Cryoablation 5 months on!: Hello all, I had... - AF Association

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Cryoablation 5 months on!


Hello all, I had the procedure mid October last year, and the first two and a half months were not good, fatigue and ectopics most days, heart rate around 80 bpm. Then miraculously at the beginning of January, my heart started to behave, and the fatigue lifted somewhat, so for the next two months I was virtually symptom free, maybe a slight single ectopic once a week if that! It was a fabulous feeling to think that I might be lucky enough to be in the 60-70% group of successful first time ablations!

Of course that feeling has now disappeared, four days ago out of the blue, my heart started jumping around again, lasted an hour, and subsequent days have been lasting two hours before fading away. Heart rate still roughly the same, 75-80 bpm.

Does this mean that my brief respite was a fluke and that the procedure has ultimately failed? I am well past the 3 month blanking period, and I can’t relate this to any changes in my daily routine.

10 Replies

Hi Jeanette

Personally, I think if the areas where the rogue pulses are coming through are blocked, they'll find other ways to get through and upset the heart rate. Far better to try and treat the cause i.e. adjust your diet and lifestyle, lose weight if needed and eat mainly plant based foods and nothing with artificial additives, avoid alcohol, stress and all known triggers. Artificial sweeteners of any kind were a sure trigger for me.

Try deep breathing the very moment your AF starts and make sure you are never subconsciously holding your breath. Remember the deep breathing you used to do naturally, well I think as we grow older we lose the ability to do that, don't know why!

The choice is yours. Three ablations later and I'm still not cured. I wish I'd paid more attention to my diet first, but changing it later has really helped.


Hi Jean,

The problem for me is there have never been any obvious triggers, so it’s hard to re - programme yourself. There were times when laying on my left side would send my heart into chaotic rhythm, but that stopped even before I had the ablation, my heart rarely if ever goes above 80 bpm (resting) In fact I’d had about 6 months of virtually no symptoms at all when I was called for the procedure. I had felt so good, that I was very wary of going through with it and very nearly didn’t!



As I am sure you will understand cryoablation can only deal with the four pulmonary veins so if other areas are firing off you may need a top up with RF to sort those out. Things may improve still even up to a year so don't be too down hearted.

Jeanette49 in reply to BobD

Hi Bob,

Do you think that RF ablation is more likely to be successful then?

BobDVolunteer in reply to Jeanette49

As I said cryo can only deal with the four pulmonary veins and there may be other areas needing to be ablated and /or if the balloon did not connect with the whole of the vein area. For those places RF may be needed. It is not which is best or more successful at all. Not all veins join the heart in a nice convenient round shape. Some may be conjoined and in some cases one or other vein may be of such odd shape that the balloon is ineffective.

Cryo is usually the first line of attack as it is faster and always worth a try. One may be lucky or not but it is not until the EP is actually in there that they can see what is what. RF being far more difficult to perform takes much longer and actually often has lower first time success rate.

Did you have afib before the ablation and if so has that stopped? If so I would say that's a good result so far.

Ectopics are a pain but they are not afib and I don't believe they are damaging your heart while you have them. (Unlike afib).

I am afib free (I think) for 14 months since my afib ablation but bizarrely have ectopics currently and I have not had hardly any since january and before that probably October.

Hopefully yours will disappear again as well.

Best thing I think is to try to ignore them and they will go away, I know you are hypersensitive so soon after your ablation, but stressing about them will make them worse.

If they get worse the go for an ECG and get them diagnosed as to what they are, if just to put you mind at rest.

Best wishes

Jeanette49 in reply to KMRobbo

Do you know, I get totally confused as to what I have. My heart rate rarely goes above 80 bpm unless I am walking or cycling etc. The problem is and has always been the extra/missed beats which I feel strongly and can go on for hours, then they stop...anything from a few minutes to 6 hours or more.

I haven’t been on any meds such as Flecainide, Sotalol etc for over a year. The ectopics (if that’s what they are) had virtually disappeared for around 9 months and then my appointment for ablation arrived. I was apprehensive about going ahead, as I had felt so well, but went ahead in October. For the next 2 months I was experiencing mild ectopics for short periods every day, but was told that the 3 month blanking period could potentially be a bit of a roller coaster of symptoms, so just got on with it. Then one day in January like magic they stopped.

Now 2 months later they start again on a daily basis, random times, no obvious common denominator! I thought/hoped as I’d had 10 weeks or so of no irregularities that I was fixed!

It maybe the case that they are not serious, but blimey I find them uncomfortable, and I am really disappointed as well 😟

Sorry to hear about your confused situation. What was your diagnosis that the ablation was going to alleviate?

Jeanette49 in reply to KMRobbo

They diagnosed PAF, I had to go to emergencies 2 or 3 times with horses galloping around in my chest, and my heart rate was over 100 for a time, but those are the only times this happened (2017)

Since then as I said before it rarely goes above 80, it was just the persistent ectopics. My ecg and scan results are always spot on!

If you are concerned perhaps you need a holter monitor but it seems a 24 hour one may not pic k anything up so you need it longer. Or perhaps buy a Kardia, but I know little about them as I don't have one. My afib was always fast always greater than 130 usually over 160) so I assume if it's not fast it is not afib but I could be wrong.

I am still having ectopics now which is a long spell for me; a couple of hours with random intensity in the norm.

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