ablation and I am sure that played a part. I remained that way for about 6 weeks and was even given a lung X-Ray at Bristol to check my diaphragm (no damage). Needless to say it cleared up eventually but, I wonder whether you can relate to this description.

  • Yes RichMert my breathing feels as if I am not completing each breath, biggest change is noticeable when going to bed.I had x-ray at BRI last Fri confirmed phrenic nerve damage, have to have another x-ray in a month's time

  • Just found this. Hope it helps.


  • Yes read it yesterday I will just give it time to heal it's self

  • Shortness of breath is a symptom phrenic nerve damage. Is your breathing affected?

  • Yes on laying down, but not to bad.Also not so good on stairs

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