Fatigue after catheter ablation: Hello there... - AF Association

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Fatigue after catheter ablation


Hello there 😁 I was wondering if you could assist, last week I had an ablation done and now I feel extremely fatigued basically my heart rate spikes I feel drowsy and I feel it in my stomach (almost to the feeling of fear)... when I get out of bed, walking up a staircase or even getting up off the couch is this normal or could there be something wrong.... If there's anyone who has had catheter ablation done

22 Replies

Hi Bevan

What you describe sounds perfectly normal after an ablation. I've had three and each one took different amounts of time for me to get over and have some energy. The first about 3 weeks, the second a couple of months and with the third I was kept in hospital as my heart took off racing on the day I was due to go home, but I went home just a day late. After that scare I felt better and didn't take so long to recover and feel more energetic, but did have a cardioversion a month or two afterwards.

When you say your heart rate spikes, do you mean that your pulse is going up and down? If so up to what level?


Jean: after your third ablation, are you back in NSR?

No such luck, I still get attacks but now they last for months and are not so debilitating, but I'm o.k. at the moment. Had a cardioversion in January and have been fine since. I think that changing my diet to a more plant based one and avoiding food containing artificial additives and sweeteners has helped more than any of my ablations.

My last ablation was almost three years ago.

MDS79 in reply to jeanjeannie50

Hi Jean - your situation sounds very much like mine and I too find that the more faithful I can be to a plant-based diet, the better I feel. And sugar for me is positively poisonous. Mary

Hi, What did they do in the hospital for when your heart took off racing? Medication?

And what were your signs when you had to get a cardioversion after?

Yes, medication in the form of extra Flecainide. My heart went into constant AF, so hence the cardioversion.

Bevan51 in reply to AmbieBambie

Basically before the ablation my electro..... Was sending mixed signals so my heart rate would sometimes go to 180 and more then they had to shock me . I never ever used any medication , but after the ablation I still feel like the problem is there but I've put my faith in the doctors, so now I just feel extremely fatigued whenever I get out of bed or stand up off the couch, so maybe I'll just wait it out maybe do some walking


Please read our facts sheet on recovering from ablation . All is normal. no need to worry but I doubt anybody told you it could be three to six months before you feel normal as that is nhow long teh heart takes to reciover. AF Association website have the fact sheet or go to the puinned post on the right of the screen and follow the link,

That’s how I feel waiting to find out if I am going to be scheduled for an Ablation. Fatigued, and same with spikes of hr, & an irritating anxiety feeling. I feel like I feel my heart more, sometimes it seems like it’s slowly pounding then other times seems like not pounding but fast, but my pulse is mostly in normal range.

Do they have you on any medication after Ablation?

Only blood thinners ( asprin) for a month

Hidden in reply to Bevan51

Are you in the USA?

aspirin is not used for treatment of AF in the UK and it is an antiplatelet not an anticoagulant.

I had my ablation on the 25th March and I have felt exactly the same as you. The first week was physically hard, I felt wiped out with racing heart etc. The second week I wondered if I had made a mistake having the ablation because I just wasn’t feeling great. However towards the end of the second week I had a few good days and started to feel better in myself. It’s still a bit hit and miss some days and one of the hardest things about the ablation for me has been finding the patience to take each day as it comes and listen to my body and believe that I will get there and this is all normal. I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel now though and slowly getting back to normal.

My advice is listen to your body and hold your nerve. Wishing you all the best 😊

Kardy in reply to Kellyjelly

How are you now?

Kellyjelly in reply to Kardy

thank you for asking. I’m on week 8 now and I’m feeling a lot better. My confidence is returning and I’m feeling stronger. My triggers still aggravate my heart and my heart is still very sensitive and I get very short bursts of svt but it hasn’t escalated into anything significant. I wish my heart was less sensitive but if it stays like this I will be able to manage just fine. Compared to the mess I was in before the ablation I’m so much better. 😊

Yes it's normal, I had an ablation 7 weeks ago and have posted my experiance in recovery, if you look at my posts you will have an appreciation of what to expect, though recovery is different for all of us.

I had an ablation Nov 28 I feel everything in stomack as well but after first month was over u am flying now foing very well back to my fitness just get the odd flutter which is scary but life so much better than before ablation I would return to surgeon x

Gosh early days bevan, I’m 13 weeks and am still getting days of no energy even last week.....it was a surprise to me as some days I fekt normal then whoosh I was not......I’ve accepted now the heart has taken a bashing and it can’t speak to us....but the body can say “ whoah”.....


hi it does vary. I had mine 2 weeks ago and have felt fine since with no noticeable tiredness. I was signed off for two weeks so I have sat around at home for most days with just the odd outing to shop and pub quiz. The only ill effect has been the visual aura but that was transient. Otherwise I feel physically well, the same as before (no AF but I am still on flecainide for 2-3 months). I did make myself rest the first week because of all I'd read on this site. I'm away visiting friends this weekend so will see how that goes.

A lot of others have felt like you so it seems a normal variant of recovery. Do you have a contact number for the arrhythmia team you could ring to discuss how you feeling and to set your mind at rest? Make sure you keep your fluids up.

take care


It is totally normal. My heart was still acting up after ablation for the first few weeks. I was very disappointed as I thought the ablation didn’t work. But all that is normal as the heart needs time to heal. Be patient, get lots of rest and stay positive. If your heart is acting up, try doing some deep breathing. It seems to help. Wishing you a speedy recovery!💕

My ablation was 6/5/2018 and I remember waking up and smiling and feeling pretty good. I had to lay still on my back for a few hours, which was the hardest part as my lower back was sore. I was hungry and they finally let me eat something light. Monitored overnight and went home happy. I have had on AFIB incident recently that was resolved with IV meds at the local hospital - back on Flecainide and a blood thinner for one month to reduce stroke potential with possible blood pooling in chamber - Hope further AFIB leaves me alone for a while. I have reduced my alcohol intake to 3 ounces of wine or a light beer and also my coffee - although there is evidence that some caffeine may be beneficial. Who knows? Wishing you all the best! Keep us posted.

Hi Bevan, I’ve had 2 ablations & afterwards you do feel extremely tired & exhausted by the smallest thing. My 2nd one was very successful, but getting over it took a long time. After 6 months you begin to feel an improvement and gradually, can be a year afterwards you realise you are almost back to normal. Your heart has been fiddled with & takes time to recover. Hopefully you’ll have loads of benefit later. Do keep us posted how you get on. Loads of luck.

I had the same experience. Also the fear, it's horrible, but the good news it should improve. Took at least six months for me. (You have had a major heart procedure)

Now over two years later I can use a kayak, and do some walking. Have atopic beats but no af.

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