I am scheduled for an ablation in less than 48 hours. Monday (4/14/08) I go in at 0730 to be admitted for an ablation. What I want to know is how long the procedure usually takes. From pre-op versed shot to in the room I'll spend Monday night in how long am I looking at? I know that things can take longer but on the average how long does it all take?
It is difficult to give a time because it can be anywhere from 1.5 to 7 hours. It depends on whether they are able to produce symptoms and find the spot(s) to ablade. What type of arrhythmia do you have?
I had an ablation 2 months ago for SVT. It took 2 hours. They were able to produce symptoms quite quickly and two ablations took care of it.
Many people find the hardest part of an ablation is afterwards. Not painful but can be a little uncomfortable. You need to lay relatively flat for up to 6 or more hours and this can be difficult if you have back problems.
So, from start to finish, and very generally speaking, it can take anywhere from 7 to 14 or more hours.
Sue, I am in a-fib right now. I have been since early last November. If I am in a-fib when I get to the hospital Monday and assuming they don't find any clots with that endoscopic echocardiogram does that mean it shouldn't take long?
As for the lying relatively flat. Does that preclude reading a book with my head partially raised? I don't have back problems so - thank goodness - that is not an issue.
I doubt that you'll be in any condition to lie back and read a book. First off you'll have the IV plugged into your arm. What a nuisance. Second - it takes quite awhile for the Versed and fentanyl to wear off. My family told me I spoke with them, answered questions but I remember practically nothing about it. All I have are tiny bits and pieces of memory of those days (3 ablations). The next day was more normal.
My first 2 ablations I was flat after the procedures, the 3rd time they raised my head just a tiny bit, enough to ease the back pain. Still, I was too foggy to read a book or do a puzzle. Just sleep it off.
On day one I was admitted in the hospital being evaluated. They did extensive mapping of my heart, ekg's, blood tests, etc. I had the ablation the next day under general anesthetic. (I understand many centers do not do general anesthetic)
I spent that day recovering with a sand bag on my groin to keep the insert site from bleeding. I also had oxygen in my nose and a catheter for urine. I was quite comfortable, however. The next day I was released to go home. I was a little weak for a few days and had some planned restriction of my activity. It seemed like a couple of weeks later I was able to resume full activity.
Although I was not awake and the time to complete the procedure seemed like seconds. I think the actual time start to finish was about three or four hours.
Good luck with your procedure. Let us know how it works out.
I've had two ablations for PVCs, so it may be entirely different for afib. I was in the EP lab around 8:30-9:00 and in recovery around 4:00 each time. The time flew by since I was in a twilight state (versed and fentynl worked great at keeping me very comfortable). I did take a book with me, but it's pretty hard to read they way they keep you flat, or pretty close to it. They did prop me up a little so I could eat, but it mind be hard to hang onto a book. I was able to get up and move about around 10:00 that evening. So, from then until the next day around 11-12, I could walk, read, rest.
I was in the procedure room for 7.5 hours. I had AVNRT, but they said I had currents going in both directions, in a loop. Also, he said the extra loop was close to the AV node. It just took a lot of extra time to fix me, but they did and I'm great now. I never knew it was taking that long, but my husband & family were all very worried. Guess it's good to know, from others, that it could possibly be a few hours. Hope you're done a lot quicker, but don't worry if it goes longer. As long as they are thorough and stay in there and fix it...that's all that matters. Good Luck!!
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