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Canada, July 27,  2020  12:05pm EST

Ablation: recovery time?

I am considering an ablation and am looking for clues on recovery time.  (I have family members who need my help with settling after a move.)  As I read about the differences here several questions come to mind:  1) what was the skill level and experience of the EP, and 2) what kind of ablation was it?  Do these factor in?  

My main problem is shortness of breath with AF and it is quickly incapacitating so I take my PIP and need to spend the next 2-3 hours in bed or in a recliner.  My EP (in a major West Coast centre) thinks I'm a good candidate for a tacticath and for 90% relief from the sob.  I asked about recovery and he thought a couple of weeks at most.  I am 76 and not in great shape but have never been overweight.  I am on a fairly high dose of an anti-hypertensive, have chronic fatigue, problematic insomnia and multiple back issues that interfere with exercise.

I spoke with a cardiac RN friend who knows my EP and his work.  She says he is excellent and she believes I should definitely have it done - or twice if necessary - and recovery should take a few weeks.  She says most people need more than one.

I suspect I am not a good candidate for a quick recovery; however, our outcomes don't seem to correlate, necessarily, with our overall health.  Or am I wrong?  Is any of it due to the EP's skill level and his method?  How do we even know how to compare?

Also, I'm interested in any conjectures on how I might fare.

Thanks for any input.  Sure appreciate this forum!



7 Replies
  • Spencer
    Spencer, July 27,  2020  12:17pm EST

    I've had three so far. Recovery is about seven days. Very little pain, if any. You just take it easy for a week. 

  • depotdoug
    depotdoug, July 27,  2020  1:38pm EST

    Canda,  Like minds think alike, I think. Speaking about Spencer and I. Me two Spencer three Ablations i mean. I've had a whopping 4 EP specialised specialists. Notice I call my EP's specialist twice. I believe because they ar each unique in there methods of ablation and success. I looked up my present EP's Bio and past experiences, plus his medical history and education past. It took a lot of patience and perseverance to gain respect for my present and hopefully last Electrophysiologist, you never know. 

    Point of interest was when I 1st saw my newest, present, that just did my RF cath ablation May 6th EP; that was April 2019 when i was just re-Dx'd with advanced prostate cancer 3rd time. He Dr V actually took the time to listen to my concerns, worries about my Cancer meds(all 3) interferring with my Cardiac Rhythm issues. He was right i wa wrong. I was not at risk for AFIB or Long Qtc or other rhythm issues with my cancer meds. 
    FFWD to Feb 13th 2020, Yep, I was inpatient after i drove myself to local heart hospital ER with constant or persistent AFIB. MY EP Dr V took the time to visit me in Rm 509 @ 8:30 PM that night. He once again discussed my options for getting me out of AFIb. I had a cardioversion next morning, it did not last more than a week. Darn it. The night of Feb 13th @20:30 Dr V even gave me the option of doing an PFA(Pulsed Field Ablation) but the type or method was not even in approval stage by FDA yet. He gave me hope and assurance again when my OV March 30th he repeated the options for AFIB treatment, not a cure but treatment. An RF cath ablation soon, or wait wait for the 'PFA' ablation techniques to become available in 2021 or later. 

    What do i look for admire in my EP's, my MO's my URologists? Assurance for success and hope for better quality of life, now rather than next time. Enough said Canada. Hope you keep in touch. Thanks, Doug.

  • Canada
    Canada, July 28,  2020  1:15am EST

    Thanks.  I'll just be having one EP since he's the only one in our area.  That keeps things simple.  He also has a 5-star rating.  But I guess we never know how we'll do with recovery time until we have it done.  A week's recovery sounds doable.   I'll ask him again when I talk to him next week at a follow-up appt.  There's 4 to 6-month wait and considering when he put me on the list, that could be in the fall sometime.

    Appreciate the feedback.


  • Thumper2
    Thumper2, July 28,  2020  8:02am EST

    Canada, I'm glad to hear you are going to try ablation(s).  Though they didn't work for me, they were not difficult to recover from.  As for your SOB, exercise may be the key to keeping that at bay.  Even with your other physical difficulties, try to find an exercise regimen that will work for you.   Keep us posted!

    Thumper2 (Judy)

  • smallpat
    smallpat, August 11,  2020  7:37pm EST

    I have had afib for many years now.  It rears it's **** head more and more lately.  Unfortunately when I go into afib I cannot do anything except for sit in a chair.  I now get very very light headed when I move around that I feel like I'm going to pass out.  I have not had an ablation yet but am thinking about it.  Does any one else get these types of symptons?

  • JS2020
    JS2020, August 17,  2020  5:25pm EST

    Hi smallpart, I got dizzy all the time on every medication that they have tried;  I also had edema.  Now I'm on carvedilol and it seems to be working a little bit better.  I'm new on this sight and trying to find out what makes a good candidate for an ablation?  Does age have anything to do with it?  js2020.

  • sldabrowski
    sldabrowski, August 23,  2020  8:03pm EST

    Hi, Not sure what you mean about age - do you mean having the ablation at certain ages or experience in having AFIB?.  Having two ablations my self, I had one at 58  mini maze, and another  touch up at 70 when it came back. I was diagnosed with AFIB when I was 30 and have expereinced all types of trails with meds.    General health is certainly a consideration for doing this. EP generally try the medication route and it is trial and error unfortunately. We are all different.  Sometimes combos of two meds help, sometime one. Your EP will help you decide if you are a good candidate for ablation. Go to a recognized center where they do lots and lots.    Do not give up. Suggest you go to web site.  There is a ton of information there and a lot of expertise. 

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