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Post ablation question
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Post ablation question

I had an ablation eight days ago and I am still feeling awful from it. Yesterday and the day before I had a horrible headache. Nothing would make it go away but sleeping it off. It feels like it is coming back again today. Is this a common thing after ablation? I have not read anything about anyone getting headaches after ablation. I am still getting lightheaded and I am not able to do much yet. I hope this will get better. From what I have read on here most people start feeling better by now!
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612551_tn?1247839157
Sorry I can't give personal experience, but I can say I've read many time on this Community that people go through some discomfort and recurring rhythm problems while the ablated areas of the heart heal... I think that takes a few weeks.  I can't say I recall anyone mentioning headaches.  

This will bump your post to the top of the list again, perhaps someone who as experience will read and reply.

Good luck,
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376186_tn?1219283105
I had an ablation in 1993 so it's been awhile and I do not rem haviing any side effects like headaches. I was ablated for tachy but left with PVC's which I hardly had before the ablation.
If I were you, I would ck with the doctor who did the ablation b/c I am such a worry wart and I would want to make sure that everything was ok.
Let us know how you are doing tho...we like to know!!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you Jerry. I have been reading some of the past posts on ablations also and did not see anything about headaches.
If anyone has any experience with this please let me know...
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Avatar_f_tn
I guess we were typing at the same time...:)

I have to go in tomorrow morning to get a holter moniter and will ask them then. I had my sinus node ablated and I really think my body just can not get used to the lower rate. It is staying in the fifties now and I am used to resting rate of about 120. I just hope that I don't always feel like this. My blood pressure is pretty low 90/50 now also. Could that be affecting me??
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770426_tn?1235065089
Hi there - we exchanged posts a few days back about me getting off Flecainide. I had a PVI ablation in February and I have had and have continued to have headaches. I'm attributing it to the Coumadin/Warfarin even though my EP says it's not a published side effect. I rarely get headaches and I've had awful headaches on and off since the day of the ablation.

I doubt it has to do with heart rate because my old resting rate was 43 and now I'm at 77. The total opposite of you. Over the past two months I've had headaches that have lasted days and then they clear up. One of my really bad headaches was on the same day that my INR came back as 3.7. But I've had them on days when my INR was as low as 2.3. Are you on Coumadin or Warfarin? Maybe that's the connection?

Sorry you are not bouncing back as quickly as you expected. I didn't either but around the second to third week I did start feeling like my old self again. I'm at the 2 month mark today and I feel great. Hang in there and hopefully you'll start to feel better soon!
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376186_tn?1219283105
Let us know how things are going, OK?
PS...we use to live in TX and have family there..in Fort Worth. I miss it and we will retire there soon!
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Avatar_f_tn
SooZeeALT- I am not on coumadinso it's not that for me. I went today to get the holter monitor and then went to the grocery store. My husband drove me ( I am still not driving because of the dizzyness). When we got home I was so tired I had to go lay down. I hate not being able to do anything. The headache came back also but I took a nap and it has let up some. It seems to have to do with moving around. The more I do the worse the headache seems to be. I asked the tech today if that was a common thing after ablations and he said he had heard others complaingin of that. I just hope it goes away! I am glad you are doing so good. It gives me some hope that things will improve.
Bargmag-Things are about the same. I am just trying to be patient.
Yes Texas is great but I have never lived anywhere else. I am from Dallas...
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376186_tn?1219283105
Hope today is better!!!!
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664977_tn?1234644335
I had really awful, incapacitating headaches too that started a few days after my ablation. My Dr. said that was not a "common" complaint. For me, I was not taking any meds other than the beta blockers for my SVT, have never taken many meds and attributed the headaches as my body processing out the many meds I had just received related to the procedure. Drink LOTS of water, and I took, with my Dr.'s approval, acetaminephen and I was happy the headaches were gone in a few days...
If you reflect on all that you have just been through, it will help to put it in perspective. I had trouble with that, as the only visible evidence was a couple of tiny entry wounds. It felt a bit surreal...Everyones experiences will be somewhat different. I also had a mild  histamine reaction to the local anesthetic. Give yourself the chance for some recovery time and stay in touch with your Dr. with any concerns you have. It's great too that you can always come here for some reassurance!
Here's to a speedy recovery!
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Avatar_f_tn
Barbmag-Day ten after ablation and surprisingly so far today has been my best day! I have not been dizzy and only have a mild headache which is bearable! I did get a pretty bad headache yesterday while on the monitor so if it is heart related they will see it, I guess. It feels like my heart rate is up today which may be why I feel some better! I still think it is just my body getting used to staying in the fifties and now sometimes I notice it in the forties. That is a huge change from always going so fast! I am trying to hang in there! Thank you for your support. It helps more that you know!
au2311- I have been trying to stay very hydrated just in case that is it and have tried everything for my headache and nothing helps except sleep. What you said is so true. There are really no outside wounds and I feel like I should be getting over this. I am trying to tell myself that it will take time. I just feel like I am putting such a burden on my husband even though he is wonderful and would never say that! I just know he is ready for me to get back to myself, you know? I am really fighting the frustration and sadness I feel at times. I just want to cry everytime someone looks at me or asks how I feel. I know I am just being a whiny baby but I am so emotional right nowf for some reason. Thank you. It does help to have people that truly understand what I am going through.
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Avatar_f_tn
OK today has not been good. It feels like my heart is racing ALL DAY! I know this is just part of the healing process but it is very hard! My son has a birthday party tomorrow and I really need to be able to get through that. Then my husband needs to go out of town Monday for work but is afraid to leave me. I told him that I figure if anything major was going on they would have called when they got the monitor back. We turned it in yesterday afternoon. Should my husband go on his trip? I'm sorry I guess I am just venting. I am just so tired of feeling bad and yesterday I thought maybe things were going to get better.
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376186_tn?1219283105
Gosh, I know how stressful this must be for you. It's good that you came here to vent, etc....what is your HR?? If it were me and I was still feeling the slightest bit out of sorts, I think that I would have my hubby cancel his trip unless it's imperative that he go. I know i am a huge worry wart tho and prob would be bugging my doctor too.
Gosh, I hope you feel better and this is just a slight bump in the road.
Stay in touch with us!
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Avatar_f_tn
My heart rate is just around 120 but it feels so much faster since the sinus modification. Everything feels so different. It finally went down about fifteen minutes ago and now is 50.  I started to call my doctor today but I feel like I am whining. He gave me a long talk at the hospital because I was so freaked out about how bad I felt and said how it would take time for me to adjust since my body was so used to the high rates. I see him next Thursday and hopefully I can wait and ask him about all of this then. I really don't want my husband to go either but he has been off practically this whole two weeks taking care of me and I know how behind he is at work. So I have been trying to put on a brave face for him. I keep telling myself if this was dangerous they would call when they saw the monitor results. I wonder how soon the doctor gets those?
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770426_tn?1235065089
Did you have a high heart rate like this when you were on the monitor? If not, then you really should call your doctor. That's why they are there. That rate is way too high for just sitting around, especially if your "new" rate is in the 50s. My new rate is in the 70s and it doesn't seem to dip down at all anymore to my old rate (40s) or jump up very high unless I'm working out or exerting myself. But I totally understand how crazy it is to get used to a new rate. I couldn't sleep for about a week trying to get used to it.

At the two week mark I was back to work but that was about it. I was so extremely fatigued by the end of the day I'd drive home and go to bed. My husband too was very concerned but I did start improving a little bit each day. I'm sorry to hear you had this setback today.

If nothing else, you could call the on-call doctor this weekend and report that your resting HR was elevated to 120 for an extended period of time and ask if it is cause for concern or if it is to be expected. It can't hurt to ask. They get paid to be there for you.

Hang in there and I hope you are good for your son's party. Have some cake. Cake makes everything better :-) Keep us posted on your progress!
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664977_tn?1234644335
I'm sorry you are having a hard time. Stop, take a deep breath and remember YOU JUST HAD YOUR SINUS NODE ABLATED. Wow! that is a big thing for your heart to adjust to. That your dr. is monitoring you is good, he is looking for anything to be concerned about. I had a few episodes after my ablation; my dr gave me his email address and always kept in touch when I reported any concerns.If they continued, he would have put me on a monitor,but he also advised me "not to act like a "cardiac cripple", because I was not". It is normal for your heart to readjust.
This is a good time to consciously reduce your stress.It only gets in the way of recovery, do whatever works to help you. Perhaps there will be other adults at your son's party that would be happy to help you.Let them and keep it simple.
I hope you are feeling better soon!

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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you guys for the support!
I survived the party but that was only because my husband did so much to help. It was a really long day and I have not been able to sleep much so I am exhausted. My heart rate is pretty much staying up all the time now so it is hard to relax. It is not staying so high but around 90-100 most of the time. It was not going high like that when I had the monitor, so this is new since then. I am going to just try to take it easy this week and hopefully the doctor will help Thursday. I know my heart is still adjusting and your right that stress does not help. So I am trying now to keep from getting upset and anxious when things aren't going so well.
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Avatar_f_tn
Ok so I am having a horrible day today and need encouragement! I am so short of breath. I feel like I am sufficating and have chest pressure. This has happened some since the ablation but usually after moving around too much. I have not done anything today!! I have been trying to take it easy this week. I go to the doctor tomorrow so just trying to make it through the day today. I am really scared the doctor is going to say that all of this, the horrible headaches I am still having, the sob, the heart rate ups and downs are all normal and that I just have to wait it out. I can not do that! I feel like I am losing my mind!!!
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770426_tn?1235065089
Oh I'm so sorry to hear this. I had hoped that you were doing much better this week. I'm not so sure all of this is normal for where you are in your recovery by now but as I said, I did have those headaches for quite some time. They did get better though. The rest of your symptoms do seem a bit over the top for 16-days post ablation (SOB, erratic heart rate, chest pressure).

Try not to stress out though because that will give you all those symptoms and more. Try to remain calm and go to your "happy place" in your head (big fan of Happy Gilmore). You'll be able to address all of this with your doctor tomorrow. I have been worrying about my sister the past few days and I've started to have increased HR and chest tightness and pressure. All stress related.  

Please keep us posted on what your doctor says. I'll be thinking of you!
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503607_tn?1275675179
I hope your dr was able to reassure you today.   I hope things get better real soon!
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Avatar_f_tn
Well I have to get a pacemaker in the morning. I am really depressed but my monitor results showed that my sinus node was not firing about 80% of the time and I was having really long pauses. The doctor said that was what caused my symptoms. Wish me luck.
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770426_tn?1235065089
Wow, I know that wasn't what you wanted to hear but it does explain why you weren't bouncing back at all. Now you know why!

I'm wishing you luck, thinking about you, and keeping you in my prayers. I'll even rub my cat's belly for you (good luck in our house). I'm so sorry it turned out this way but I'm sure there are plenty of people on this forum that have pacemakers at your age and do just fine with them. Maybe some will read this and post some words of encouragement for you.

How long is the recovery with a pacemaker? Who knows, you may be feeling like a million bucks by this time next week and running circles around everyone. I sure hope so.

Hang in there! Please let us know how you do with the procedure when you can get back to your computer. - SooZee
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much for your encouragement. You have really helped me over the last two weeks.
I have been up all night. I could not sleep at all. I have to go in at 12:00 today and I am really nervous. The last hospital stay was awful and I was so sick. I just hope this is better.
The doctor said it takes six weeks before I will be able to have full use of my left arm again which is hard because I am left handed. My recovery will take a little longer than most because he is putting the pacemaker under the muscle instead of just under the skin. He said he wanted to do that because of my age and the fact that it would not be as noticeable that way. Since I had such a bad reaction to the medicine to relax me last time they are not giving me anything! He said that he would do a local  but that it would still hurt when he cuts through the muscle. That's freaky!!
Thank you for rubbing your cat for me!! I need all the luck I can get. I will let you know how it goes. I should be home tomorrow if all goes well.
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770426_tn?1235065089
Oh, I'm so, so sorry. That sounds awful. I hope today goes by quickly for you and there is someone in the operating room to distract you. If you are alert, start a conversation about something you love to talk about. Or you could try to bring a big bottle of Jack into the operating room if they let you drink :-)

The one cat just got a big good luck rub for you and I'll go hunt down the other and rub his belly too. Double luck.

Talk to you when it is all over!
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503607_tn?1275675179
I am hoping all went well with your procedure.    I was thinking about you and hope you can update us when you can!
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Avatar_f_tn
Well I am home with my arm in a sling so I am typing with one hand, but I feel SO much better. Except for some irregular fast rates now and then everything is wonderful. I am very sore and since he put the pacemaker under my muscle I keep having muscle spasms but nothing unbearable like before. The procedure was tough though because I was awake and had NO meds except a local where they cut. The worst part was they put this tent like thing over my head and I am very clausterphobic!! Then he told me when he cut through the muscle it would hurt and it did. It felt like he was hitting bone!! Thank goodness that didn't last long and there was a wonderful male nurse that stayed under the tent like thing and fanned me and talked to me the whole time. The whole thing only took about forty minutes but felt much longer! Then when we were through the doctor said that I had a rare case and explained that when he did the sinus node modification, he damaged my diaprahm. He said that very few people's nerve for their diaprahm sits on the heart and mine was one of them so when he did the burning it went through and damaged the nerve. Only one side of my diaprahm is working now. That explains my SOB all the time. He said that it could take up to a year to heal! YUK!
Besides that everything is much better. I know it will take a while to get the settings just right on the PM but I am hopeful now at least that I will feel normal again soon! Thank you for your support. IT means a lot!!
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770426_tn?1235065089
Welcome home! Thanks for the update and I'm so happy to hear the worst is behind you. Thank goodness for that nurse that comforted you and tried to distract you. So many in the medical profession are a rare breed. I'm very thankful for them. I can't imagine how you made it through, but you did. You are a real trooper. I kept saying to my husband that I didn't realize how very lucky I was until I read some of your posts.

So take good care of yourself and get busy healing already :-) Seriously, take it easy and keep us posted on your progress.
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Avatar_f_tn
Well it has been six days since my pacemaker and I am still very sore. I know because he  put it under the muscle it will take more time to heal. I have had some times where my heart is still beating from the AV node but too fast for the pacemaker to kick in. I wonder if there is anything I can do about that? I also feel like the rate responsive is too sensitive because the least movement and my heart rate goes up. We went to the movies last night and I think just the vibrations from the speakers caused my pacemaker to raise my heart rate. I know it will take some getting used to and hopefully they will help with these problems when I go for a follow-up in three weeks. I am just terrified that I will pull a lead out and have to go back through everything all over again! I am so ready to get back to life, you know? I am much better( thank goodness) just not quite there yet.
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503607_tn?1275675179
I hope everything gets sorted out quickly for you.    I am glad your slowly getting back to your life.        Thanks for posting I was hoping things were getting back on track for you
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you! It has helped so much to know that I am not alone. I am just trying to stay positive.
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503607_tn?1275675179
I wanted to see hiw you were doing, I hope everything has calmed down for you,
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Avatar_f_tn
I am doing much better and I feel a little better everyday. I have not been back to the doctor. I go next Thursday so hopefully they will fix the rate issues I am having. Other than that I feel pretty good. Thank you so much for the support!
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862849_tn?1239154171
it takes time to recover fully from ablation,i remember i felt very tired and achy for a good 2 weeks and even after that i got the palps now and then,your heart will take a few months to properly settle down so be kind to yourselfX
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Avatar_f_tn
Were you born in 72? I was..
Yes, you are right. It has been about six weeks since the sinus nose ablation and it seems like my heart is starting to calm down some. I am staying in the 80's at rest for the most part (sometimes it goes low and pacemaker kicks in)and the 100-120 range when up and moving around. That is much better than 120s at rest like before the ablation. I really need to start exercising but I am scared. I will ask next week at the check-up if I can and what kind I can do. I am getting lazy with all this sitting around!
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862849_tn?1239154171
most important thing is to get your strength back so dont push yourself and listen to your body and yea im a 70s child!!!XX
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm so sorry to hear about all the problems you have been having, but delighted to read they are resolving as you recover. From what I understand, it is unusual (but not unheard of) to damage the phrenic nerve and that this is more common in AFib ablations and more common during right-sided ablations. There are certain points around the heart where the phrenic nerves come closer to the heart than at other location points and, as your EP specialist pointed out, everyone has their own individual anatomy. The damage to the diaphragmatic nerve is usually only temporary and heals within as little as a few months, although it may take up to a year or more, so here's hoping you are one of the "fast" healers now that you are well on the road to recovery!

I wanted also to respond to your comment about headaches because while you have now discovered and fixed the reason you were experiencing them, in case someone else is looking for similar information, there is some anecdotal evidence that those patients who have had a transeptal puncture (through the septal wall in the heart) for left-sided ablation may have an increased incidence of headaches and sometimes migraine after ablation procedures, but from what I have read, this complication is supposedly very uncommon.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you. I am just trying to live with the breathing difficulties. It is just part of my life for now I guess. Sometimes it is so much worse than other times. Like today I have had so much trouble breathing! I try to ignore it but I can't today. I feel like I am suffocating! So today has not been a good day. I hope that it heals soon also!
I think the main thing for people to remember that if you feel like something is not right chances are you are correct. I just knew that I should not be feeling that bad from an ablation. You just have to trust your instincts!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I had an ablation a week ago and it's been a complete success. My question is, did anyone else have really bad bruising that was still painful a week later? Mine currently goes half way down each of my legs and is all sorts of colours!! Is this normal?
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Avatar_n_tn
I had ablation on April 8.  The bruising just went down the leg where the puncture was.  My leg was unconfortable but the "bruise" which seemed to keep growing freaked me out.  It finally just faded away but took a couple of weeks.  

I started having extra heartbeats again, I am not sure exactly when they started and my doc says I may have to go through ablation again soon. Its not so uncommon but I am not looking forward to it.

Has anyone had to have a second ablation?
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, thanks for your reply. I guess I'll have to wait for the bruising to go down!

That's a shame about your arrhythmia coming back. What was your first ablation for? Mine was AVNRT and apparently the chances of it coming back are very small. I was also told that extra beats are a normal part of the heart's healing process. Has your arrhythmia come back fully how it was pre-ablation?
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Avatar_n_tn
This was my first ablation and the areas ablated were in my left ventrical.  I was experiencing bigeminy and trigeminy prior to the ablation.  Right after the ablation my heart was beating normally.  Then I went back to trigeminey I am not sure exactly when it started but showed up on an ekg.  

I ask my doc more questions to understand this issue more.   Thanks.
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Avatar_m_tn
I also have bad headaches before and after I had the left-sided ablation.  After the ablation, the headaches became worse.  Also I am still having the irregular heartbeat showing up on the monitor.  It seems like every time I get the headache, the monitor shows an  irregular heartbeat.  Does anyone have some advice?
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