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Hello just had my 1st cryoablation here in the states Tuesday march 20th. Just wanted to explain the whole procedure from start to finish and maybe give some future ablation candidates peace of mind.

Went in at 8 am, prepped me by starting iv, putting on gown, shaving groin area, EKG, lots of patches all over, and many questions. The electro physiologist and anesthesia Dr came in to explain procedure thoroughly they then gave me a light sedative to relax me. Wheeled me into OR putting warm blankets all over me. Hooked me up to more patches and EKG. They put an oxygen mask on my face and I could feel a small burning sensation in my iv, that was the general anesthesia. There were large tvs ,monitors, lights everywhere for Drs and nurses.

I woke up two hours later in recovery. After coming to I realised a couple things. They added a huge iv in left arm for blood pressure (I believe) and catheter was in place. The Dr used 3 points of access, 2 on left groin (just veins) and 1 on right side artery. The right side was stitched shut when I woke up. The left side they had to apply pressure for 30 min. After this I basically laid from 130pm until 830pm. You don't realize how hard this is till you have to do it. I got some 7up and water BC my mouth was so dry and dehydrated. I ended up getting sick in a bed pan,Think I drank too much too fast especially after being under GA. I was worried about this due to groin but no problems at all. I ended up eating about 7pm...small meal and had no issues at all. Finally @ 830 pm I was able to walk with assistance,them keeping close eye on groin entry points. They removed catheter about 10pm.

They keep their patients for 24 hrs for observation.my heart has felt great, groins a little sore. I get to go home today. I will have to take my metoprolol25 mgs like normal....start taking blood thinner eliquis-5 MG's twice a day for 3 months. And have flecinaide300mgs on standby -pip if go back into afib.

To sum up the whole cryoablation process. Mine was absolutely painless. The worst part is just laying still for so long afterwards and the nurses coming in every 1-2 hours for vitals and checking groin area every time. You lose all privacy because the access points are in your groin area. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again if that's what EP suggest.. I hope you future ablation candidates can get peace of mind:).

6 Replies

Good overview, thanks.

Interesting the difference between having a GA and just a local. In hindsight, now that I know the procedure was painless, I'm glad I wasn't knocked out for it. It was quite interesting seeing it all going on, and the diamorphine meant that afterwards I was more than happy lying still for a few hours listening to music.


I couldn't imagine laying there being awake while they were doing it. I believe where I had mine done they always use ga & require the overnight stay for observation. Its crazy the differences in procedures from one place to another.


I had all my three RF ablations under general here in UK where by the way they seldom use arterial catheters unless they expects to have to to an internal CV I think. Obviously cryo although limited is much faster as we know since most RF ablations take about 4 to 5 hours and sometimes even longer. .

We always recommend people take a sports type drinking bottle with them for when they have to lay flat as well as lip salve and something to read in a small bag that is kept close by as that time lasts forever!

I am amazed that you were not on anticoagulants prior to the procedure for some weeks as is the norm here in UK but guess that they did a TOE before to check no clots in the heart. Being away with the fairies you would not have known unless they told you.

The important thing now is to rest plenty for the next two weeks regardless of anything the EP may have told you. Far too many people rush back to work and then wonder why they feel so ill . It will take three to six months for the heart to fully recover so don't worry if you have some funny sessions as this is quite normal.. Also some people get migraine aura a few days after the ablation and again this is not unexpected.

Stay well.


Thanks for your reply Bob. I've read a lot of your post and have found them very comforting. This site has helped me so much. I was supposed to have a TEE done before cryoablation but EP said that since I haven't been in afib for awhile they weren't going to do the TEE. I did forget to mention that my throat was very sore in recovery....they said from breathing thing I had during ga. I haven't posted a lot on here but I've spent countless nights reading everyone's post. The knowledge on here is amazing, its helped me a lot.


Hello - like hagger9, I have been reading these posts for months and also had a cryo on the 20th here in the states. I had a very similar experience. GA, about 2 hr procedure and the long period of time lying still. Still amazes me that less than 24 hrs after procedure, I was home. My biggest issue has been when taking a deep breath, there is a good bit of pain/burning sensation which my EP said was normal, it’s just the inflammation from procedure. Had one afib episode last night but a flecainide settled it down within a couple hours. Small round of flutter this morning for about 15 minutes but went away on its own.

Thanks to all of the people out there who post - this site has helped a great deal in this process.

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Thanks for your reply pwidmann. Had mine done in Indiana. I've noticed as well I've been having a hard time getting a deep breathe, I actually feel really good overall, just tired. I hope you find success with your cryo!


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