Blood pressure 5 months after ablation - AF Association

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Blood pressure 5 months after ablation

AndyFoz profile image

Dear All,

Has anyone else noticed a significant change in their diastolic (lower) reading several months after an ablation? I was a bit surprised to see that my reading has changed from 73 to 86 on average readings. I'm not sure anything else has changed which may have caused this? I will talk to my Dr about this, seems uncomfortably close to the "90" figure. I note that my heart rate has gone up from previous low 50's to around 65-70. But I understand this is common. I've never been quite sure of the relationship between heart rate and blood pressure, i.e. will a higher heart rate naturally increase your BP? I don't think it should?

Cheers, Andy

11 Replies
BobD profile image
BobDVolunteer

My understanding is that blood pressure is primarily a function of how flexible your blood vessels are so as we age and they tend to become stiffer so BP raises. Things like stress, pain, obesity etc all impinge on this and can raise it further. Things like kidney function ( how much water they can filter out of the mass of fluid in our bodies) can also be a consideration which is why some people have to take drugs to further drive this out.

I suppose that if the heart is not working efficiently pressure could be lower but strangely from a personal observation my BP was usually higher when I was in AF. I reasoned that my body put the pressure up to compensate for the lower flow rate although it could just have been the stress it caused. One must of course remember that BP machines are notoriously inaccurate if one is in AF. I would be interested to find out if others had similar experience.

You are right that ablation tends to leave one with a higher HR (typically 20 or so up) which may take up to nine months to return to pre ablation levels.

I’m only 4 week post ablation Andy and my BP is lower than before which I assume is due to the relief that it’s all over. I don’t recall many, if any posts reporting a higher BP post ablation, has your lifestyle changed in any significant way or could your stress levels increased? I’m not suggesting you are, but if you become obsessive about taking your BP, that is likely to cause it to increase......

AndyFoz profile image
AndyFoz in reply to FlapJack

Thanks Bob and Flapjack,

What you said, Bob, about blood vessels becoming stiffer with age makes sense.

I've actually been doing a few home measurements before I go back and see my EP in a couple of weeks time - that will be my first visit since my ablation in May, which I have to say, so far has been wonderful. But I know you can never speak too soon with AF.

What surprises me is the consistency of the diastolic reading, it's been bang on 85-86 through 6 readings on 3 days. Whereas, I used to have much more variable readings of between 70 and 80. As for stress, who can tell, I don't feel anymore stressed than I used to be. I do know that whenever my BP is measured in a surgery environment it is nearly always high ("white coat syndrome", I guess). Hence the readings at home.

One other thing which might affect this is that I no longer take beta blockers, which I think do have the side effect of lowering your blood pressure? Interesting, my higher reading is about the same as it used to be: 130.

Thank you for your replies. Maybe see you at the Patients Day in a weeks time?

Cheers, Andy

FlapJack profile image
FlapJack in reply to AndyFoz

Unfortunately I won’t be there this year Andy, but I have been in the past and they are an excellent opportunity for picking up lots of useful information and meeting kindred spirits!

FlapJack profile image
FlapJack in reply to AndyFoz

Also Andy, if you have been told to reduce your AF medication, ie betablockers, since your ablation, this could also cause your BP to rise

I’m probably not a good example because I seem to be anything but typical. I had been on a low dose of BP medication on and off for 2 years. Generally my BP went up when in AFib. For 24 hours after my ablation 2 weeks ago my BP was stable, then went up to 150/106 so I emailed my EP who told me to double my dose. Over the past two weeks my BP has ranged from 86/71 to 153/109. Latest reading 2 hours ago by nurse was 115/70.

My blood pressure initially reduced after the ablation. Then I stopped taking the calcium channel blockers and it reduced again which was a surprise as I was expecting it to rise as the pills are supposed to reduce blood pressure! I assume the reduction in stress of having no AF and no drugs relaxed me!. 4 months on and I have currently a bit of stress in my life both work and personal, and I have gone back high again 150/95, but if I can take time out for a 5 mile jog in the park I can get get under 120/80. But it does not last. I think (for me at least) the stress aspects of things outweigh the other aspects.

I also suspect that worrying about the BP going up causes the BP to go up! It may do for you also.

I am about try to combat my BP by going to Tenerife for 9 nights. Will the bp increase owing to the (possible?) bad behaviour on holiday, or will it reduce as I leave the rat race for 10 days: no bosses, no customers, no meetings, no overdue orders or projects?

Place your bets!

Cheers

webmd.com/hypertension-high...

This webmd presentation popped into my Inbox this morning so I thought i would share as it is a current topic . Big surprise is that dehydration actually raises bp, when I would have thought a fluid shortage would have reduced it!

Cheers

Hi Andy

Providing you are feeling physically well with no major unpleasant symptoms your diastolic pressure and pulse rate are within normal parameters and are not a cause for concern. Medication and changes in medication will alter your baseline as will interventions such as ablation.

It can be easy to become obsessed with numbers (I've certainly been there!) but I think how you feel (I know this is subjective) can sometimes be more helpful

Kindest regards

David

My bp drops as my heart rate rises but I don't know if it's the same for everyone

Hello andyfoz. I have noticed a really significant change in my blood pressure too after my ablation end of March, but it is opposite to your one as my diastolic has gone down to about 45 (it used to be about 60-70) and my pulse varies between 39-45. I did email my cardiologist who has now left st Georges and he said I need an echo and also someone needs to check out my meds. I have just had a 5day heart monitor and have t an appointment to see my EP's team until 8th October. I do have aches in my chest and don't feel very chirpy. I think it must depend on where we were ablated....?????.

I hope you feel better though after your ablation

Best wishes

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