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Scared after an ablation,,,,Please help
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Scared after an ablation,,,,Please help

I had a few episode of svt,went to see an arrhtyhmia specialist who recommended that i have an ep study, with a possible ablation if necessary.Monday i had an ablation done. During the procedure he was able to see the problem area, but could not reproduce it with adenaline but he went back and did the ablation to the area he saw.  About two hours after the procedure, while in recovery, my heart rate spiked to 150 beats and my heart beat went crazy, i felt a lot of flips in a row. The nurses came in and said i was having a SVT.  My heart rate came down to 100 beats per minute within a few minutes. One doctor came in and said this was not what they corrected in the surgery and was not sure what was happening. I then asked to speak with the two doctors that did the ablation and they said they were not concerned.  They said i had 6 skipped beats and it was nothing to worry about.  I ended up spending the night in the hospital to be monitored due to my request.   During the night I had two more episode of a rapid rate of 140, but not the flips.Doctor said i had normal rhythmm all night and i was fine.  Since then i have been experiencing flutters and some hard skips.  (I have experienced them before the ablation too).  My question is, could something have happened during the surgery that damaged my heart.  How confindent should i be in that the doctors said my heart was just aggitated from the procedure and is not life-threatening. Have you heard of the heart being aggistated after an ablation? I am wearing a 24hr monitor now.  Will that pick up a serious arrythmia problem?
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Hi jojojc,

Sorry to hear about your problems with SVT.  It is important to remember that ablations are generally very safe procedures and with a structurally normal heart, arrhythmias can make you feel badly, but don't harm you.

Let me tackle your questions one at a time.

1. Could something have happened during the surgery that damaged my heart?

Complications with SVT ablations are infrequent, but can happen.  However this does not sound like a complication.  As you know, either an extra pathway in the heart or an area that is hyperactive and triggers too many beats causes many SVTs.  The SVT ablation intends to use radio frequency energy to damage the offending tissue and render it unable to conduct currents in the hearts.  There are several possible explanations for what you experience:

         a. The heart tissue is just irritable after the     ablation and will heal.
         b. The offending tissue was only stunned and not damaged enough to cause a lasting effect
         c. There were other pathways or areas in the heart that were not visible prior to ablation. A pathway not seen at the time of the ablation may cause the new arrhythmia.

It is very unlikely that ablation itself is causing a new SVT.

How confident should I be in that the doctors said my heart was just agitated from the procedure and is not life threatening.

The heart can be more agitated after an ablation and take time to heal.  This is a likely explanation, but only time will tell.

Have you heard of the heart being agitated after an ablation?

Yes, the heart can be more agitated after an ablation and take time to heal.

Will that pick up a serious arrhythmia problem?
It depends on the frequency of the arrhythmia.  If it happens everyday, yes it will pick it up. If the event only occurs once or twice a month, it may be difficult to catch.

I don't think you should be nervous about the arrhythmia.  It will probably settle out of the next few days.  If it doesn't and the doctors are concerned, they can always take you back for another ablation.  I know this is not what you want to hear, but sometimes it takes more than one attempt to burn out these pathways.

I hope this helps.  Good luck and thanks for posting.
18 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
An ablation definitely agitates the tissue and it is "normal" to feel some arrythymias, maybe even to the extent of feeling worse than before ablation.  Time will heal the scars where the tissue has been damaged by ablation.  I had a pulmonary vein ablation a little over five months ago and still experience some occassional afib.  Just be thankful you are not experiencing premature ventricular contractions; they are devastating.

Glenn Camp
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,  I read your post and I know exactly how you feel.  I had 3 ablations and I felt more arrhythmia 'after' my procedure.  

It was like after the ablation everything got 'stirred' up. I think they have to really stir things up to know what sites need an ablation.  On one ablation I was on the table for 10 hours and had 21 sites ablated.  Yes, I had alot stirred up - but several weeks later they were all gone.  :-)  

I know it sounds crazy that it could get worse before it gets better.  But that's what happened to me and I've heard many others say the same..  I'm not a doctor and I can't say for sure that's what your situation is.  But I think waiting a couple weeks and see if it gets better overall is a good idea.  

I also found taking 'deep' breaths and focusing on calming myself - helped to stop them sooner during the actual events.  

I think its alot like those 'deep breathing' exercises they give you for child birth.  Inhale through your nose and exhale slowly through you mouth.  It did wonders for me..  It really worked for me and I know others who said the same thing.

I hope it all calms down for you.  I had 100% ablation on my avnrt and some success on my vt ablations.  I truly believe the ablations helped me in the long run.  I know others have said the same.  I hope it gets better.  

Best Wishes
Konopka1955
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Avatar_n_tn
I had an ablation 2/20/2004 for AFIB, atrial flutter, and frequent PAC's.  The night I went back to my motel room, my heart started flopping around like crazy.  Scared me so much I went to the emergency room.   I went into AFIB. They put me back in the hospital to monitor me, and it went back into sinus rythmn as soon as I got to my room.

Two days after the procedure same thing happened.  My heart was skipping around like crazy for about one day.  I thought the ablation had failed.  It soon stopped.

I had a few instances of AFIB afterwards, but nothing real long.  Then after one month it seemed like everything just really settled down.

The bottom line:  IT HAD NOT FAILED.  MY HEART JUST NEEDED TIME TO HEAL.

It's been 6 months, and I've felt great.  As time went on skipped beats etc. have diminished.

Your heart needs time to heal.  It really takes at least 3 months to know for sure if the ablation worked.  Give it some time.  I know that's hard to do.  Believe me.


I suspect that you will find things settling down.  If not they can try again.  But it's too early to tell.  Expect some irregular beats for awhile.

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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your responses.  I have been very nervous. I was nervous before the procedure but thought that the ablation would fix the problem.  I never expected to have these experiences afterwards.  I have a hard time believing that my heart can be OK and flip around and race like what i experienced.  It just does not seem normal to me.  I also experience a lot of fluttering since and some hard thumps, then just fill like i am out of sync.  Did anyone else fill that too?
Thanks for your help.  I am so glad i found this site.  I was starting to convince myself something went wrong with the ablation and now I have a more serious problem.
Thanks
Joanne
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Avatar_n_tn
I had a pulmonary vein ablation March 9 of this year and it has beeen five months since.  I still experience episodes of afib and pvc's.  Dr. did not ablate the pvc's as his opinion was the pvc's would subside as my heart healed from the afib procedure.  I have been very symptomatic with pvc's since 1964 and more so since ablation for afib.
I was hoping I would tell a bit difference after three months. Now I am still hoping that after six months they will subside and leave me alone.  I am tired of the dadblasted things.

Glenn Camp
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Avatar_n_tn
I had an ablation 10 months ago for avnrt.  I had a lot of exactly what you are experiencing and it went on for almost 5 months after the ablation.  I was sure my ablation was a failure or that I had some serious damage to my heart.  I became very anxious as well.  To make a long story short; I am just fine now.  I have pvc's and pac's and some small speed ups every so often but that is it.  I am less anxious now too.  I think you need to give it time.  My heart would speed up to 140+ and I would get hard thumps as well.  So just take it easy and let time takes its course.  It is extremely hard to do, I know, as it was hard for me too.  I posted a lot at that time on this board and most everyone was very helpful.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I,as well, had an ablation last September. It was my third, the Docs knew at the conclusion of the first two that they were not successful, during the third one they knew that it was a success right then. I also came home and had a few flips and bips but no V T. After a month they were becoming few and farther between. After a couple of months I decided to do some testing of my own. I started drinking caffiene- nothin',had some of thoes BBQ Fritos( the ones that are loaded with MSG)- nothin', worked a couple of allnighters- nothin' even had a few stiff drinks, again smooth as silk. In the past these had been surefire triggers. The only thing I carried on with was caffiene. By January, I had ended up with A-fib a couple of times, converting on my own after 10 or 12 hrs. I went back on atenolol for three months and cut the caffiene. Now I'm off meds and de-cafed, things are smooth again, not even a flip. Give it some time. By the way, I haven't had any VT (250 bpm) since the ablation. Wish you the best, Bob
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Avatar_n_tn
Yesterday was a good day, but last night was horrible.  I have been experiencing some strange symptoms while sleeping.  I feel as though my heart surges.  Like the blood is surging through my heart and it makes me just out of my sleep.  I then feel like my heart rate is very slugguish.  My left arm also goes numb while sleeping, that i have to shake it out.  This is very frightening.  Can anyone offer some advice, help. I wore a monitor the other day, results are not back yet, but these symptoms were not really present at that time.  Also I am getting a lot of burping.  I am scared and feel as though something is seriously wrong.
Thanks
Joanne
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Avatar_n_tn
Just wanted to comment, one of my worst SVT attacks before the ablation was right after I ate BBQ Fritos.  Something I don't normally have, I had tried them for the first time.  They were good but I don't think i will have them again.!!!
Joanne
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Avatar_n_tn
I had an ablation for Wolf Parkinsons White Syndrome. My anxiety has lessened since the ablation, but initially it was quite high.  I thinks that reading about my condition, and about the state of medical technology for treating it, helped me to settle down a bit. I still experience PVC's, mild chest discomfort, and short runs of tachycardia, but the lengthy episodes seem to be gone at this point. Also, with a low dose of Beta Blockers added to me daily routine, the PVC's seem to be all but completely gone. In time I hope to be free of the drugs too.
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Avatar_n_tn
HI, Had ablation in April for SVT, they saw the pvcs, am on a event monitor now.  1st week i know it got some good readings, have subsided this past week.  Wondering if the EP study should be done before each ablation.  Seems to me it should be what has been some of your expierences on this 2nd and 3rd ablations.  The skips and irregulars and pvcs are making my life miserable daily.  Have til end of month to wear monitor, quess I hope it really acts up for it.
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Avatar_n_tn
Just wondering if anyone else experience pains in the chest after the ablation.  I keep getting on and off sharp pains kind of in the middle of the chest but close to the left breast.  It is a sharp pain that last for about a minute or less and it scares the you know what out of me, then some times i feel a dull ache.  Sometimes the pain goes down the left arm to the elbow.  Went back to the cardiologist and he said the only thing he did not test me for was coronary Artery disease. He is willing to do a Thallium Stress test but feels because of my age (36-Female) and all my other test came back fine, I am really not at risk.  Anyone have some ideas.
I just don't feel the same anymore.
Oh Well
Thanks for any replies.
Joanne
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Avatar_n_tn
I had an ablation on 8/12/04 for SVT. Two days later I experienced an SVT episode. The surgeon put me back on Toprol. She said that my bad heart pathway was sooo close to the normal pathway that she was not able to ablate as much as she normally would. I am only on 25mgs. of Toprol a day, and after reading the comments of others, perhaps my svt was a normal response. Any comments? Also has anyone on Toprol experienced hair thinning. I also have noticed I have a tendency to have more "sad" days; tha's why I wanted to go off Toprol.
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Avatar_n_tn
Well today I thought it was the worse day of my life.My fiance went to work called mr at 6 this morning from work stating that he was sick.He was vomiting and feeling nauseating.So I went and picked him up.The doctor told him that he was going to do an EKG test on him just to see if everything is okay.And he did.Then we got the results but.They were not good.The doctor told him that he has wpw.We did not know what it was.The doctor told us that he would like us to go see a heart doctot so we went to the nearest one and he told us everything that he needed to do.But I am still confused on what exactly this wpw is.Is it true you can get it when you are born?He and I are both scared is this the right thing to do when it could or could not be life threatening??
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Avatar_n_tn
Well today I thought it was the worse day of my life.My fiance went to work called mr at 6 this morning from work stating that he was sick.He was vomiting and feeling nauseating.So I went and picked him up.The doctor told him that he was going to do an EKG test on him just to see if everything is okay.And he did.Then we got the results but.They were not good.The doctor told him that he has wpw.We did not know what it was.The doctor told us that he would like us to go see a heart doctot so we went to the nearest one and he told us everything that he needed to do.But I am still confused on what exactly this wpw is.Is it true you can get it when you are born?He and I are both scared is this the right thing to do when it could or could not be life threatening??
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello all,
well i've got a problem...2 years ago i was diagnosed with an WPW...i;ve never experienced really long tahichardia episodes...2 days ago i had a consultation an an EKG...the WPW maintains...I"m only 20 and my cardiologist prescribed me a B-blocker-Betaloc(metoprolol)...i"ll have to start taking it but i'm nut sure how it will fell like..I hope itt will be more good because in the end i don't want to proceed an ablation...are u like me...hope to hear u
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Avatar_n_tn
I had ablation surgery done at Stanford in July of 2001. Had it all my life. Yes MSG does set them off. In the early years Dr's called them panic attacks. After the Ablation they sad they removed 5 pathways. I had a lot of flutters and slight pain for about 3 to 4 months. I was told my EKG was normal after. The attack that led me to have the Ablation my Heart rate was 350 bpm before they hit me with the paddles. Through the years I learned that staying calm helped keep things from getting worse as I drove myself to the Hospital 3 blocks on that last attack. It's been 3 1/2 years now but I feel a few flutters now and again. Has anyone else had that happen? I find if I press hard and release under my Heart the flutter stops. I was wondering if a nerve might be growing back. I havn't had an EKG in about 2 years to check if any nerves were growing back. If you have WPW get the ablation it's worth it in the long run . My Dr.had said the attacks get worse every year as the connection will become stronger between the AV and Sinus nodes.
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