Cardioverted after Ablation for Atrial Fibr... - AF Association

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Cardioverted after Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation


New to this community... I had an ablation for AFib on Feb.15/18 and during the procedure my cardiologist also discovered I also had Wolff Parkinsons White Syndrome which they also ablated (5 hour procedure). I am a runner and was told I could start running again after 2 weeks. About a month after procedure did a slow run (intervals walking/running) felt good but once I was home I felt faint and went into AFib. After an hour went to ER and heart rate was at 205 bpm. I was cardioverted 3 times to get heart rate back to normal. The ER doctor also said I was presenting as Super Ventrical Tachycardia (SVT). This freaked me out and left me quite deflated. Has anyone else had to be cardioverted, but after blanking period deemed the procedure a success? I am going to stop running now until my follow up in 2 months. I am a 49 year old female.

17 Replies

It takes a lot longer than one month to recover after ablation. Don’t panic.

Mallin68 in reply to Achant1

Thanks for the reminder. I just dont think it was made clear enough to me how common AFib is post procedure.

rocketritch in reply to Mallin68

I was cardioverted closed to a month following my ablation back in July. At around the 2 month point my heart went out of rhythm again due to some extenuating circumstaces related to pain issues. I did not get cardioverted right away as the fear was the pain would just cause me to go out of rhythm again.

I got the pain under control and sceduled a second cardioversion but coverted on my own a few days prior. I was out of rhythm for a little over a week. I have been in steady NSR ever since which is almost a month. I would not worry yet.


Three to six months minimum for full recovery . Atrial tachycardia is more common after ablation but SVT can result and yes this is not uncommon. You probably did too much too soon . Listen to your body and act accordingly. Over exercise is a common cause for AF so maybe time to scroll back on your running .

I think you have been very lucky so far as WPW can be very serious and even fatal in some cases.

I'm not a runner but had to have cardioversions for Atrial Tachycardia after two of my three ablations and twice more in the last nine years since.

Thanks for your reply. Good advice and glad to hear this isnt uncommon -- I really wasnt prepared for it. I have decided to stop running since all of my episodes have been triggered by a run or vigorous exercise. Will stick to long walks with my dogs for now.

Don't make the mistake I made. It took me a couple months to recover from my first and only Afib episode. And when I finally began to feel more normal I began to take long walks. And then about a month later I began doing barbell squats again. I was fine the first three weeks. But when I began to lift heavier weights, it caused my ectopic heart beats to return, and I lost all of my progress.

In one day everything changed. I began to take the fleccanaide again, and in a few days the ectopic beats were controlled. When I was feeling better, I made another attempt at doing light weight squats. And sure enough, the next day I awoke feeling completely exhausted and drained. Now I am completely weak again. And am scheduled to have my first ablation.

I recommend spending at least 3 months allowing your body to recover. And in the meantime, eat as healthy as you can, and supplement with magnesium, iron, b12, Q10, and pretty much eat anything that will strengthen your heart. It can take a few months for body to build up its nutrient stores. And when we workout it becomes depleted. So if we are deficient in any area, it will impact our health.

I know you love running, but you may have to take half a year off at least. And even then, you may never be able to run the same way. Find other ways to exercise. Go for long walks, do pilates, aerobics, small hikes, etc.

Hello Mallin, that dog of yours looks as if it's got the right idea!!

I know it can be frustrating for you energetic types to want to get back into shape as soon as possible after an ablation but we often hear how folks pay the price if they do too much too soon. Fortunately, it sounds as if you have taken it on board, but very often, some competitive sport enthusiasts interpret what that hear as "it's ok to exercise after a couple of weeks" to pursuing some extreme challenge or other that can put their recovery back a bit if they are lucky or much worse if they are not.

Your approach to this issue is really helpful and hopefully it will encourage others in a similar situation to maybe take on board the benefit of returning to their respective passion in a progressive way......I hope you enjoy those walks with your dogs.......

I am part of a running group which is pretty relaxed and has become part of my social life. But certainly not worth risking a major setback. I just wish I had found this community before my ablation so I could have been more informed about what to expect after my ablation. Glad I have it as a resource now! Great and helpful information.

Hi Mallin, had my first ablation on 2/20/18. I've just started walking about 20 minutes a day this past week and feeling pretty good. No AF since procedure, knock on wood. Still get pretty tired mid day, been taking short nap most days.Not sure why but from reading posts it seems that most EP's underestimate recovery time. Mine included, said I could start my usual exercise routine after one week. Glad I listened to everyone's advice on this forum about recovery time. Hope everything works out for you down the line.

Best wishes, Shaun

Hi. I had a similar experience. Nine days after ablation in the gym. Had to be cardioverted a week later and pu lt on Amiodarone. After the cardioversion I decided not to exercise for six weeks. I am currently four months in sinus rhythm i am off the Amiodarone am still taking the Running / exercise easy but am slowly regaining my ability and confidence. The problem is the nurse and doctor after the ablation just said don’t ride your bike for a few days. Where I think the advise should be take it easy while your heart heals. As everyone says on here listen to your body, unfortunately the doctors seem to believe you can jump back to normal activities. I took the view no exercise for a few weeks will get me better quicker in the long run. Fingers crossed all okay at the moment. Good luck with your recovery.

Mallin68 in reply to Afibsimon

Good luck to you too!

hi Mallin

try gently extending your range on a consistent basis. Having a dog should help you make steady progress and your heart will slowly recover. Up and at 'em will throw you backwards. After my last ablation I decided to look at the healing process on my leg along the lines of 'If that is not healed neither is my heart' and proceed accordingly.

Mallin68 in reply to Ianc2

I didnt even think of that. My legs are still bruised, 4 weeks after.

I had ablation Jan 05, last Friday went into atrial tachycardia rate 165-190. I never had that before, I was vomiting and the works, never had that with my afib. I just happened to have appt with my primary Dr and he stabilized me and sent me to my EP, which was 1 mile from him. My EP did all the usual screening then sent me to the hospital for DC cardioversion. My atrial tachycardia was perfect regular rhythm, but my oxygen level was 85% and I was having chest pain mid sternum. It just so happened this was my first week full time, I only made it to the 4th day. I am convinced, too much too soon for me. It is time to back off with the long work days. I felt great, then BOOM, so frustrating. Take care!!

Mallin68 in reply to Spoiler

That is frustrating!! Yes my AFib has gone into tachycardia on a few occasions and have been cardioverted prior to my incident after the ablation. Do you know what triggered tje tachycardia? Do you have a physical job?

It is a fast paced job, management of a fast food restaurant and C-store. There is some lifting, but I think it is more the combination of longer hours and less sleep. Slept about 2 -3 hours on the forth night. The more tired I get the harder it is to sleep, it is just a cocktail of physical and mental stress. I hire, fire, train and correct plus maintain in all in a budget with precision service. I am not used to babying myself around, type A personailty I am told is not good for me. I have to lighten up even more. I feel good, then I get whacked with this rhythm curse all over!

Stress and lack of sleep for sure cant be good for you.

Take care of yourself!

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