Ablation on wednesday: I’m due to have an... - AF Association

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Ablation on wednesday


I’m due to have an ablation for persistent AF on Wednesday and would welcome any advice please! I was diagnosed with AF last May following a blood clot caused by covid and was cardioverted in autumn which kept me in NSR for four days. I’m 38 so the cardiologist believes this is a better option than a life on medication which I agree with but I’ve not had a lot of info on what to expect. I’ve read the AFA fact sheets for pre and post ablation but any words of advice of experience would be greatly appreciated.


44 Replies

Virtually everything you need to know will be found here......

Just seen that you have already read them.......



Please let us know how you get on, best of luck......

Safc1983 in reply to Hidden

Thank you!


Since you have the fact sheets just accept that they are all you need to know and pay attention to them especially when we say rest. The slower you recover the longer it will last.

Safc1983 in reply to BobD

Thank you. I’ve booked two weeks off work and plan to spend most of it horizontally.

BobDVolunteer in reply to Safc1983

As we say. do explain that recovery can be open ended and don't be tied in to deadlines.

I have my Ablation tomorrow I have read the fact sheets put them in my hospital bag.Good luck for Wednesday

Hidden in reply to Maisiemay13

and good luck to you too Maisiemay 👍

Safc1983 in reply to Maisiemay13

Good luck to you too!

Good luck!


My suggestion is to clarify with your electrophysiologist post procedure, whether you would benefit from taking anticoagulants long term ; not just because of your persistent AFib * but because you have also had a deep venous thrombosis.My experience is that a major reason for my failed third ablation was domestic stress. In restrospect, an extended holiday in the south sea islands was the way to go. obs

Edit: * history to date of a long period of persistent AFib

Safc1983 in reply to Hidden

Thank you. A holiday sounds great but probably not on the cards for a while yet.

GrannyE in reply to Hidden

I fear that option is not open to any of us now with this Covid. That was in the ‘good old days’.

Hidden in reply to GrannyE

Not ruled out for celebs like me. I’m on the beach in Tahiti as we speak, with plenty of charming ladies engaged in preparing culinary delights for the menfolk relaxing under the sunshades.

Good luck Michael, I'll be thinking of you. Pease let us know how it all goes.


Will do. Thank you!

mrgwair567 in reply to Safc1983

All the best!

I've had 4 ablations. Just relax ..... they'll put you to sleep .... you'll wake up better with no pain. You'll be a little tired. Probably be up and walking within a few hours.

Three of them I had 10 years ago. They weren't that bad at all, besides the tiredness. I had my most recent on OCT 23. Very much improved from 10 years ago in recovery and comfort. Going to the Dentist might be worse than an ablation, for some people.

Expect a possible fever overnight a day or so afterward (I always get one that almost drenches me). Afterwards, your resting heart rate can be 10 to 20 beats higher for weeks or months, but will settle down with time. You also may have a few rapid-fire beats .... skipped beats ..... PVC's ..... or other ectopic beats. Might even have one or two short episodes of AFIB. But don't worry ... it's all normal behavior for a heart that's trying to recover from slight 'injury' during ablation procedure. These might last for 4 months or longer. Nothing to worry about . . . .

Before a year was up .... it was evident my first ablation failed. But, not really a failure. It just laid a good foundation for my 2nd ablation ... where they went a little further in isolating and eradicating errant electrical signals. Second one gave me 10 years of complete normalcy.

EP's know it sometimes takes 2 ablations to get the high success rates. However, you might be one of the lucky ones who gets it right on the first one. Good Luck ........ I'll be pulling for you.

Very good advice, Thank you

A few things above and beyond the fact sheets

1. Shave your chest and groin really carefully lots of sticky pads and bandages will go on .. and off( ouch!)

2. Ask them for the cannula in the back of your hand not inner elbow more comfortable after

3. Ask about infection management where the catheter goes in what to use etc you don’t want an infection.

4. Be optimistic these things work!

5. Rest / do nothing for a week after

Good luck


Safc1983 in reply to Sfhmgusa

Thanks Steve. I’ll make sure to follow your advice.

SnoozySue in reply to Sfhmgusa

Hi Michael,

I wouldn't worry about shaving, if this needs to be done the hospital will let you know!

Sfhmgusa in reply to SnoozySue

Lol possibly but I would say that a perfect Brazilian may not be achieved just before the procedure

Good luck to both you and Maisiemay!

Thick warm socks/slippers ...... the Cath lab was freezing cold!!

As others have said, take it real slow and listen to your body. My 2 weeks off turned into 4/5 weeks. No complications, just felt soooooo tired!

Had cryoablation under sedation April 19, so far so good, my heart has behaved itself.

Wishing you all the best for Wed.

Safc1983 in reply to KazDD

I have cold feet anyway so I’d best take two pairs!

I had an Afib ablation10 days ago, coincidently had a RTKR 6 mths ago. Afib came out of the blue, my heart physical structure is very good for age, 70.

Probably good heart because I wore my knees out, laugh now!

Trivial procedure compared with TKR, but ooh the fatigue, fatigue, fatigue, only other issue was knee pain, not sure what happened during procedure maybe the immobilization for 10 hours, right groin catheter access point, really threw me for a week.

Starting to get on top of fatigue now, the irony is it is only in the last month that I was fully getting over the TKR.

Anyways given world wide Covid restrictions figured I would have a half life refit when there is sod all else to do.

Good luck!

Safc1983 in reply to Geoffa1

I’m glad to hear you’re on the mend!

First of all good luck. Second it may take a while to feel the benefit so if you don’t feel brilliant after a week or so don’t despair After a while you will probably feel very pleased that you have had it and don’t try and do too much too soon. Your body needs time to heal.

Safc1983 in reply to GrannyE

Thank yoi

Read the leaflets on here and try and stay calm - it's hard when you are going into hospital especially in the time of Covid. I am still waiting to be contacted for mine - should have been last April. then was away helping my sister move house etc after the death of her husband in August, September time and Hospital cancelled it in October. Told the EP would contact me early in the New Year but no contact yet. Other than read the information on here. GOOD LUCK. Look forward to hearing from you when you are feeling well enough to post on here again.

All the best

Safc1983 in reply to Desanthony

Thank you! I chased mine up in November and got myself put on the list. I think everything has paused due to covid but procedures are still taking place. Sounds like you had a rough end to last year but good things happen to good people so I’m sure you’ll get your appointment soon.

Desanthony in reply to Safc1983

Thank you. All the best to you.

My EP was the same as I am 41 didn’t want me to be on meds for the rest of my life. As per the others - the fact sheets are brill.

But one practical thing I’ll add is get your entertainment ready. I know it seems completely insignificant in the whole grand scheme of things. Download any box sets/film trilogy’s onto your laptop if you don’t have a TV in your bedroom. I was very immobile for a few days and I had to rely on my husband to fetch everything for me. Fingers crossed you will bounce back far quicker than me. I also had a bag of snacks as I was very immobile (but I suffered from pericarditis after). Take it easy and keep us updated.

Safc1983 in reply to fabjabfab

Great advice thank you. I’m half way through The Sopranos so I’ll spend a bit of time finishing that!

God luck. I was on tablets for tachycardia for 18 years and then had my ablation 2 years ago. Best thing I ever did. Came off all the tablets, feel great. Was put to sleep so felt nothing. Massive bruise on the top of my thigh but no after affects but tired so please take BobD’s advice and rest rest rest. All the best x

Safc1983 in reply to MydogBrandy

Thank you. Glad to hear you’re enjoying like.

Had mine in December. I know it’s hard but try to relax. I found it to be a bit of a none event the catheter lab is a bit daunting when you walk in as it looked like an episode of Greys screens lights people in masks speaking Latin. Once on the table and sedated. It’s a breeze. One tip take a sports bottle as drinking laying flat on your back is hard otherwise and they will want you to drink good luck

Hi Michael, i had an ablation last monday. Very sore and bruised tuesday, bad AF on wed, but back to work teaching on Friday and walked 10000 steps on sunday. It won't be easy to start with but it will get better. Different stages of recovery but keep the faith!! 🙂

Hi Michael, I have undergone 3 PVI ablations in the uk and I maybe having another yet.? Are you being sedated or general/A .? You will be a little sore around the entry points but nothing major at all. Just rest up when you get home and I’m sure you’ll be fine mate.👍


I’m 43, was healthy until I caught Covid which brought on highly symptomatic atrial fibrillation.

Had my first and only (so far) cryoablation last October. Stayed overnight, had to stay in bed for 24 hours in the hospital due to catheter entry site in groin, so it needs to have a chance to heal. The ablation wiped me out energy-wise, it took a good six weeks to feel energy levels return.

Things I’d now do differently;

- I’d be VERY careful what I ate immediately post procedure due to irritation from TOE (and GA nausea/sickness)

- I’d request a catheter be fitted prior to the GA as I couldn’t go and the nurses waited hours before fitting one.

- I would take at least 3 weeks off work. I have a stressful job and my capacity to handle the stress was/is greatly reduced and think going back to work after a few days was way too soon.

Good luck with the ablation and try and enjoy the rest.

Since my husband had his ablation 7 years ago (he's 71) he has stayed off caffeine for good. He stayed off alcohol for 6 months after the op but now can drink up to half a bottle of wine safely, though not too regularly. He remains AF free and I'm sure that being caffeine free and careful with alcohol are very significant. You probably know this already so apologies if I'm preaching to the converted, however, he was served tea in the hospital, so it seems that not even the NHS have quite got it yet, though that was 7 years ago. Good luck with the op.

Good luck. I was one of the lucky ones. I had an ablation 2 years ago for persistent afib and have been fine ever since. I had it done under general anaesthetic and apart from dramatic but painless bruising I had no side effects. I think the bruising was exceptionally bad as I picked up a chest infection the same night and my EP had me walking up and down the hospital corridors the next morning. It was nothing to do with the ablation itself.

I wish you well on your ablation. As mention in my previous post, I experienced an increase in a-fib episodes after the ablation, which is normal, coming as a result of inflammation from the procedure. Afterwards, the episodes stopped and I was a-fib free for quite some time. Good luck!

Good luck with your ablation. I had a pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) for paroxysmal AFIB and atrial flutter last October when the anti-arrythmic I was taking for almost a year stopped working.

I would echo the advice that's been given. Give yourself enough time to rest and recover and don't overdo it. I did intense excercise after 5 days and it was too soon. I had several recurrences of AFIB in the first month, but it's been fine since then. I was under full anesthesia for the procedure, so it was painless. The incision in my groin was a little tender, but not bad at all. All in all, it was pretty straightforward and definitely worth it.

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