Mine was painful despite very experienced s... - AF Association

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Mine was painful despite very experienced surgeon.

Molly114 profile image

I had my third ablation for flutter this week. As he wanted to do it before it was resolved with drugs and for a few other reasons he decided to go with sedation and morphine etc. He is a top man in this field and I have total confidence in him. I asked him before we started if the actual ablating hurts, and he said, I won't lie to you, yes. I didn't even feel the local in the groin or the rest, but the actual ablating I found very painful, despite him telling the one on the cannula to add more morphine each time. Don't know if I was sensitive because I was nervous despite sedation, but I have always been told I have a high pain threshold. If I had to do it that way again, of course I'd have to suck it up, but would much prefer a GA. I've had no pain in the groin and just feel very tired.

Just saying that was my experience.

7 Replies

How were your previous flutter ablations pain- wise? I have only had one for flutter under local and it hurt a lot despite me thinking I had a high threshold for pain!

Previous ones were under GA so didn't know anything about it. First one was a different surgeon, and I had a lot of groin pain a few days after that turned out to be bruising pressing on nerves. Think I had over done things as I felt ok after the procedure.

The second one , woke up with totally unexpected v painful throat from the TOE. They'd had a problem with it, so it was a rude awakening. This time they did the TOE the day before. Not pleasant but not as bad as I feared.

So clearly each procedure is different.

I am very surprised to hear that some of you experienced painful ablation. I had a second ablation for flutter last week and on both occasions I had no pain and hardly remember anything about the whole procedure. I hope that reading Molly’s experience does not put people off having an Ablation, I think if I had read that before, it would have made me feel rather apprehensive or even have put me off. I just hope this time it has worked for me, at the moment I feel fine, but I felt fine the first time but went back into flutter 4 months after.

Duggie profile image
Duggie in reply to Jamjarjan

Hello , I am in tomorrow for ablation number 4 for flutter. I am the same as Jan, I hardly felt anything At all during previous procedures under sedation. there is a bit of pushing and pulling but very minor, nothing that I would describe as painful.

Molly114 profile image
Molly114 in reply to Duggie

Hope you have another painless one. Good luck.

Molly114 profile image
Molly114 in reply to Jamjarjan

The key maybe the fact you don't remember much. Perhaps they were able to give you more sedation. They tell me that makes it so you don't remember much. My arythmias are kind of a side issue with my heart and there may be a reason that mine was the way it was. My cardiologist told me it would hurt, so I'm guessing some areas or types of ablating are different. Also the types of drugs they can use safely with each person. He told me he would have preferred to do mine with GA, but circumstances ruled that out. I suspect when they know it's going to be a painful one they normally knock you out.

My next ablation (number 5) is likely to be a full PVI ablation. I have had 2x PVI ablation in the past in 2014 and 2x Flutter ablations in 2017.

I can honestly say all four have varied in pain/discomfort levels. When they "crank up the heart rate" with the catheter wires inserted it's very surreal, but when they do the actual burning it is very painful for me, but I can cope with it.

They resist the urge to give me more sedation as I passed out during the first ablation when they overdid it, so I've been more awake for the 3 that followed.

I also find the groin uncomfortable, which is to be expected. My EP did say if it was painful rather than uncomfortable he'd give me something though the only time it actually was properly painful he was seconds away from finishing up so we just pushed through it.

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