Undergoing an ablation to treat AFib is a serious medical procedure, and there are many ways that it can affect a patient’s body in the weeks and months afterwards. Here are some changes patients can expect to encounter during their recovery period.
Pain and Discomfort
There are two main sources of pain that may persist in the aftermath of the ablation procedure. The first is lingering chest pain. The severity of the pain completely depends on how each individual patient reacts to the procedure. Some patients may report a feeling of tightness in the chest, or feel pain whenever they cough or simply take a very deep breath. Some patients who undergo severe ablation treatment emerge with no chest pain at all.
The second source of pain stems from the insertion of the catheter. The catheter is inserted near the groin, and it’s common for the area around the insertion point to experience bruising and soreness following its removal. This pain usually diminishes within a few days of the procedure.
Continued Arrhythmia Activity
Ablation doesn’t always result in a perfect heart rhythm setting in immediately. While this can be concerning for some patients, it’s important to remember that ablation of the heart is a big procedure and can take some time to settle into a normal rhythm. Some patients notice skipped heartbeats, extra heartbeats, shortness of breath, and other symptoms associated with arrhythmias for four to six weeks following the ablation.
The first week after the procedure is a crucial time in the healing process, and you should abstain from strenuous exercise and lifting heavy objects until your doctor informs you that you can resume these activities. When performing any mild activity during this time, stop immediately if you feel you are becoming overtired.
Changes in Resting Heart Rate
Your resting heart rate can be very erratic after undergoing ablation, even several weeks or months later. Most instances of increased heart rate resolve themselves over time.
Schedule an Appointment
If you believe you are suffering from AFib or any other heart arrhythmia and wish to learn more about ablation procedures, schedule a consultation with Dr. Dilip Mathew. Dr. Mathew and his practice, Heart Rhythm Consultants, P.A., are dedicated to helping patients with arrhythmias, delivering personal care backed by electrophysiological expertise.