AF Association

short breath 3 months after cardiac ablation?


i am new on this or any other forum. i am also new in ablation experiences. i will genuinely appreciate if you will share your experiences as i feel myself as a blind fish lost in an empty ocean..

i had my first catheter ablation 3 months ago but i still have short breath. i almost aways had short breath on and off post ablation but these days was worse (and i had palpitations and dizziness too- something new in my symptoms list). i am concerned that my AF is back.. or maybe the healing time may be longer than 3 months?

did anybody experiment symptoms after the blank period without the AF returned, especially short breath?

all the best

7 Replies

What does your doctor say about this? Have you had an ECG to see if you are in rhythm?

Many people find that it takes at least three if not six months for full recovery but do get checked.


Hi Jazzu

Welcome to the forum.

Can you tell us a little more?

How long have you had AF and was it always just short episodes before the ablation, and not persisting over weeks?

How long have you had trouble with shortness of breath (SOB)? Did you get SOB with your AF before the ablation? Or even without AF.

What medication do you take?

To answer your question, the blanking period may be longer than 3 months, perhaps depending on the extent of the ablation.

You can perhaps find out for yourself whether your AF has returned using a device like a Kardia.

Of course our advice can not be a substitute for seeing your doctor and from the little you have said so far, you should consider arranging an appointment as soon as possible to rule out important causes of breathless episodes not associated with AF or any other disturbance of heart rhythm that can be caused by ablation.

One of the possible causes of episodes of SOB that need more urgent attention is pulmonary embolism. That would be uncommon anyway, and unlikely if you are taking an anticoagulant at the correct dosage.

1 like

I agree with Bob. If you are feeling unwell and are short of breath you should get it checked out.

Hope by joining this forum you no longer feel like a blind fish in an ocean. There are a lot of very supportive members here.



If the breathless is distressing you should get pulmonary vein stenosis checked out. It can take up to six months to know the outcome of an ablation. Might be worth asking for an ECG to check and see what the heart is doing at the moment. Might put your mind at rest. Good luck

Lee j

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I have to say it took me at least 6 months but probably more like 9 months not to be a little breathless if I walked anywhere for more that 10-15 minutes. I am 55 and before the heart issues was a very fit active person. Certainly 6 months post ablation I had to walk up a very slight hill and I did struggle. I had to take a couple of seconds at the top to catch my breath. It took me by surprise as I had thought I was getting fitter!

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How’s it going now? I’m about 2 1/2 months post ablation and I breathlessness seems to be getting worse.saw you posted this about a month ago


now I am nearly 5 months after ablation and still short of breath. i had 3 ECGs done and all good but they were done when i was at rest and good. i had also a 24 hours monitor. unfortunately i didn't had short breath while i worn it. however the data from the monitor was good. i had the follow-up and dr said that is nothing that sugest the shortness of breath to be related with ablation and thought that the cause may be other. he made me an appointment for a scan to see if is any extra fluid post ablation becouse i had chest pain too and if nothing there he advised me to go to gp to refer me for other investigations.

my shortness of breath had a strange evolution too: after ablation it gradually diminished and after 3 months it became suddenly worse for a month. then it stopped for two weeks and then reappeared suddenly as worse as before. i noticed that i have it sometimes when i have regular pulse (~85 beats pe minute), but becomes worse at any effort (even during easy household activities) when my pulse rise at arround 120 bpm. although last week when i worn the monitor i had a spike of 120 bpm i felt extremly tired but i didn't felt shortness of breath, today when i checked my pulse and i had 110 during effort and 80 when resting i felt all day SOB. and as i said, dr didn't know what to say, he thinks it not related with ablation.


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