Waking gasping for air after ablation for wpw - AF Association

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Waking gasping for air after ablation for wpw

Tn1989
Tn1989

Hello everyone, first post here.

I had an ablation for asymptomatic wpw 2 weeks ago (i did it even though i was asymptomatic because i am an athlete and the doctor suggested it). Since the next day after the procedure when i lie down on my back i get shortness of breath. It only happens if i dont have my mind on my breathing and i let go..it usually happens right before i fall asleep and i wake up gasping for air. It happens at least 2-3 times before i finally fall asleep..I went to a cardiologist and he did and ecg but it was normal and he didnt know what could be causing it..Any thoughts. Thanks in advance

15 Replies
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Just wanted to say hi. Can't answer your question I'm afraid but always if things don't improve contact GP or arrhythmia nurse if you have one. The lack of rplies makes me think not many people have experienced what you describe. Best wishes

Tn1989
Tn1989 in reply to Bagrat

Hello, thanks for replying..

I already contacted a pulmonologist (my cardiologist suggested it) and i'll see him next week.You are right i guess about the lack of replies, besides not many people have Wolff Parkinson White to begin with. About 1-3 in 1000 (lucky me) and from those even fewer have an ablation.

A chest X-ray may pick up a raised diaphragm due to phrenic nerve palsy. Also a pneumothorax. Both can follow cardiac ablation.

Tn1989
Tn1989 in reply to oyster

thanks for replying..I'll mention that to the pulmonologist

I do get that occasionally, but also before as well as after my cardioversion and ablation. I don’t know what causes it, but like you I do find it quite distressing when it happens. Sometimes you feel as if you aren’t going to get your breath back doesn’t it. As if we didn’t have enough to contend with the AF!!!! Another friend of ours also gets it, but his is attributed to sleep apnea (sorry if spelling is wrong). I do hope you feel better.

Tn1989
Tn1989 in reply to Tapanac

Yeah its very annoying and its hard to go back to sleep right away from fear of it happening again..Its like you cant breathe on autopilot, because when i keep my mind on my breathing it doesnt happen, only when i let go and fall asleep. If i figure out whats causing it i'll let you know

CDreamer
CDreamer in reply to Tn1989

The fact that your conscious breathing is ok makes me wonder if damage was done to a part of the nerve that controls unconscious breathing? If it were phrenic nerve damage I would expect your breathing to be affected all of the time. Just a thought. Having experienced unwanted phrenic nerve stimulation from a stray pacemaker wire I have sympathy for how this will affect you.

Tn1989
Tn1989 in reply to CDreamer

i watched it carefully last night cause it happened like 7 times before i finally turned to the side and fell asleep..It only happens right after letting go and only when i lie on my back..the straighter the worst..I cant really know if it will happen on exertion cause the doc forbid any type of workout for a month. My cardiologist said that although he cant think of anything that could be causing it, it doesnt sound as something i should worry about. If it isnt a sign of something more serious and its temporary i can live with it. It's frustrating cause i did the ablation without having any symptoms before it (except a few ectopic beats) just because i am an athlete and i had more chances for the wpw to become dangerous ..and i got symptoms only after the procedure that was supposed to cure the disease..If there is a phrenic nerve stimulation does it cure on its own??

CDreamer
CDreamer in reply to Tn1989

How very frustrating for you. If there were damage to the phrenic nerve it would show on X-ray and yes it can resolve itself but may take a long time. The fact that it is postural though makes me wonder if it is vagal?

Tn1989
Tn1989 in reply to CDreamer

I hope that the pneumonologist will be able to figure it out.

CDreamer
CDreamer in reply to Tn1989

Good luck

Tn1989
Tn1989 in reply to CDreamer

thanks

Thank you

mayoclinic.org/diseases-con...

Tn1989
Tn1989 in reply to ectopic1

thanks for the link..i hope its just sleep apnea, its just weird that it started the second day after the ablation. I also have random chest pains only during the night which i couldnt explain cause they never happened during morning or noon, only in the afternoon and night, and the link you provided shows that it is a symptom of sleep apnea. Also i was thinking that before the ablation i never slept on my back but after it i had to because of the insertion site wound so it might be that i just noticed it now.

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