General Question

janbb's avatar

Has anyone had experience with a cardiac ablation?

Asked by janbb (59611points) May 9th, 2018

Not for me but a family member is having one. I know what it is and what for but want to know more personal experiences like the recovery time and discomfort.

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9 Answers

RocketGuy's avatar

My 83 year old mom just had it 2 months ago. Her strength had been going downhill for 6 months, needed a walker to get around. It took twice as long as the doctor estimated. They went up both femoral arteries – one for the optic fiber/laser, one for the electrical probes. The incision sites sealed up fine afterwards. A good portion of her strength came back after a week. (Did not need a walker after a week.) She is getting stronger every day. => you don’t need all of your heart muscles, only the good ones.

JLeslie's avatar

I have one friend who had it done, and it was very successful. I don’t know how long her recovery was. About ten years later she developed additional cardiac problems, but I don’t think it was related.

filmfann's avatar

I had it done a couple years ago. Same day left the hospital, and had no significant weakness afterwards.

Cupcake's avatar

I worked in a cath lab, so my experience is as a technician not a patient.

Sometimes the worst part is getting the catheter into an artery and pulling out the catheter/closing up the hole at the end. Usually the improved cardiac efficiency makes the patient feel better right away. It’s possible to have difficulty pinpointing the location to ablate, so the procedure can be prolonged, with some possible positional difficulty (such as a sore back or hips). The staff really want to keep the patient as comfortable as possible, but they are greatly constrained in what they can do in the procedure room.

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zenvelo's avatar


A friend has had it done twice in the last year. His recovery was pretty quick, all normal within day. He said it was most worrisome beforehand from contemplating someone fiddling with his heart.

gondwanalon's avatar

I had a radio frequency catheter ablation in 2009 to treat my heart’s atrial fibrillation.

The hardest part for me was being required to lay on my back from 10 am until 2 am (16 hours).

Of course they put a Foley catheter into my bladder. But they did something wrong (maybe didn’t lube it properly or they removed it without fully deflating the air sack). This basically removed the lining of my urethra. The pain to urinate was a #10 (I about pulled the pipes out of the wall while trying to pee). Also being loaded up on anticoagulants I was peeing out a lot of blood for a week when anticoagulation therapy stopped.

Nevertheless, I recovered quickly. I went for a ¼ mile walk up a hill as soon as I got home from the hospital and was back a work in 3 days.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Had one in 2005. A little bit of soreness around the incision for a day or two, but nothing bad. I was engaging in all normal physical activities (even sex) within days. Honestly, I’ve had headaches that were more debilitating.

janbb's avatar

@Darth_Algar Thanks.

And thanks to @gondwanalon and everyone who answered. It’s reassuring.

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