Pericarditis after ablation?: Hi everyone... - AF Association

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Pericarditis after ablation?


Hi everyone, this is my first post. I had a catheter ablation on Monday this week following just 48 hours of AF. I had never had it before. Because it is hereditary they decided to skip most of the treatments and go straight for ablation. Afterwards I felt fine and my heart rate dropped from 140 to 65 which I was super impressed with. Throughout the week I started to get sever chest pains which by Thursday night culminated to difficulty in breathing.

I was back in A+E and have now been diagnosed with Chronic Pericarditis

I have about 5 different medications to take and the doctor said no physical activity for 3-6 months. The pain is across my chest but the most painful part is in my shoulders.

I am only 36 and generally fit as a fiddle but unfortunately I couldn’t dodge the genetics.

Has anyone here had Pericarditis and how was the recovery?

Thanks, Nick

29 Replies

Pericarditis is inflamation of the sack within which the heart resides. It is a very uncommon side effect and I have no idea why you may have developed it. Some of us do get one in a million problems. We are just special is all. Rest and follow doctors orders.

HNick in reply to BobD

Yes taking it easy which is difficult with two girls 1 years and 3 years! Luckily wife is a miracle worker!

Really feel for you Nick and wish you a speedy recovery. Please let us know how you progress.


HNick in reply to jeanjeannie50

Thanks Jean.

Hi Nick - I had pericarditis after an ablation in 2018. I was put on Colchicine and Prednisolone (only for a few days) but it took a few months for it to settle down. Unfortunately that ablation didn’t fix my AF so I had another 6 months later as even a cocktail of the strongest drugs couldn’t keep it under control. Thankfully I’ve been pretty good since then. Take it easy and I hope you’re feeling better soon.

Hello, glad to hear you are under control now. I have co dydramol, colchicine, ibuprofen and lansoprazole for 28 days initially. Obviously Apixaban as well for 6 weeks. First day of taking these is today and I must say I feel much better already. Luckily my heart beat is all ok at the moment so hopefully the ablation was a success fingers crossed.

I had an acute sudden onset episode of pericarditis about 30 hours after my ablation 8 months ago. I ended up being readmitted and then put on colchinine for about 2 weeks. The pericarditis settled quickly and I was back at work by then.

I had one post ablation bout of AF after 1 month but am now asymptomatic. I have been off flecanide since the ablation and hopefully will be off Xarelto after my next visit to the cardiologist.

HNick in reply to BeatnikR

I will be so happy if this only lasts 2 weeks. Thanks for giving me hope and fingers crossed you will be off the Xarelto soon! All the best.

Yes I had pericarditis (with effusion) and oesphagitis as a result of my ablation. It is caused by the RF heat irritatating the oesphagus and pericardium. I was readmitted for 6 days put on colchicine, omeprazole dose doubled, pureed diet, and plenty of opiates! Still have peri pain, you'll need to rest, rest and then rest again. Good luck!

HNick in reply to Cat04

Hello, thank you so much for sharing your experience. 6 days must have been awful, I sympathise, I was only readmitted for 24 hours which was bad enough. How long has it been since it started and you still feel pain?

David21 in reply to Cat04

Can I ask the daily dose of colchicene you were put on ?

Cat04 in reply to David21

I was prescribed 500mcg twice daily.

David21 in reply to Cat04

That was my dosage originally but after 3 days I felt my head was going to explode so left it off. Did you have any side effects?

Cat04 in reply to David21

Fortunately I didn't. It prescribed whilst in hosp with post-ablation peri. GP later prescribed another month's supply when I was still suffering. Its now 18 months post ablation and still have (bearable) discomfort. EP says its my heart just letting me know that it has been tampered with! Huh - he did the tampering. On the good side the AF has not returned (fingers crossed).

Have you joined f/b group UK Pericarditis Group, lots of good info on there from fellow sufferers and there is now a pericarditis topic on British Heart Foundation group of Healthunlocked.

Good luck.

David21 in reply to Cat04

Many thanks

HNick in reply to David21

it’s a tiny tablet with C5 on it. One in the morning and one at night. Luckily I had no side effects at all. It’s been 8 weeks now and I have stopped all medication. I feel fine now! I properly rested for 6 weeks which I think really helped. There is light at the end of the tunnel. At the time I posted here I honestly didn’t think I would ever feel strong again but I am more active and stronger than I have ever been. How are you now?

David21 in reply to HNick

Not too bad thanks but exertion triggers it and occasionally kicks in heavily. Spoke with the BHF who were very helpful. The covid virus is a real threat to this obviously. Good you are improving well.

The pain started as soon as I came round from the general anaesthetic for my ablation. It was so severe I got knocked out again with i/v fentanyl. Sent home after 5 days and when it become too painful to cope, readmitted for 6 more days - ct scans, echoes, barium swallow, x-rays, drugs etc. This was all 16 months ago and still get chest pain on maybe 4 out of 7 days a week but now only a dull ache which is sort of tolerable but irritating.

HNick in reply to Cat04

That’s terrible. Poor you! I try and keep up to date on here as to how it progresses and anything that works for me in the future.

Cat04 in reply to HNick

Try joining British Heart Foundation community here on HU and searching for pericarditis. They also have on-call nurses that are of great help by all accounts. Take care and speedy recovery - but don't push it 😊

Nick - great going getting an ablation the same week as AF - can you tell us How it happeend so quiclky + which part of the UK !

HNick in reply to kiwilondon99

Hello , fell ill with AF for the first time ever on the Saturday and had an ablation on the Monday - Southampton University Hospital

Pericaritis for me came on about 36 hours after my ablation - could not breathe without pain and shoulder area was worst. Given Rx for colchicine and saw improvement within a day - took about a week for all symptoms to clear.

Hi sorry about the pericarditis diagnosis. I, too, had pericarditis a few days after my Afib/Aflutter ablation in December 2019. I took Culchosine for about two weeks, and it subsided. It can be chronic, however, even in people who've never had any kind of heart procedure. A friend of mine, 50 year old female, had never had any kind of heart disease or heart procedure and was diagnosed with pericarditis...hospitalized for 3 days. She take ibuprofen and sometimes Culchosine to eliminate the symptoms. I wish you well with your recovery. You are very young to have to worry with Afib. Prayers that your ablation will cure it. It takes sometimes several months for your heart to heal and build the scars created by the burns of the ablation. I am still in the "blanking period." So time will tell. I am 61, and other than my heart issues, I have enjoyed excellent health. Take care...warmest wishes...

HNick in reply to Jenk1

Luckily no signs of Afib since the procedure. It was a bolt from the blue. It’s been 6 days now. I have learnt quite a bit about the heart and the NHS system since Monday! Starting to feel lucky I got an ablation within 48 hours of the first symptoms! I didn’t feel so lucky at the time though.

Jenk1 in reply to HNick

So glad you have not had Afib since your ablation. You will feel better with each passing day. The pericarditis is manageable, thank goodness. Kindest regards...

Pericarditis set in for me about 36 hours after my ablation. HURT like HELL, but only every time I breathed in...!!! ha. Doc OK’d a decent dose of Ibuprofen and a script for colchicine. Symptoms improved quickly the next 36 hours, I stopped the meds within about 4 days. Felt hints of that same pain occasionally the next month, but did easy spins on the bike trainer.

Confused as why yours would considered ‘Chronic’ if it just started...?!?!?

HNick in reply to cpalmermn

Hiya, no idea. I have constant pain across my chest and back, but my shoulders are the worst. Crying with agony for a couple of days. The medication is really helping now though.

Hi Nick, I too sympathise with what you've been through. I had my first ablation in Dec 19 also and pretty much suffered with pericarditis from the moment I woke in recovery. I was given ibuprofen & colchicine immediately for 3 weeks. Ten days after stopping meds I was back seeing my cardiologist - he said that I also had a small effusion but didn't think that it was large enough to be causing me as much pain and discomfort as I am in, so he started me on aspirin and paracetamol for 2 weeks which barely took the edge off the pain so he then upped my meds back to ibuprofen and colchicine for another 3 months. So far it's 80% managed but I still feel discomfort breathing most of the time and worse laying down to sleep. Like you Nick, I find it most upsetting to be restricted from exercise and have already been unable to attend gym for the past 7 months because of the arrhythmia and ablation and now looks like it could be another 6 months because of the pericarditis. I hope that your recovery is speedier than mine. I wish you well.


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