6 months post Cryoablation : First three... - AF Association

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6 months post Cryoablation


First three months were fairly chaotic regards rhythm, but heart rate (bpm) was always normal, then for 10 weeks no problems at all. I thought great, it’s worked! Then out of the blue I had two weeks of daily ectopics, so bad one day I had to take a flecainide! Followed by a few days of calm, and now back into daily ectopics.

The three month blanking period was expected, but at six months I was hoping for less symptoms. My cardiologist seems to think the procedure is a success, but it sure doesn’t feel like it to me! 😣

13 Replies

Learn the slow deep breathing exercise to stop the ectopics. Use search box if you do not know about it. This sounds pretty normal actually and many people are still improving at nine months or a year. We all underestimate how long recovery really is.

Jeanette49 in reply to BobD

Thanks Bob, that’s very encouraging!

I just get confused by the fact that at 3 months I had a wonderful, calm 10 week period, with not a single missed beat, so thought I was fixed. Then out of the blue, just sitting quietly, no food, alcohol, positional factors as triggers, I felt a huge thump, and went on to have a couple of hours of ectopics (again normal bpm) and enter into a period of daily random chaotic rhythm, followed by a few days of calm again! I am see sawing between this pattern and just totally bewildered by it!

I understand that in the blanking period the heart is healing and scar tissue is forming, which can cause these symptoms, but had thought/hoped that by six months the healing would be complete.

This was the same for me, very pleased with the outcome but after a number of weeks the eptopics became very problematic started to panic saw my GP who prescribed a very small dose of Citralolpram anti anxiety drug, which has helped greatly also I started taking magnesium turate and the deep breathing, here we are nearly a year later and I feel great no AF, eptopics still occur but some days none, some days I might get a couple which I ignore.

Hope things settle down for you

Thanks Brizzy, it’s very disconcerting isn’t it? I also have odd days when I might get a very occasional ectopic, but the other night they went on for eight hours! 😫

The trouble is, as my cardiologist said, you become very sensitive to them and consequently they feel very strong, like horses galloping in your chest, very uncomfortable - but like you no AF.

So patience and breathing with hopefully an end to it eventually. Are you still taking the magnesium on a daily basis? I did before the ablation, and was symptom free for a few months, I even questioned having the procedure at all because I felt so good. However I didn’t carry on taking it after because I wanted to see if everything would settle and I wouldn’t need it.

Yes I take magnesium turate everyday with my main meal and some days I don't get any eptopics at all, when I do get them they are only one or two missed beats that last seconds and that might happen a few of times a day, so for me personally they help.

Hi Brizzy, I have resumed taking magnesium taurate, but only a couple of days ago, so not expecting a huge change just yet.

If the missed beats were just odd isolated events I could deal with it, but when they continue for hours I get very stressed, especially when my heart rate dips down to 40 ish bpm for 30 seconds or so, which obviously doesn’t help! I try the deep breathing to no avail unfortunately.

Before I could safely say, that I never have any problems in bed, but last night was not good. Fine when I went to sleep, but woke up a couple of times with ectopics, and laying on my left side made it worse! First time that has happened in over a year - I now seem to be going backwards instead of forwards 😟

Sorry to hear of your distress, after my ablation my resting heart rate has been between 70 and 85 which seems to suit me fine, deep breathing does take time to master and I still have not mastered it, I think perhaps a visit to your gp might be in order.

Yes, that’s the plan now! My normal resting HR is around 75-85 which suits me too, but when bizarrely it drops so drastically which makes the ectopics much stronger, it is an awful sensation, even when it is a short period - lasting anything from 30 - 45 seconds every few minutes with normal HR in between, but still with continuous ectopics every 5 - 10 beats!

I am becoming pretty miserable with all this, I have tried the deep breathing, but like you, I haven’t mastered it or it simply doesn’t help! 😟😟

The comments in this link have really cheered me up - I've had my second ablation in November and have not been feeling good ever since. Like you I have been very concerned - Lots of ectopics, fatigue, wooziness and god knows what else (no 'clear weeks yet). A lot of this appears to be new arythmias so was convinced the op had made me permanently worse than I had been prior. So far, no full on AFib so maybe I'm just taking a long time to heal!!!

I have come to the conclusion that no one including the Doctors really know or understand the potential effects of an ablation. Not least because the original cause of the arythmia is seldom known consequently the effects of burning/freezing is unknown. I do know that the heart is an incredible organ that given time will adapt and heal itself, but it has to have the right conditions to heal itself. My view is that the ectopics are your hearts way of saying that it is irritated, it could be a good sign that it's not doing anything more. Because no one knows exactly what's going on, the drugs we take can make things better or worst, it's a bit of trial and error. May be worth thinking about what you have been doing differently in those 10 weeks of "calm" that may be irritating your heart and remember it may take weeks for something to cause the irritation.

I am just 2 months after my ablation and have kept daily checks on my pulse rate and BP then if they go too high or too low adjust my meds accordingly. This has resulted in stopping meds a week after the ablation (when my pulse rate dropped and ectopics getteing worst), then taking Just Bisoprolol 1.25 after 6 weeks (when my pulse rate and BP increased and getting irregular ectopics). Note my EP put me back on the same meds (Bisoprolol 2.5 and Digoxin 125) following my ablation and told my to self prescribe my dose up to these limits, when my pulse rate went so low my GP stopped all meds and gave me a lower dose of Bisopolol which she said I should try if my pulse rate and BP started to get too high.

I have kept an ablation diary virtually since day one, and the 10 calm weeks we’re not of any note regarding me doing anything unusual. I have been taking 5mg bisoprolol and can adjust accordingly like you, and of course an anti coagulant (Eliquis), there seems to be no triggers such as eating, drinking, position or activity that kicks it off - it can start before eating, or after, or just sitting quietly watching tv, or reading, no pattern at all! But thank goodness I can now lay on my left side without any problems!

I have noticed that my heart rate is slightly higher in spite of the bisoprolol, but apparently that is an expected result of the ablation. It used to be around 68-75, and now is always 80 more or less. Sometimes during a run of ectopics now, it will drop to around 40-45, but that is only for a matter of a few beats then back up again to 80 and will see saw like that for a few minutes. Sometimes the ectopics go on for hours and hours, I am trying to learn to ignore them...pretty hard when it feels like your heart is trying to climb out of your chest 😖

I am a notoriously poor healer, whenever I have had surgery, the healing process is quite slow, and I invariably get an infection in the wound site too...so maybe my progress re healing is taking longer than normal.

Are you able to drink alcohol? That may be a trigger so soon after your ablation. Alcohol can trigger it days or even more than a week after consumption. Looks like your body just needs time to recover, especially if your normally a slow healer. All we can do is stay calm, slow breathing and rest, we will get there eventually.

Actually, bizarrely, alcohol isn’t a problem! Sometimes when I’ve had a long session of ectopics a glass of wine seems to halt them!

Let’s hope we are all on the long and winding road to recovery 🤞

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