AF Association
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Does anyone suffer from 'heart burn' / indigestion a few months after the ablation?

I had my ablation at the end of April and I was warned that in the first few weeks I would potentially suffer with heart burn / indigestion. I was give a month's supply of Lansoprazole and was advised to start taking them straight away... I didn't take it as I didn't have a problem. However, after about a month, I did start to suffer with what was like mild indigestion and although i didn't take the Lansoprazole, I did take Rennies which seemed to help a bit.

I was due to stop taking all my medication (apart from Rivaroxaban) after a month, but as I was going to the States for a month's holiday, the nurse advised me not to stop taking my meds (Flecainide and Bisoprolol) until i was back home. This I did at the beginning of July, only to find myself in AF within a couple of days, so immediately went back onto the medication and thankfully have gone back into sinus rhythm with only a couple of episodes of AF.

I am due to see my consultant this coming week to discuss where i go from here (almost certainly another ablation) but I just wondered if anyone else suffers from this feeling of indigestion three months after the procedure?

BTW after the ablation i was given a cardio version - has anyone else had this?

From what i have read on this forum, it would appear that the second ablation is easier than the first... can anyone tell me if that is true and if it is why it is easier the second time round?

Thank you


23 Replies

Out of curiosity, are they saying that an ablation can cause indigestion, or pain that feels like indigestion?


I don't really know the answer to that. All i was told was that it was not at all unusual to have this discomfort in the early stages after the procedure, so this is one of my questions for the consultant next week.


I was told it was very import to take the prescribed stomach meds after my Ablations. I've had 3, (had my last one 3 weeks ago) I am and was on sucralfate for a full month post procedure. It can take 4-6 weeks to see any damage from the ablation and this is why it is imperative that you take the meds as prescribed.


You've got me trying to remember whether there was any mention of stomach damage when I had my ablation now. I don't recall any, but mine was just for flutter, not fibrillation.


Thank you for letting me know about that... I will certainly take them after my next ablation... but no-one said you MUST take them...

It is interesting on this forum to see how much/little information some patients are given. If i were a consultant, I would prepare a sheet for my patients so that they knew what to expect and what they must/mustn't do and what to expect... it appears that looking at other threads, some patients thought they would be back to normal after a couple of weeks, and I was horrified to see that one lady had gone home on the train (something I was told definitely not to do)..

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Yes, I did receive a sheet on my release from hospital! So sorry to hear you didn't. Did you have a General Anesthetic or sedation? I had GA, I was told the tube down the throat is what may cause the reflux, stomach bloating and sore throat and other complications ( ulcers ) Hope you don't need to have another Ablation 😘


Personally I avoided taking the PPI's prescribed - too many nasty after effects altogether. Sip hot water whenever you have symptoms and avoid eating carbs such as bread, biscuits & cakes.

There are no imperatives to take any medication, it is a personal choice which may be informed by medical advice of the pros and cons and EVERY medication has a downside. It is always a risk:benefit assessment and for me the benefits of PPI's certainly do not outway the risks.

Teas that help are Cammomile, Ginger with Lemon, Good quality mint teas but really warm water with a slice of Lemon is very effective.

If heartburn becomes just too uncomfortable, most usual when lying down - I take liquid Gaviscon which is very effective.

Best wishes for your recovery CD

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Thank you for your advice.... it's comforting to know that others suffer from indigestion... it just seemed weird to me that I have a procedure on my heart and I suddenly suffer from indigestion - something that i have never had in my life before!


Actually when you understand the process we undergo it is not very strange at all for quite a few reasons. I suffered from oesophagael spasms so when the TOE procedure was done the spasms held it fast - very, very painful - and as a consequence I had gastric upset, heartburn and difficulty getting food down to my stomach for about 5-6 months, along with a dry cough which lasted even longer.

The vagal nerve sits just behind the heart and goes through the stomach and can get irritated during the ablation procedure and can again cause difficulties. These effects settle with time so it is about symptom control.

Best wishes CD.

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Hi Clare - i would be very interested to know how far apart your three ablations were?


Hi Carol,

My first two were just 5 months apart! My 3rd was 3 weeks ago after 7 years. I did have Afib return after about 4 years but ignored it until my GP caught me out. Lol


I'm in 🇨🇦 maybe that's why a received a release info sheet and you didn't?


HI Clare

I did have a GA - can't imagine having this procedure with just sedation, but I know there are some brave people out there that do!

I did receive an information sheet but it had very little about what i should and shouldn't do.... One person who has posted on here said that i should have been told that I MUST take the Lansoprazole (whether I felt I needed it or not) ... but I wasn't told that. There are other people who have posted saying they weren't told things I was told, so it all seems a bit hit and miss to me.

The weird thing is that I didn't have any issues with my stomach (I did have the TOE line) immediately after the procedure - the problem with the feeling of indigestion came on after a month, which just seems a bit odd to me.

I think i will almost certainly need a second ablation. Had my first one exactly three months ago. My meds (Bisoprolol and Flecainide) are keeping me out of AF, but i know as soon as I stop taking them, I will go back into AF again, so as they are (hopefully) going to keep me out of AF, I just feel that perhaps it makes sense for me to give my heart six months to heal fully before having a second procedure?

I also had a flutter ablation at the same time as the one for the fibrillation...


Just wondering why you think you may need another ablation ?? How can you tell if you stopped taking your meds that you would go into afib ?? I'm 4 weeks in from my 3rd ablation and I'm suffering from stomach upset , burning chest and throat ....... I am still in the meds and although I'm in NSR my heart rate ranges from 72-88 Bpm ..... I can tell before it's time to take my meds my heart seems to beat harder so I'm scared of the same thing and that I might have to do a 4th ablation .

It's early days but the anxiety is terrible .

That's why I was wondering how you know that you possibly will need another ablation if you stopped your meds ...... your 3 months in your healing right ??


I was told that the lansoprazole was to prevent the formation of oesophageal ulcers or fistulas, which could result in a fatal bleed. I did get reflux as a result of an allergy to oxycodone, so I may have only been given it because of this.


Good heavens.... no-one mentioned that to me.. i was just told that it was to assist with indigestion....

Isn't it amazing how little some of us have been told....


Hi Carol, yes I have been suffering with bad reflux and intergestion since I had a cryoablation in January. It has got worse. I had the ablation under sedation and during 2 of the freezes I felt acid reflux.

At my 3 month review my Consultant said it was because the vagus nerve had been irritated. I hadn't been told I might get gastric problems and wasn't given any medication. At about 6 weeks post procedure I got nexium from the chemist but had a bad reaction to that so my Gp gave me gaviscon 4 times daily which helped a bit. I am on Riveroxaban too which has caused bloating and a pharmacist told me that the coating on the riveroxaban can cause the reflux and bloating in some people. I had hoped to come off all meds at 6 months but have had a couple of short episodes of atrial tachycardia at 5 months so my EP says I may need a top up procedure.

I am changing to Apixan today in the hope that it will not cause gastric irritation and reflux!!

I have been so grateful for the information I have found on this website and the support of the Arrthymia nurses.

I hope all goes well at your 3 month review.


Hi Clare, I'm now 6 weeks post 2nd ablation and am too suffering from chronic heartburn.

Waiting for a gp appointment. I wasn't told anything about stomach upsets or really anything much about any side effects that might occur. I was told I've had an ablation before so should know what to expect!

Believe me no2 was far worse than the first (7 months apart). The reason being the procedure was more complicated as the EP had to isolate the pulmonary veins and pierce my septum twice to do this. Also I was supposed to have been sedated but I was fully aware of everything, which at times became very uncomfortable.

I see my EP on 1st September and will be relaying my concerns to him.


Hi Millie & Paige

Your posts are very interesting as (like you) I had not been told that i might have gastric issues post ablation... I am on Rivaroxaban and have been for a number of years and have had to adverse reaction to it (no gastric issues at all). I am also on Flecainide and again it works for me ....

I am seeing my consultant tomorrow so I will ask him about this and will let everyone know what he says because I had no issues for a month and then i suddenly started getting indigestion...

Will let you know what he says.


because of the actual burning of the heart during an ablation, you have heart birn after. I did for weeks, was on meds for 30 days, went away.


It is more like indigestion..... my consultant has said that it is nothing to do with the ablation and is referring me to a gastroenterologist.....


Yep I identify with much of what you have experienced. I had my ablation in late January 2018. Everything went well for about 10 weeks. Then went into periods of AF again which coincided with taking other medication.... antibiotics. Spoke to my consultant and apparently this can happen with antibiotics and other medication. He explained to me why a second ablation is sometimes necessary. He also told me that a second ablation is much easier because during the first the whole area was mapped out and so they know exactly where to go for the second.

Fortunately my sinus rhythm has returned and I have put it to severe tests by hill walking and cycling.

I have found that Lansoprazole has been disagreeing with me so have left it off and trying other forms of medication.

Fingers crossed yours also improves.

Good luck.

My procedures were carried out at Wythenshawe Hospital.


Hi all hope everyone is doing well I had my 1st ablation last Tuesday under GA and since then i have been feeling really bloated went to my GP yesterday and he me to stop taking Lansoprazole so hopefully this will go soon will keep you posted has anyone else experienced really bad bloating after there ablation?


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