Arrhythmia Alliance
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Radiofrequency ablation

Hi, I'm new here. I had an ablation last week for ectopics which unfortunately didn't work. However, I was told that I couldn't be sedated. I did have a local anaesthetic but was refused any pain relief. It was a horrific experience and I'm still trying to make sense of why this happened. Anyone out there who has had a similar experience or can put light on this. Many thanks

4 Replies

Poor you - sounds like a nightmare. You need some answers. Try the consultant's secretary and have her post you a copy of the consultant's letter to your doctor. It's a starting point at least.


Hi Deb001

I just read your post and I am horrified for you, and I have PTSD for you! I had a similar experience with my first angiogram, and they gave my fentanyl but my BP went down to 70/49 and they cut me off but not one person spoke to me or bothered to be nice to me, I was just trapped under whatever that thing is you're trapped under. If someone would just explain to you what is going on and tell you or be nice or touch your head or shoulder or speak to you AT SOME POINT during or after it would make sense of mitigating circumstances! Some nurse yelled at me and that was that. For you? Nothing? No one could tell you anything? I was crying so much and obsessed. I had PTSD for a year and went to therapy. I'm over it because I get it, because I know I could've went back and talked to them or wrote a letter but I didn't want to. I did get a copy of my charts and I obsessed over them because that's what I felt like doing, and they don't put anything in them, not even any BP. My advise is write a letter, see if you can talk to someone, call and find why the hell they did that to you. I had an ablation in April for 3 hours and I am now an experienced Angiogram and Ablation person with 5 years of Heart Failure and a CRT-D under my belt but I still have anxiety and depression over it, I'm just stuck with it at times but it's not bad. I am here to tell you YOU are not the crazy one, THEY are! I had on and off what they call conscious sedation. I remember going OUT for the right heart cath part of it, then coming back for the ablation part where they administer a truckload of adrenaline like to the max and I must have had laughing gas or something because i felt all of it and my heart was pretty fast like a car engine floored on the ice and I was laughing even tho it was most uncomfortable and it turned out I have high grade heart block and they could not find the escape re-entry arrhythmia that made me pass out at a red light. It was all nuts but they made sure I wasnt in pain, crying, or discomforted, anxious, trapped, scared, freaked out or traumatized like i was that first time...or like you were. I have articles I looked up that state specifically that EVEN IF they can't use anesthesia they can still help u with SOMETHING pre-medication wise like versed or xanax or something. What they did to you is wrong and you need to address it. Sorry this is long but Deb001 I am very sorry this happened to you because it shouldn't have.

1 like
Reply pain relief! They should have told you that before the ablation unless that wasn't possible.

I had my RF PVI done under sedation, but when I groaned in pain all I heard was the word morphine, then woke up in bed hours later. I felt nothing. The ablation worked as well 😀.


I had a radio frequency ablation 6 months ago for SVT which was unsuccessful. I was completely shocked by how much I felt, and how aware I was throughout the whole procedure. I feel that this is the main reason that I have been left with really bad anxiety. I was given diamorphine, a couple of times during the procedure but I think it was only a small amount as I have very low blood pressure. I know from speaking to an E.P at my last appointment that it is preferred that you are awake during the procedure but all cardiologists are different and use different levels of sedation.

I am totally with you though, I was aware of everything, and the burning sensation whilst they were using the RF waves was almost unbearable. This is a pain that I still feel now 6 months later, I'm guessing due to anxiety or a PTSD type thing. As my ablation was unsuccessful, I am awaiting an appointment with my cardiologist next month who I know will tell me I need another ablation. This is terrifying as I know what I will be going into this time.


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