Post Cryoballoon Ablation: Hi Everyone, I am... - AF Association

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Post Cryoballoon Ablation


Hi Everyone, I am 28 years old and just recently come off Flecainide and had a Cryoballoon Ablation 6 days ago. I keep reading all these posts about how people felt great straight away. Also doctors told me I only needed a week off work.

I still don’t feel good at all. My groin is so sore and bruised and still oozing slightly. Also I only have to walk upstairs or to the toilet and my heart rate is 146bpm and the pain in my chest is awful, I’m so breathless and start to wheeze. I feel extremely tired all the time too.

Has anyone else had anything similar?


12 Replies

Hi Amy, don't worry, this is just as normal as the 'feeling fabulous' scenario. If you look to the right you will see Pinned Posts and there is one titled 'Recovering from an ablation' which is more realistic. The same person can have a good reaction to one ablation and bad after another. Of course if you have fever or faintness you should seek medical advice. Listen to your body and rest and hopefully you will feel better soon 💜

Buffafly in reply to Buffafly

Amy2805 in reply to Buffafly

Hello Thankyou so much. I will read that in a moment.

I kept thinking it was just me but I had a bad experience throughout the procedure as I was awake and really don’t feel well after it. Glad there are others.

I will see a GP tomorrow to get checked.


Amy, your groin is likely to remain bruised for a month and can be sore for a least a week or so but because you say it is oozing albeit slightly, I think you should consider going to A&E as the wound might be slightly infected.

When you read the recovery factsheet you will see it is normal for the heart rate to increase after an ablation but 146 is excessive. Either contact the hospital where the ablation was performed first thing in the morning or go to A&E particularly if you have severe chest pains. This combination of issues ought to be checked out just to be on the safe side....particularly as I think the procedure may have been performed privately given the time frame in your introduction.

Amy2805 in reply to FlapJack

Hello thanks for your reply. Mine wasn’t private it was through the NHS but after I saw the specialist he wanted me in quickly for the procedure so it was only a week I couldn’t get my head around it.

I’m just hoping it’s worked I felt like my heart was racing but felt different to my attacks in the past. I will explain to GP tomorrow and keep an eye on it to see what else it does.

I do think my groin maybe slightly infected as I can’t leave a dressing off as it’s still oozing only slightly but just doesn’t seem to be scabbing over.


These are significant symptoms induced by minor effort. I would suggest a telephone consultation with the duty GP tomorrow morning.

Chest pain or breathlessness at rest tonight and you need to ring 111 (in the UK) for advice.

It sounds like you will need to take several weeks off work

Amy2805 in reply to oyster

Thanks for your reply I have got an appointment tomorrow afternoon with the GP so I will kept checked on.

My thoughts exactly couldn’t even think about going back to work at this moment in time.

Did you have a high heart rate when you had A Fib attacks previously?

What is your HR when you are resting? Is it still high or much lower?

Has the HR got worse since you left hospital?

Why did you come off flecainide?

Do you take any other drugs for rate control?

I ask as I had a successful PVI ablation but developed atrial flutter 9 days later.

The symptoms you describe are similar to mine but I did not have any significant chest pain. I am not medically trained so there could be lots of other explanations.

Also I stopped on flecainide for rhythm control and ditiazem for rate control after the ablation for 3 months

Additionally i should mention that I am perfectly well now as flutter is cureable more easily than AFIB

However if your pain is pain and not merely discomfort then I would dial 111 for urgent advice or even go to A&E for a check up and ECG. An expert can then advise you what is occurring.

Best wishes


Amy2805 in reply to KMRobbo

Hello thanks so much for your reply.

My heart rate when having attacks where always between 168 and 214.

When I’m resting it’s between 88-102.

They told me I had to come off flecainide just stay on my blood thinners.

That’s the only drug I ever took for it.

I’ve slept well it’s only the last 2 nights that I seem to be sweating and real sore in my chest. The shortness of breath is only when I move from the couch or bed.

I forgot to say I did have a reaction to a drug they gave me at the end of the procedure. I was awake throughout and they couldn’t fit a Canula as my veins kept collapsing, so they give me all the drugs through my groin. The drug at the end was an anti blood thinner and my face went swollen, I saw stars and was in so much pain it was horrendous.

I have got an appointment with a GP tomorrow afternoon so I will get checked then.

Many thanks

Hi Amy,

For starters, the standard of care is to keep the patient on Flecainide (or another antiarrythmic ) for 3 months post ablation. Unless there are serious side effects with the medication, which does not pertain to you, there is no research anywhere that supports stopping this drug. The heart is very inflamed during this time and has a much higher rate of having arrhythmias. The more arrhythmias that occur within the first 1-3 months, the higher the failure rate of the surgery. You need to be on these meds.

If your heart rate is in the 140's from walking up the stairs, that is pathological and needs further investigation. You need to have several things ruled out like a pericardial effusion, PE, lung abnormality or arrhythmia. I strongly suggest starting Colchicine daily. This reduces cardiac inflammation and can give you a lot of relief.

If everything checks out OK and you are put back on your antiarrythmic, WHICH YOU SHOULD BE, just know that post-op recoveries vary from person to person.

I had a terrible recovery. I had awful chest pain and shortness of breath for weeks, then frequent episodes of the same for 4 months. I developed a trans-septal migraine that lasted for 3 weeks and made me want to blow my head off. I also had horrible reflux from all of the instrumentation they put down my esophagus and lost 20 lbs since I couldn't eat solids.

I literally was so weak for 3 weeks afterwards that my life consisted of going to the toilet, taking a shower and going back to bed. I went from being a very athletic, active person to complete invalid.

That was 8 months ago. I have been off all meds for 5 months and am proud to report NO A.FIB!

I'm leaving on my third scuba diving vacation (since the surgery) in a few days, I work many hard and long shifts in the ER with no problems, go to the gym weekly, eat and drink what I want and my A.Fib induced anxiety is gone gone gone!

Get checked out, get back on your meds and stop listening to what anyone but your own body tells you. Take all the time that you need. Your body will heal slowly and in it's own time.

Remember....this is NOT a procedure. This is heart surgery. And it should be treated as such. So treat your recovery with the most fragile kid gloves and listen to your body. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you!


Amy2805 in reply to Quilafizz

Aw Thankyou so much for your response. It really helps to hear other people’s experience.

I thought it was strange to be taken off my flecainide I will speak to them to double check this.

It’s mainly my left side that hurts it’s in my chest and on the left side lower rib that is sore.

People have mentioned phrenic nerve damage but I haven’t been told I have that. All I know is that I was awake in the procedure and they were making me hiccup which was awful I must admit.

I’m the exact same my days are toilet and bed that’s about it. I’m breathless doing the smallest thing.

After the procedure I had one ECG that said I was in Sinus rhythm. I had a bleed from groin so had to stay lay flat. My heart rate was still high at 127 after the procedure for an hour or so then it came down gradually and sat at around 88-90.

Then the morning after they just told me to go home. I walked out of the hospital and had an awful turn in the car on the way home. Just couldn’t catch my breath and didn’t feel I was getting enough air. Now I wasn’t too bad until last night with the walking upstairs thing.

Sorry for long post just don’t know anything about it all.


oyster in reply to Quilafizz

Hi Quilafizz

I can see you work in the ER. Are you a physician?

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