AF Association
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Ablation Recovery

I am scheduled to have an ablation next month. I have a question for those who have had successful results after an ablation. Other than a slightly accelerated heart rate and an occasional palpitation, do you feel healthy again? Ever since I began having palpitations I have not felt myself. I hope that if my ablation is successful that I can finally feel normal again. It seems like a lifetime since I have felt normal.

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Hopefully yes Asdfvv, because that's the primary reason for having it done. The difficulty is there are so many variables and these affect folk in different ways. Let's look at the negatives first. Ablation is only part of a treatment plan and although one procedure can be successful, it is sometimes necessary to have more than one, particularly if you have a cryoablation. That is because a cryoablation uses a small balloon to create scarring around the pulminory veins and because these veins can have irregularities, the balloons might not cover the entire area and a touch-up radio frequency ablation may be required at a later date.

The healing process can take upto 6 months, in some cases even longer, but the majority of folk are pleased with the outcome, but don't be surprised if you have palutations, ectopics and even runs of AF after the procedure.

The positives are that we rarely hear of anyone wishing that they had not had it done, and when you consider 1000's are carried out in the UK alone, that has to be good news. Please let us know how you get on and remember to take it easy for at least two weeks.........best wishes

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Great post Flapjack.

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What flap jack said, I had a hard time recovering for months four to nine! Have been drug free since November , in that time I’ve had a few bumps and small runs of ectopic beats( no more than a minute), but for the last two weeks no bumps at all! My natural energy levels are incredible compared to before! Good luck❤️

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Prior to my 3rd ablation I was experiencing very debilitating prolonged bouts of atrial flutter and indeed on the morning of the procedure before I left home I went into fast AF and stayed there.

So for me, yes the relief was instantaneous. I certainly didn't need 6 months to feel normal again. I was tripping the light fantastic at my son's wedding 6 weeks later ( family were a bit alarmed....)

Just take it easy for a few weeks and listen to your body.

Best wishes

Sandra

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I'm 2 weeks post ablation. I only had quite infrequent bouts of AF, so I felt healthy before the procedure. In fact, I had quite a nice walk to the hospital and couldn't help but wonder if I was making a massive mistake given how well I was feeling and was it worth the risk.

So far I've had no problems. My heart rate was back to normal the same evening. I woke up in the hospital the next morning with a resting heartrate of 54 and BP of 105/60, which was 'better' than the reading they took before the ablation.

I was back at work today. I've been offered a phased return, so I can go home a bit early any day this week, should I feel I need to. I didn't need to today.

I think I've noticed 1 (one) ectopic beat so far.

I've been quite cautious, barely left the house for 2 weeks. I doubt I'll do much for the next week too, beyond tooing and froing from work. Maybe on week 4 I'll start going out for a few walks.

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I am being hopeful. I only had one Afib episode months ago. Since then my main issue is the persistent ectopic heart beats, and occasional flutters. I was getting better. Went a few months without any irregular heart beats. But then I had a relapse of ectopic beats and had to go back on flecenaide.

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I'm sure you will be fine, and Sandra is right. Although it can take several months for the scar tissue to heal within the heart, if all goes well (as it will), you only need to take it really easy for two weeks. One of the problems is that often people feel so well soon after the procedure they can easy overlook the trauma the heart has been through and do too much, too quickly and very often, that can make long term recovery more of a problem.

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Thanks for your support

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Hello Asdfvv

Are you having second thoughts about having the ablation? What were your expectations when you agreed to it? You have had just one episode of AF months ago and your main problem you say is ectopic beats.

You associated the AF with marijuana, which you planned to stop, so your AF may not recur anyway. If you do have doubts whether the ablation will eliminate your ectopics or is actually intended to, you need to ask your EP. Have you eliminated all the usual causes of ectopics?

How’s the weather in LA, we’ve all been freezing cold here in the UK.

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Hi. Weather in L.A. is beautiful. Today should be sunny. Around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Flecainide is a serious drug with side effects so an ablation can be a very good alternative. After my cryoablation I not only felt much better with more energy but I was able to come off all drugs. As a bonus my blood pressure normalised and has stayed like that since the ablation two and a half years ago.

Peter

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I am glad for you. Wish you continued success.

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Hi Asdfvv

I think Flapjack has provided a really comprehensive response but in answer to your question about feeling normal again.... in 2017 I had cardioversion in Feb / ablation for flutter in May / ablation for AF in August. On a personal level these have been really successful so far and this weekend I’ll be competing in the British Masters Athletics Chamionships so yep you can feel normal again.. good luck

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Thank you for your response. Glad to hear you are doing well. May I ask your age? I wonder if ablation is more successful in younger persons.

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57 ...

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I felt dreadful before my ablation and ever since have felt like I am living again. I've had two scares with AF returning but both times due to a flu virus and went back into NSR once the virus had gone.

Hopefully you will feel great after yours as well, but remember not to overdo it straight after the procedure. You may feel wonderful compared with before but your poor heart has been hammered and wants time to recover properly.

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What is NSR?

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Normal Sinus Rhythm - i.e. not AF :-)

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I felt a lot better about 2 months post ablation and kept improving. I would say it took about 9 months to feel totally better.

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I had an Ablation 18 months ago. I had pretty regular long and uncomfortable bouts of AF. After a couple of weeks taking it easy after the procedure I felt great. 4 weeks later I was back to normal, real normal, no AF, even church bell ringing. I am still good, no pains or aches. I have had a few bouts of ectopic beats, but mild and very brief. So, all good 😊

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Wonderful. Glad to hear you are well.

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I had an ablation over two months ago. Before I couldn’t eat anything with much sodium or sugar or caffeine and my heart when beat in a fast flutter with occasional afib. After the ablation I felt better right away. The docs must have hit the right spot. My heart beats easy and I’m very optimistic. Had some arrhythmias I’ve the first two months but didn’t last long anytime they happened.

I’m very happy with the results.

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Hi Asdfvv, I know just how you feel and it can be quite depressing. But.....there is light at the end of the tunnel! I had a sudden onset of palpitations when I lay down in bed. Each night they started, keeping me awake & worried. When I visited the cardiologist the first time I kept looking at the defibrillators on the hospital wall thinking I might be in need of them. After I’d done regular exercise for the previous 35 years this was very alien to me. I had an ablation which helped a great deal. My electrocardiologist said that my electrical impulses were quite complex & I could need a 3D mapping ablation some time in the future. Although I felt a lot better I still had a few flutters from time to time and 13 months later I had the 3D mapping one. That was in October last year. They were very pleased in hospital with how things went, and I’ve just had a check 4 months later, and all is fine. I had to stop my exercising for a while and I’m looking forward to starting it again, slowly, very soon. I’m still taking Flecainide & Bisoprolol tablets but only for another 6 months. After that I’ll start being weaned off them altogether. It is a shock to the system when you feel unwell but fear not. They should put you right again soon. Best of luck and do let us know how you get on.

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I feel completely normal! My ablation was in June, and all is well.EP took me off flecainide in Jan and hope to stop Eliquis in April. Feel like my old self, now just have to get back in shape!

Good luck to you!!

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Yes, I feel normal again. Not right away after ablation. I still had ectopics after and it took a few months to feel better. I see a naturopathic doctor as well and since I still had ectopics that bothered me after ablation she suggested I go gluten free. I now have been gluten free for almost 2 years and other than one time during this time that I had 1 piece of bread and had immediate crazy ectopics afterwards and for 5 days ongoing, I now avoid gluten like the plague. Also, aspartame and sucralose (splenda) will cause my heart to go wild. Even chewing a piece of gum filled with aspartame will set my heart off. I have researched the link betweeen artificial sweeteners and ectopics and it is not uncommon. I say look at what you are eating too even post ablation.

My life is back to normal other than I have too carefully read labels on food now.

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Thank you for your advice. I too have noticed that my heart feels irritated when I have cereal, or anything with wheat. For sure I stay away from caffeine and sugar.

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There are some great posts of advice already above, so the only thing I can really add is feel free to check out some of my posts, going back to 2014 July/December & 2017 September/December.

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Wow, thanks everyone, these comments are all very helpful and encouraging. I am also scheduled for an ablation at the end of March. Good luck Asdfvv. I will report after the procedure. Even though I am scared, I am excited for a new outlook on life.

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I guess the reason I asked was because, prior to these heart issues I now have, I used to enjoy working out and lifting weights. But it seems now like lifting weights causes me to feel worse. I used to be really strong and fit. But I have lost weight and am looking really thin and weak. I fear I may never be able to lift weights again. And as a tall man, who is naturally skinny, this makes me sad.

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Thank you all for your very positive texts on Abalation. I am due to have this procedure in July 2018 and I am petrified! Maybe it’s because I

am just turned 75!

I am Female, am I too old?

Thanks to all you wonderful people who are giving such positive advice.

Regards Noellie. I live in Ireland.

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You can be apprehensive Noellie - we all are - but please don't be petrified.

You will be well looked after and the chances are:

- it probably won't go wrong

- it probably won't hurt or be unpleasant

- it will probably improve your situation.

In my EP's view age is not a barrier if your general health is good.

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You are not too old, Maryfcremin. I am female. I had two ablations in 2017 while 74. I have just turned 75 and I am three and a half months post my second ablation. You will be just fine. You might want to read up on how an ablation is done.

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I am new to this Website and I think I have sent only half a message!! It’s good to have some one who’s had it done as I have no one to discuss this with! I’ve 5 grownup children and teen age Grand Children, but I don’t want to worry them with my problems . Great to know you are recovered and feeling good. That’s reassuring.

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