Pinching pain 4 and a bit weeks post ablation - AF Association

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Pinching pain 4 and a bit weeks post ablation

Elli86 profile image

Morning guys.

4 weeks yesterday post ablation. Felt like I was making progress daily, weeks prior but last week took a nosedive. Gone backwards with a vengance 😫 sleep is getting severely effected, which is not helping in the slightest.

Anyway enough moaning, I have a more pressing question. My sleep was infiltrated last night by a stabbing/pinching pain originating from just below armpit but obviously deep into heart area. It feels almost like a very brief stitch, maybe slightly worse but very brief, second or two at most. It’s not really painful but rather worrying as first time I’ve had it and it doesn’t seem to be jogging on.

When it woke me at 3am this morning it was very regular, every 3/4 minutes or so for about 30/45 minutes. Then, thankfully it made its departure and I thought I’d got away with it. 😀👍 Albeit ruining my sleep for the day as I can’t drift off again now 🙄 and this is never good for me 👎

As of the last couple of hours it’s reared it’s ugly head again, although seems this time round it’s a lot more sporadic but doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

Anyway after all that rambling my question is had anyone else had something similar or would have any idea what it might be?

Thanks as always guys 👍

37 Replies

Hey E ...As you know, I can’t help (experience wise). Just to let you know that I regularly think about you (platonically). I find that situations always turn out fine, as will yours. CHEERS matey.

Elli86 profile image
Elli86 in reply to Tickerprobs

Hello mate.

I often think of you also (sexually) 😉

Thanks for the kind and wise words mate. Would expect no less from a maestro like yourself 😀👍

Hope your well 👍

Tickerprobs profile image
Tickerprobs in reply to Elli86

When can we meet...He says with apprehension.

Elli86 profile image
Elli86 in reply to Tickerprobs

🤣🤣🤣 if my heart weren’t racing already then it is now

Tickerprobs profile image
Tickerprobs in reply to Elli86

Hey E ...if I was a therapist, I’d have you on the couch right now and ask you to ‘look into my eyes’ Hope you don’t mind long eyelashes.

Elli86 profile image
Elli86 in reply to Tickerprobs

🤣🤣

I'd contact my GP today.

Elli86 profile image
Elli86 in reply to Physalis

Thanks physalis. Think I might give the arrythmia nurse a call in a bit. Seems to have died down slightly now. Still aches but without the constant pinching.

Thanks for reply 👍

Which armpit? Anyway definitely get checked, it may be nothing at all to do with ablation as you were feeling better before.

Elli86 profile image
Elli86 in reply to Buffafly

Hi buff.

Left one. You could be right although I think it probably is too do with ablation but I think I should probably phone arrhythmia nurse either way.

Thanks for reply 👍

BobD profile image
BobDVolunteer

Could be digestive (most likely is ) but any chest pain should be investigated so don't leave it. Oesophageal spasm is often confused with heart attacks as similar pain areas,.

Elli86 profile image
Elli86 in reply to BobD

Thanks for info Bob. Would digestive feel how I describe then? Hope it is to be honest 🤞 I’ve phoned arrythmia nurse and just waiting for return phone call. Pretty sure she’s just going to say not too worry in first 3 months, to be expected, take paracetamol to be honest but thought best to make sure.

BobD profile image
BobDVolunteer in reply to Elli86

My old Grandma used to call it wind. I get a sharp stabbing pain in my left wrist from time to time which is often associated with heart attack but tests over the last few years have shown nothing and I now associate it with a forthcoming gastric event. lol 😁

Elli86 profile image
Elli86 in reply to BobD

So you get a pre warning of when your going to let rip? 🤣🤣 that’s handy! Plenty of time for the mrs to vacate room 🤣 unless she’s annoyed you! Then plenty of time to revel in the joys of the forthcoming event

Yup, I've had that. It takes three months for the cellular healing so you can expect pain. It feels odd to get it I know after a few weeks without it but my nurse assured me it's normal. As yours seems 'timed' however it's worth mentioning to your arrythmia nurse if you have one. Keep an eye on your BP and HR too whilst it's happening.

Elli86 profile image
Elli86 in reply to Singwell

Thanks for info singwell. Arrythmia nurse calling me back. How long after ablation did you get it then? How long did you have it for and what did she say would be the cause?

I had it intermittently up to about 12 weeks in. Not every week though. Also. In my case they weren't sure how well the ablation would hold. My nurse said that after the 12 weeks we shouldn't expect pain.

Elli86 profile image
Elli86 in reply to Singwell

Ok so hopefully it’s nothing out of the ordinary then. Seems to have coincided with me going downhill this week though which is a severe pain up the a**, to say the least! 😫 thought I was improving as well. Was getting myself prepared to return to work. Can’t see that happening for a while now 👎

Hi Elli

If you're anything like me the fear is that any chest pain is heart attack related. About 5 days after one of my ablations, think it was the second one, I got out of bed to take my electric under blanket off as I felt the wires we're digging into me. As I did I had the most horrendous chest pain, but it didn't last very long. Next day I phoned my GP and he said, "Put it down as an experience, but if it happens again let me know". Well I'm pleased to say that it never happened again. Yours has though and think you should seek medical advice asap.

Jean

Elli86 profile image
Elli86 in reply to jeanjeannie50

Thanks jean.

Wasn’t worried too much about heart attack until you said that 🤣🤣 just joking.

I’m pretty sure it’s nothing to worry about too much, I hope so anyway. Just wanted to double check as chest pain obviously never great and was hoping everything was still ok post ablation. Hopefully not a sign of anything not having gone to plan 🤞 probably just the usual joys of an ablation. Hopefully hear from arrythmia nurse soon 👍

Thanks for response

jeanjeannie50 profile image
jeanjeannie50 in reply to Elli86

Are you still getting the pain now?

Elli86 profile image
Elli86 in reply to jeanjeannie50

Yeah it’s coming and going sporadically though. Chest area in general feels pretty sensitive

Chase that nurse….. hope it stops

Elli86 profile image
Elli86 in reply to FaberM

Thanks Faber 👍

I'd give the arrythmia nurses a ring. Just for reassurance.

Elli86 profile image
Elli86 in reply to Jajarunner

Thanks Jaja. Spoke to her and in process of getting to the bottom of it 👍

I often get a stitch like pain in my left armpit so I am interested in what your Arrythmia nurse says. I have had this since well before my ablation. No one has been able to tell me what it is but the only way I can describe it is like a stitch.

Hi singer.

Yeah it feels like a bad stitch but is only brief, but was fairly often. Seems to have died down a bit today but heart still feels rubbish. Arrhythmia nurse has asked for some ecgs from my Apple Watch during episode and I’ve just sent them over to her so will inform once I know. She said it could be damage to a nerve that runs close to the area that they work on during ablation. She also said it could be AF or ectopics but prior to ablation I know instantly when I’m in af, unless ablation has changed my pattern of af since? Also I can feel the ectopics post ablation and getting them fairly regularly although they seem to have died down also over last few weeks.

Interesting I wondered whether it might be mild angina. Mine doesn’t last long either really difficult to get a kardia reading ! Do let us know if the Arrythmia nurse comes up with anyanswers.

Zero help!

Email reply from nurse

Just checking in with you on this. You mentioned feeling rubbish and going downhill a couple of times aside from the pinching pain. So maybe look into that - if the feelings come and go and if there's anything that triggers them. I kept a fairly detailed log of sensations for almost 4 months and it's clear re- reading them that there were lots of ups and downs. Keep a note of when you feel the pains, how long they last and what type of pain. In my case the pain seemed to come on before I had an AF episode, or the day before, or if I was overdoing it. Almost as if it was a warning sign. I did have a few outbreaks of AF and I also remember pre ablation that I'd often get this pain a few hours before an episode.No idea if this helps but...if you're still getting it, stay on your case and keep a log, especially if you also don't feel good.

Elli86 profile image
Elli86 in reply to Singwell

Thanks singwell. Luckily for me, so far atleast, I’ve had no episodes of af since ablation and hopefully it stays that way 🙏🙏 I’m trying to keep tabs on everything that happens over next few months so I can inform docs on my 3 month follow up. Just taking each day at a time at the minute. Managed to get out for a small walk today for first time in nearly a week so that’s a positive. Pinching has pretty much disappeared today so I’m hoping was just a blip. Heart still doesn’t feel great but hopefully onwards and upwards 🤞.

Thanks for info again 👍

Hi Elli86 Your post is interesting as I had 2 ablations within 6 months (first was only partially successful) after decades of Afib. I also get that intermittent pinching type pain under left armpit, running down the side of my chest. It is not particularly painful but annoying as it comes without any particular reason and never during exercise. I have only had this since my 2nd ablation over 3 years ago and often wondered if it was connected in any way ie vagus nerve or auto immune problems. I have now been diagnosed with Prinzmetals / Coronary artery spasms and MVD which complicates matters when analyzing symptoms. I had one or two of those "pinching pains" this morning hence it was in my mind when I read your post. I am now 77 and have suffered from Afib through the various stages for about 38 years or so. Now CAS ...... have good EP and Cardiologist and have lived in Singapore for over 20 years. Heart Healthcare is excellent here. Any comments welcome.

Elli86 profile image
Elli86 in reply to Smileyian

Thanks for info Ian. Very interesting to hear about your similar scenario and especially how you still get them after quite a long time. How do you feel in general though? I know that will probably be hard to answer as you have other issues but would you consider the 2nd ablation a success? Do you have to take any AF related meds still?

Smileyian profile image
Smileyian in reply to Elli86

Yes I would consider the 2nd a success and was AF free for over a year. Still get breakthrough episodes though but I can manage okay. Indeed still take Amiodarone and Apixaban and will do for life. Now have CAS and have a myriad of weird and wonderful symptoms frequently. On CCB. My mother who is nearly 102 has had Afib for decades but does very well on a rhythm drug. Take care.

I had an ablation before Christmas straight afterwards I felt amazing back to how I felt years ago. The Ep had stressed that I might experience various feelings or arrhythmia episodes and this was not a sign the ablation hadn't worked. Because I had no epusodes for 12 days when I did experience ectopics Af, palpitations, pains I was concerned. Because if a nasty AF on Christmas Eve I was back on Flecainide and Diltiazem for a few months till gradually weaned off. I found the different episodes of the healing process strange and hard to understand. The strong pain I experienced at one stage having had no pain was upsetting but I understand does happen and we are all different. For me the different stages of healing was different feelings in batches all gradually clearing but during this healing process I would get another different feeling when some thing had cleared up.

I did find sleeping half sitting was better for ectopics and pain even 4 or 5 months later if I had ectopics flat in bed I went back to half sitting which stopped them.

During this time a few of these different feeling were a bit worrying so I contacted the cardiac unit whose number I had been given on discharge. I was always reassured all this different feelings were the healing process.

I think it is better to contact medical help when things are bad if only to stop worrying as worrying makes things worse. I had also been told if I experienced a fast heart beat to get an ECG as quickly as possible to get a record of what was going on, my surgery were familiar with this request and acted quickly.

Good luck I hope things settle soon.

Elli86 profile image
Elli86 in reply to Foxglo

Hi fox. Thanks for the info. A lot of interesting information there so appreciate input. How do you feel now out of interest? Do you still get any pain? Or unusual feelings in chest?

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