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1st ablation done! Total sofa rest now or gentle walking!?... Advice welcomed!! :))

Hi all!

Just had my first PVI ablation done on Friday under general anaesthetic. Apparently it went to plan!

What's the best thinking on the next couple of weeks? Complete sofa rest or some gentle walking, building up gradually? It's hard to find info on any sites as to exactly how much or how little to do! Your experience would be very valuable!! The hospital said to do as the body felt. I'm concerned about undoing any of their good work by being active too soon...

Thank you for all your posts here - especially to BobD, whose posts are a constant source of guidance!

Wishing you all well in your journeys!

Best

James

Very best to you all,

James

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Hi James..good to hear it all went to plan.

Your hospitals advice is probably about right but for the first week at least just spoil yourself and do very little. I did this for the first week following my 3 ablations although I was able to prepare and cook meals at home for husband. Second week was out driving and shopping but no heavy work. Felt fine afterwards but others have different tales. Listen to your body after the 2 week ' lying In' period and you should hopefully be fine.

I don't think thst gentle walking in week two will do any harm if you feel like it

Best wishes

Sandra

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Hi Sandra,

Thank you very much for your reply! I'm glad that you felt fine! Thank you for your advice!

That's very helpful!

I already tried a gentle walk, which seemed ok - a few meters from the front door to the bench in the sun, which felt nice!

Thanks for your words!

All the best to you!

James

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BobD put together the attached fact sheet which I’m sure you will find helpful. All the best.......

heartrhythmalliance.org/res...

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Hi FlapJack,

Thank you so much for your reply. Unfortunately I wasn't able to open the link that you kindly sent. Is it the two page post "recovering from ablation for atrial fibrillation" for the AF association?

All the best to you too!

James

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Yes it is.....sounds like you’ve seen it....👍

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Thank you very much! Yes, it's a great post! Very helpful indeed! Thank you for this!

Best

James

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Hi James

Really pleased to hear it all went according to plan. I can't advise you as I am only due to have my ablation under general anaesthetic this coming Saturday. I have been told to take it really easy for the first week and do nothing and then gradually increase activity. I hope you don't mind me asking but how long did the procedure take? It was something I forgot to ask and on reading various articles the time scale seems to vary enormously. Also did you have TOE and was it all done while you were under? I hope you continue to recover well.

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Hi grandmadogs,

Thank you for your reply and advice! All the best for your upcoming one this Saturday! It started at 1pm and I remember waking up at 6.20pm in the recovery area. I had TOE and it was done while I was asleep, which I was happy about. They were very nice people and in hindsight much less scary than at the time. I arrived, got into the bed, had a few blood tests then was wheeled down. Walked into the cath lab where they attached various ecg like pads. Then they put me to sleep. I hope this helps!

I wish you all the best with yours!

All best,

James

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Ps just to add - as I didn't want to alarm you..! - the reason it was scary at the time was the unknown aspect. Not knowing if there were things like the TOE to endure while awake etc. There was actually no pain and it only involved sitting on the cath lab table, being connected to the ecg machine before lying down on it. Apologies if my post caused you concern. It was not scary looking back. It was the "not knowing what to expect" for me that made it uncomfortable. I hope that helps!!

Very best for it! And for your recovery.

Yours

James

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Thanks James. Yes I had read about the TOE and was worried I might be awake. As far as I am concerned they can do what they like so long as I am asleep. I really trust my cardiologist/EP. He is very considered and dour but very thorough. I was hoping it would not take that long and of course every case is different so who knows. I spoke to a colleague the other day who had it all done under sedation and he said the TOE was the worst part and he did not want to say anything until he knew I would be totally out. I have only ever been in hospital before to have babies so the cardioversions and now the ablation are all a bit alarming. Thanks for sharing your positive experience and I hope you continue to recover well. Let us know how it is going.

Jill

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Hi Jill,

Thank you for your kind words. I wish you all the best for yours too.

I didn't feel a thing with the TOE, as I was fully asleep when they did that. As far as I understand, with the general anaesthetic, that's always the case. I hope that reassures you! The only discomfort is a slight sore throat afterwards, but nothing as bad as a real sore throat, needing antibiotics, in my experience! I actually had a cold and a moderate sore throat on the day of my procedure, which was in its 4th day of building up. It was still ok for them to go ahead though on checking, but it did mean that it took some time for the TOE to be administered and it was noted in the report as being difficult. Even then, the sore throat that I got from that difficulty was nothing to worry about. A few strepsils and 5 days later and it's almost gone. I hope that reassures you.

If I ever have to have another (time will tell!), I will be much more relaxed, as looking back, there was no pain at all during it, and only a sore throat and an annoying groin bruise after to enjoy, but really not bad, all things considered. Not even a catheter to worry about, thank goodness...!

I hope that this helps you to be confident for it.

Lastly, general anaesthetic really seems to be the way to go. There was a guy in the ward had done both and he said that there was no comparison. Without it, he found it rather uncomfortable. With it, he felt nothing!

All the best for it!

Yours

James

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Thanks James. Off to hospital on Saturday fully reassured now!

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Hi James Had my ablation on Saturday. Took a bit longer than I expected. I was taken to theatre at 8am and did not get back until 5pm. So far so good and no AF which is lovely but I got a chest infection and had to stay in an extra night. Felt really rough but it was good to know it was my lungs and not my heart. They kept me on oxygen for 36 hours. The procedure was not difficult and I think the only comment I would make is I did not realise just how sore my throat would be and still is. Consultant said it was because I had tubes down my throat for so long. I hope you are progressing well.

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Your heart has been burnt internally. Now imagine a burn on your hand where you can see the healing process. It takes time.

Go steady. Take your time. Be kind to yourself.

Be aware that it takes up to 6 months to recover from a GA.

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Dear Jennydog,

Thank you for your reply! That is indeed a strong image! And puts it into perspective.

Thank you! I'll do my best... :) patience is hard, but needed!!

All the best to you

James

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I would veer towards the sofa in the first week although pottering around the house & garden should be OK. Perhaps venture a little further in the 2nd week, but not too far. It's easy to overdo it like I did. I 'listened to my body' but I was not close enough to home before it spoke to me. I managed to get back home but was knocked-out the next day.

My experience (2 months ago) was much the same as yours except no time to be scared. As soon as I had 'checked in' I barely had a minute to myself.

Good luck and take care.

Ian

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Hi IanMK,

Thank you for your reply! Very helpful to hear! It makes the sofa rest that much easier!

I hope that you are doing well and wish you all the best with your recovery too.

Take care

James

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I have had two ablations. Everybody is different in their perception and response to procedures

I rested two or three days and then walked what ever by body felt up to. I teach exercise classes and have returned to teaching after two weeks. But my body is used to the physical activity. Yes I wasn’t up to my normal pace and modified. It took me two months to feel “normal”. You will know if you over do it- my Dr said listen to my body. I also know that sitting around is not me . I can only do that so long. I took lots of breaks from my activities. Good luck

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Hi Tantaanna,

Thank you very much for your reply! It's very helpful to read. The "listening to the body" seems to be an ongoing thread. Great to hear that this approach worked so well for you. Thank you so much for writing.

Wishing you too all the very best with your continued recovery.

All best

James

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The general advice to listen to your own body seems to me to be good advice but we probably also need to remind ourselves what we have been through and advise our bodies too.

I had my third ablation yesterday and am just walking slowly around now at half pace. The groin wounds are sore so slow me down anyway but I'm going to make sure I don't attempt too much too quickly. As others have said the healing will take 2-3 months even if there is no discomfort from the heart we need to remember that!

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Hi Suzanne-Cheshire,

Thank you for your reply and helpful words! It's great to hear your thoughts and helps me to adjust my day! I hope that you feel well soon and wish you a good recovery from your ablation yesterday.

Thank you again!

Wishing you well,

Best

James

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I did nothing more than laze around for the first week, lifting nothing heavier than a kettle. Week 2 I began walking gently for 15 mins on the first day, building to half and hour and then an hour by the end of week 2. I was feeling good. Week 3 I increased the walking to twice a day but lifted something too heavy into my car and set of my AF. Cardiologist advised me to take double dose of Flecainide if it didn't settle in a few hours. It went on all day and night so I took the meds and it eventually after another 5 hours it stopped, I was so disappointed and thought I had ruined my ablation so I went back to walking 30 mins, once a day, slowly, for the rest of the week. I have built up slowly over the weeks and months to walking 2 hourly walks a day with my dog and I am feeling better than ever. Its 4 months since my ablation now and I am waiting on a Cardiology appointment so I can come of Atenolol which was the other drug I was on. I also take Riveroxiban for anticoagulation which I will be on for the foreseeable future. I am 58. The trick for me is notice all little changes and take it slow, its hard at first to slow down but it really helped me. Good luck.

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