End of blanking period : How do you know when... - AF Association

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End of blanking period

Lenlec profile image
21 Replies

How do you know when blanking period ends?

Apparently it’s 3 to 6 months for blanking after ablation. Had my cryo ablation about 10 weeks ago and it went well no episodes at all since and touch wood feel fine. But is my blanking period 3 months or 6months ?

Is there anyway of actually knowing for certain ?

Cheers all

21 Replies
BobD profile image
BobDVolunteer

Its when you stop thinking about it and get on with life I think. Some people recover much more quickly but as we say in our fact sheet on recovery, many people are still improving after nine months or a year. I'm 2 plus years since my ablation for atrial tachycardia and still improving.

FlapJack profile image
FlapJack

Absolutely not, someone said that certainty only relates to death and taxes!

The blanking period is only a guide to help folk understand not to expect an instant end to AF episodes and should not be taken literally. After my second ablation in 2018, I had no problems for seven months then I had several episodes all of which were quickly stopped with Flecainide as a PiP. This year I have only had one brief episode and 3rd ablation is on hold.

Lenlec profile image
Lenlec in reply to FlapJack

Thank you. I’ve been asked to enter a few road races in the new year. 5k and 10k. Just unsure whether to enter tbh. It will be 4 months then. Post ablation. Because in a race you can’t rally take it easy and I’d want to do my best. That’s why I’m asking. Thanks I ran most days before ablation but not one run since.

FlapJack profile image
FlapJack in reply to Lenlec

Personally I wouldn’t but then @ 75, I probably wouldn’t anyway! Races generally mean that you will be pushing yourself but it will be interesting to hear what others say. I’m sure you are aware that “extreme” sports activity can cause AF so why risk undoing all the good work……..

Lenlec profile image
Lenlec in reply to FlapJack

Thanks again. I wouldn’t call it extreme sports. Just a local road race or 2. I really enjoy them and I like the training for them. I agree in a race you seem to push yourself to the limit by nature

Jajarunner profile image
Jajarunner in reply to Lenlec

Personally I'd wait six months before getting competitive. Mind you I'm eight months post ablation two and still not running.... I'm the Slowest Healer Ever, for sure 🤣🤣🤣

Jajarunner profile image
Jajarunner

I'm hoping six since I needed two DCCV s at four and five months post second ablation, sob....

Lenlec profile image
Lenlec in reply to Jajarunner

What do you mean mate ?

Jajarunner profile image
Jajarunner in reply to Lenlec

I meant I hope I'm still healing so those two cardioversions I've had recently dont mean that I will need a third ablation! I was being self-pitying 🙄

Ducky2003 profile image
Ducky2003

I'm 7 months post ablation and after a telephone chat with my EP a couple of weeks ago, he's said that, with having to have a cardioversion in August and back in AF again now, the blanking period is well and truly out of the window. Everyone is different so focus on how you feel butI would say be careful not to push yourself too hard just yet.

Lenlec profile image
Lenlec in reply to Ducky2003

Cheers. Yes we are all certainly different

seasicksurf profile image
seasicksurf

In my reading of technical studies, ablation success or not, is generally defined as no AF after 90 day blanking period. This is apparently the blanking time/healing time that is used in clinical studies. I’m 6 months post and had odd beats for about 6 weeks after, then normal. Still healing and improving however—as measured by my own progress and stamina in exercise. At 6 months I still “feel” my heart improving.

Lenlec profile image
Lenlec in reply to seasicksurf

Cheers. I feel like my heart is allowing me to get fitter / train better every week.

seasicksurf profile image
seasicksurf in reply to Lenlec

Same here. I have a walk that I do with a couple uphill segments where I time myself. My times are slowly improving, and correspondingly, but more importantly, I feel my heart getting stronger. It does feel as if its still on the mend--6 months in. I suspect it will get a bit better going forward. The best to you Lenlec.

Lenlec profile image
Lenlec in reply to seasicksurf

Same to you. Do you think you’ll get back to the same fitness level as before ablation? As that was a big concern of mine.

seasicksurf profile image
seasicksurf in reply to Lenlec

I think I'm already pretty close. I can do most everything I used to (recognizing I'm 65). I've conceded my heart can never be 100% of what it was--it was burned and scarred after all. But I think its getting close enough to where it's not holding me back at anything I want to do. It's the other aging maladies that are holding me back at this point. Got a total knee replacement coming up. I'm paying the price now for my sporting youth (but wouldn't trade those memories).

Trenwith profile image
Trenwith in reply to seasicksurf

You have done really well! Do you take any regular medications for AF or have you managed to stay on good form without them. I am asking this as I am back back on medication only 2 weeks into my "blanking period".

seasicksurf profile image
seasicksurf in reply to Trenwith

After my ablation I was on apixaban and amiodarone for 90 days. I had my 90 day follow up with the EP and since things were going well, he took me off both of those medications. I currently take no meds for AF as I remain on good form without. Good luck Trenwith!

momist profile image
momist

Just for your comparison, I had my ablation at the end of June, I had sporadic problems all the way through to mid September (nearly three months!) on and off. I've been fine since then, but when I rang the EP's secretary about when I might get the end of blanking consultation, she told me I have my next appointment in March next year!

So much for the proverbial and entirely guesswork three months.

Lenlec profile image
Lenlec in reply to momist

Yeah it’s a lot of hope and fingers crossed I think on the blanking period I think

Fazerboy profile image
Fazerboy

Do you wear a heart rate monitor when you run? If so, I’d aim to keep my hr below a set figure, say 100 or whatever is suitable for you. You can then exercise without overdoing it. Increase the figure every few weeks as long as there are no issues. I do this for cycling and now have a self imposed max of 140.

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