EP study/ Ablation Recovery
by cdel825, Mar 28, 2010
I am scheduled to have an EP study/ ablation done in a couple of weeks for SVT episodes.  As it gets closer, I am now thinking of all kinds of questions I should have asked my Dr.!  Can anyone here help?

1) Dr. said in a week I would be able to resume normal activities and return to work.  I am reading here that isn't always the case.  What is a realistic expectation?

2)  Does everyone have increased PVC's etc.  post ablation?  My Dr. did not tell me that this would happen but I am reading here that many people do.  Is this to be expected?

3)  Many people have continued beta blockers after the procedure for several months.  My Dr. did not mention this.  Is this for the PVC's?  Is this routine?

4)  I am scheduled to travel (airplane) 7 weeks post ablation.  My Dr. said no big deal but I am reading posts that many people have issues up to 3-6 months.  Will travel at 7 weeks be dangerous?

5) My Dr. suggested general anesthesia over sedation.  Will this affect recovery?  I am reading that general anesthesia isn't the norm.  

Sorry this is so long!   Any help is greatly appreciated!
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Member Comments (4)
by ireneo, Mar 28, 2010
I've had 3 ablations done so I can only share from my own experience.

1. For the usual SVT (not a-fib) you can feel pretty normal the next day, perhaps a bit tired and tenderness in the groin area where the catheters went in. They like you to take it easy and not lift heavy things for a week so the incisions heal well.

2. There is usually some irritability in the heart for awhile after the ablation. That means it may skip and flutter for a few weeks or a few months until the heart tissue heals completely. It's nice to know that so you don't worry about the ablation being a total failure.

3. I never took meds after my ablations. Some doctors will offer the meds to reduce the sensations of those fluttery flip flops that are so common after the ablation. I'm not sure the meds are completely necessary except as a comfort measure.

4.No problem with the plane trip. Again, the most common issues after ablations are the fluttery heart beats as the heart heals. Not affected much by a plane trip unless you're anxious anyway.

5.  I haven't heard much about a general anesthesia used for ablation. Usually less is better so they can trigger the arrhythmias. Certainly with a general there's going to be more risk, more recovery time. I was given Versed to make me loopy and relaxed (also caused me to forget what little I remembered of the procedure) and fentanyl for any pain I might have felt during the ablation itself.

And that's my 2 cents worth.
by Trackermom, Mar 28, 2010
Hello-I had two places on my right ventricle ablated in 1998.  I was fine right away.  Except for the groin incision which was normal tender for a couple of days.  I didn't even have a PVC for years after my ablation.  I was taken off Coreg right after the ablation.  I didn't have any restrictions for anything after my ablation.
I was sedated and was told that is because they ask you questions during the EP study and even during the ablation.  Wasn't a big deal at all.

Go over all these questions with your cardiologist electrophysiolgist  before the procedure.  

Good luck!!!  
by cdel825, Mar 29, 2010
Thank you both for the great information.  I will definately review these questions with my Dr.   I am very nervous about the procedure, but having good information really helps ease the anxiety.  Thanks!
by cdel825, Apr 21, 2010
I had my ablation procedure on April 12th under general anesthesia. Dr.s found the SVT right away and are 95% sure the problem is fixed. (I really hope they are correct!) Sugery took 3.5 hrs which I didn't think was too bad.  Recovery has been easier than I anticipated. I am already back to work and have had only a couple PVC's which is lots better than before the procedure.  I am so glad I found this site.  I may not have gone thorough with it had I not read about other people's experiences.