AF Association

Fatigue following catheter cryo ablation

11 years ago I developed Atrial flutter for two years and 3 flutter ablations then went on 6 months later to develop paroxysmal atrial fibrillation 9 years ago

Typically I would have an arrhythmia every two months for 8 hours.

8 months ago I was assaulted by a stranger and quickly developed PAF every day for up to 18 hours. I was absolutely exhausted and spent most of my time horizontal with no exercise whatsoever. Beta blockers are something I have avoided because I am very sensitive to them and have experienced low BP! Fainting and very low heart rate.

5 weeks ago I had catheter ablation using cryo which has been very effective so far. I can recall waking up after a three hour procedure feeling as though I had a brutal procedure, chest pain and hyperthermia. I went home the day after and two weeks later tried to start some exercise because muscles had atrophied and I was in a lot of pain with that. No one told me not to so I took a slow 20 minute walk. I felt discomfort in my chest but was pleased I had done it. I had no idea why I felt so tired!!!

I wake up every two hours throughout the night which has been the norm but couldn't understand why I felt so weak, lifeless and tired.

Today I went googling which brought me to this site and was relieved to read that extreme fatigue is not uncommon after catheter ablation.

A ten minute walk can render me tired out for a few days. I do wish someone had told me because I was becoming quite concerned.

I had thoughts that the difficult procedure ( there were a lot of nerve pathways to deal with and an unusual blood vessel structure) had perhaps been two severe and damaged my heart or that maybe I was in heart failure! I just have nothing to give atm. Check up in two weeks time but wanted to share my experience with others so they know what they may or may not expect.

4 Replies

Welcome to the site and our mad world . Yes fatigue post ablation is normal but at five weeks I would have thought that you should be starting to feel much better. It can take three to six months for full recovery but we are all different in the way we respond to treatment and how much we can cope with in terms of pains and tiredness. There was a member here yesterday who was back at work two days afterwards but I found that at least two weeks doing not a lot was the norm and I gradually became less tired each week after that. It was probably a year before I could forget about things and only then did I realise how unfit I had become. It is also I suspect quite age dependent.

I suspect that you are still on lots of medication so why not speak to your doctor orbetter still the arrhythmia nurse where you had the procedure done and enquire if there is anything they can do to speed recovery.

1 like

Good morning. Yes I read that post with astonishment but I agree that people have very different reactions to the condition, medication and the procedure.

I am 68 and have had the condition quite a long time but take very little medication because I have such unfortunate reactions to all drugs.

One thing that may have affected me is the length of the procedure. It took three hours, was complicated because of the blood vessel structure and they told me there were A LOT of nerve pathways to ablate so presumsbly a lot of healing to be done. I was aware of discomfort in my chest when going for a short walk and that in turn left me feeling very very weak for about three days.

I fully expected to be up and moving as I was after flutter ablation so this has come as a shock!


I have had three over a number of years and all were RF taking between 4 and 4 1/2 hours under GA I also had a five hour cancer op six years ago and know that this amount of GA takes A LONG TIME to get over but do think you are suffering more than you should. and urge you to seek help.


Perhaps I am just overweight and lazy😕


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