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Avatar universal

Chest pain following ablation

Hi all.  I had an ablation 4 weeks ago and since that time I have been experiencing chest tightness, pressure, and sharp pains in the heart.  I am seeing my doctor on a weekly basis to determine the cause and undergo treatment.  Following a work up of tests (echo, nuclear stress, ekg, etc.) the doctor has determined that everything in the heart is normal and that this "discomfort may be something that I just have to ride out." I never experienced these problems before the procedure and had an ablation due to SVT.  My question is - has anyone had similar experiences following an ablation procedure?  If so what were your symptoms, how long did the discomfort last, and what type of treatment did you undergo?  I am a helthy 29 year old that had been exercising regularly before the procedure.  Since then I have not been able to do so because of the pain.  I just want to feel "normal" again.  Thank you for your response!
262 Responses
Avatar universal
I had an ablation on feb 16 and I did not experience anything like you have.  My heart rate went up about 20 points and it lasted about 2 weeks.  My blood pressure went up sky high for about 2 weeks.  And I felt an irritation in the chest.  I had 23 burns and I would say my heart healed within 3 weeks.

If all your tests post ablation came out ok I would think your heart needs more time to heal from the burns.

Was your ablation successful?
Avatar universal
Thank you for the response mariop.  So far the ablation has been successful which I am extremely thankful for! Was your ablation successful? Did your doctor give you an explanation as to why your heart rate and blood pressure became elevated?  I bet that was frightening to go through.  I'm sure you are right about my heart just needing more time to heal.  I just assumed that 4 weeks post-op would have been plenty of time.
21064 tn?1309308733
My experience was similar to mario's.  I had 2 ablations and each time my heart rate increased for a short time after the procedure.  I did not experience any chest pain or discomfort other than my leg was a bit sore.  Interestingly, after the second procedure, my BP rose enough to warrant a small dose of medication.  Up until then, my BP was on the low side...95-110/55-65.  

Hope you are feeling better.  I'm happy to hear your test results are good!!

Take care.
Avatar universal
I had the exact same experience with ablation and had it done 2 years ago, I had just turned 30.  The dr. acted like I was some kind of freak but I had pain that I was taking tylenol for and my left arm was tingly (not good, right?) . On top of that I was svt free for only a short time.  I had the ablation in November and in March I was starting to have tachycardia worse.  More frequent and longer attacks and all he wanted to do was go in.  I was like"no way, I'm worse than before"  I think I'll take my chances and live with the svt.  It is getting difficult because I have it so freaking much.  I take 25 mg atenolol.  I hope your arrhythmia is fixed, not like mine.  I am scared to go anywhere else and so scared to even consider another ablation.  I am sorry you had the pain post op.
Avatar universal
Hi there-
I just got an ablation 5 days ago, for wpw syndrome.  I just returned from an ER visit.  I went in with a feeling of severe heartburn  as well as tightening/heavy feeling.  Also, I have a very severe headache- all post-procedure.  I too am a very healthy 30 year old woman, a runner in fact, with very low BP, typically 90/50-60.  Mine has shot up to 125/70.  Maybe that is what is causing the headache....?  Was told that these were not symptoms of ablation recovery- hard to believe when I did not have them going in, but have them now.....How are you doing now?  Thanks
Kate
Avatar universal
My post-ablation nurse told me chest discomfort was due to heart being swollen enough to

"rub" against the pericardium (sp?). Mine went away within a day. Perhaps your situation is

different. From the comments on this thread I would strongly advise that THIS PROCEDURE

SHOULD NOT BE DONE BY YOUR LOCAL ELECTRO-PHYSIOLOGIST!


I obsessed on research and finally went to the Cleveland Clinic. I am now 2+ weeks out from the

procedure and, lord knows, I could still run in to rhythm problems (as they have warned me as they

do every patient), but so far things are smooth.


Think about it. This is a very tricky deal and you want someone who does it all day every day

every week.
Avatar universal
How can I stop the "de-formatting" of my Posts? It looks terrible.
187666 tn?1331173345
I'm computer illiterate so I don't know what de-formatting is. I assume you mean the sentences are all spread out. I had some trouble with profile pictures showing up all over my screen. At the bottom of this screen is a spot titled "contact us." You can click on that, choose tech help and send them an email. They've been a great help to me.
Avatar universal
Hi I underwent my second ablation for wpw syndrome in January 2007.  This time it was successful, however I have been told It could return.  I'm 26 and otherwise healthy.  Like you I suffered terrible stabbing pains to my heart post procedure, they were agony initially,I couldn't lie flat, bend, lift, and definately couldn't work,  but gradually they got easier.  I'm still having the pain 11 months on, however less regularly.  It's really nice to hear that others have had the same experience as I was beginning to think I was imagining them.  I've been told that it's something that will eventually go but have been given no time scale.  
Avatar universal
I had 2 ablations in 2002-2003 for Afib and it was a success.  About 4 months following the last ablation I started having severe chest pain (Level 10) so I went to the emergnecy and it was determined that my Pulmonary veins had stenosed from the ablation - the 1 % risk that is discussed, that is me.

To make a long story short after stents and several angioplasties, my upper left PV is still 100% stenosed and lower left PV is ~ 50%.  The discomfort is still there but is not anyway as intense.

It may be worth asking the question of the pain continues - they are able to test with a CT angiogram now without having to cath.

Good luck
Avatar universal
I developed an inflammation around my pericardium which caused some discomfort and an intermittent cough.   Whatever discomfort I had post ablation resolved quickly.  Hopefully you will end up with as good a result as I have experienced.  
Avatar universal
I had abalation for AVNRT on January 22, 2008. I'm 45 and have had PSVT's if not all my life, then since I was about 14. For me, recovery was difficult.  I had alot of stabbing pains at the ablation site for the first few weeks, skipped heartbeats, dizziness and the like. Caught pneumonia 3 months after. Now, 4 1/2 months later I still get the stabbing pains, though much less frequently. Cardiologist says it should continue to subside. I find that when I suddenly exert myself (as opposed to gradually such as gardening or mild exercise), my blood pressure will spike to 140 or 180 and stay that way or I get the stabbing chest pain at the ablation site.  It can happen when I pickup something a little heavy, during sex or simply moving around too fast.  If my blood pressure spikes, I can feel like my heart is in my throat and my chest feels heavy and I am weak. I could go to bed and 8 hours later it is still spiked, with my heart rate at around 100. Dr. says to take a Verapamil, which brings me back to normal within 2 hours. Dr. originally said symptoms would last 30 days, then 3 months. I have seen so many varied experiences on this forum, I appreciate all who have shared. I don't feel so alone in my experiences.  By the way, no more PSVT's, which I am thankful for - and I hope they stay away. I look forward to symptoms continuing to decrease.
Avatar universal
hello everyone!! I have WPW and from you guys responses I dont think I'll get it treated anytime soon.  My heart rate does go up a bit and I do have chest pain and a tingle in my left arm like others have said. They say that WPW is something people are born with. Personally I think its "our" diets we grow up eatting fast food along with other horrible things we feed our bodies.  I'll encourage all of "us" myself included to eat better and stay away from fast food. :)
Avatar universal
i am 25 had an ablation to to severe tachychardia  i was in the 200's

i had echo cardiogram my ablation took 6 hours i almost died

beacuse it took over control of the main chamber but they did it right i have tingling in my hand on  the left and am dizzy all of a sudden


and have chest pain should i go to the hospital?
187666 tn?1331173345
How long has it been since the ablation? It sounds like the ablation fixed your arrhythmia but now you have tingling. If the ablation is recent some people do comment on having some mild ache in the chest after the ablation but it's not debilitating.

As for the tingling, it sounds like there's some irritation of a nerve. Did you get a catheter in the neck vein as well? I only had the 4 in the femoral veins. After my first ablation I did have some achy feelings in my one leg for a few months. Nothing drastic but it hurt to sit or stand for any length of time. I figured they must have accidentally put pressure on a nerve during the procedure. It went away and I'm fine now.

If it's been a few weeks since the ablation, I'd say call your doctor. It may be something completely different and not related to the ablation at all. I have to leave it up to you to decide how severe your symptoms are. If you feel very bad, just go in and be seen.
Avatar universal
I had an ablation over 3 months ago and have had a cough from the time I got out of surgery until now.  I have pericarditis  without effusion and have to sleep propped up.  They said that the machine blew a fuse when they were working on me and they had to wait 25 minutes until the janitor could replace it.  My concerns are that they would not have any imaging system after the blown fuse, and could not see where the catheter was.  I think the catheter may take a while to cool, so I'm worried that it might have burned something it shouldn't have.

My heart rate jumped 20 to 25 bpm (to 100) after the procedure and it was unsuccessful.  I still get Afib up to 180 bpm.
Avatar universal
I had an ablation done 5 weeks ago and just haven't been right since.  I am have an increased heart rate.  Resting seems to be about 80 versus it used to be 60 and once I start moving around I am settling around 100.  Also, I have dizziness, am unsteady and am overall fatigued (not sure if the fatigue is from this ordeal or if it is heart related).  The doctors have pretty much said they have never heard of this.  One doctor this week theorized that maybe some nerve damage could have occurred which is effecting my vagal response so he has put me on medication to increase my blood pressure to get the blood moving better and relieve some of the stress on the heart hopefully leading to a lower rate.  Has anyone had anything similar?  I like most of you just want to feel "normal".
Avatar universal
I had a left atrial ablation 5 weeks ago. I am experiencing chest pain, pressure, and shortness of breath, if I do anything streneous like walking, bending, or lifting.  I have had ekgs, an echo, blood work, a cat scan for pulmonary emboli, chest x-rays and nothing shows up.  The doctors cannot tell me what is causing this, or what to do.  A full aspirin helps ease the pain.  I am wondering if my LAD was affected, and if a stent would relieve the
pain etc.
Avatar universal
I've had an SVT ablation around 2 months ago and even before I was getting out of breath, chest pain, dizzy and fatigued very easily during physical activity and sometimes even at rest.
Initially my palpitations kicked off at around 200 ish.
Had to go to hospital emergency because it wouldn't slow down, verapamil did the track after some hours.

After the ablation i've been getting sharp and hard chest pains and also mild chest pains and aches, fatigue, out of breath and dizzy.

I am 27yrs old and I used to play football and go to the gym, with a fit and healthy lifestyle.

I've been told it can happen to people by random, there's no explanation, the cardiologist can't determine the cause.

My SVT ablation was successful but during the procedure they found another 2areas, another SVT and a VT which is very close to my natural pacemaker.

The SVT ablation I had done was quite near my natural pacemaker too but they managed to do it successfully just by catheter ablation alone.

My VT is even closer to the natural pacemaker and I am going to have that done in a couple of weeks.

I've been a little worried sometimes but now seeing you all here makes me feel much better, you all got similar symptoms so i'm not alone.

It's amazing what doctors can do nowadays, we must be all grateful for medical science.

I wish you all the best on your recovery and hope you be in the clear.
It's a bit scary before going into theatre though but the first time i went, it wasn't as bad as i thought it would be, the worst thing was the bad news that i've got another 2 areas, so i got to go through it again.

Just want to be back to normal, they said after they're all ablated it's all cured and that's what i want.

I can't work, train, and sometimes can't evil do simple things, like walking etc.

Sometimes i feel semi faint as well.

I'm joining this community if anyone wants to talk to me or anything I'm here to share my experiences and to listen to others.

We all need support together because i know that it's not that common and very unlikely you've got a friend with the same problem, it's good we can meet here.


Avatar universal
One of my cardiologists said that there is a small risk of death before i was deciding to have an SVT ablation, but because i'm young and taking tablets all my life is not a very good option, so i took the chance to be cured.

Strange that my other cardiologist who did the procedure only told me that the risk is just a risk of needing a pacemaker, and didn't mention death or anything.

I'd rather not know to be honest because it's too scary, i don't know why i'm typing this.

I have to have a VT ablation soon. My cardiologist said that it's very high risk, he didn't do that one last time, because he wanted me to sign a form. He only did the SVT.

So, a bit scared and i hope after this 2nd one it'll be all done with and cured.


Avatar universal
I've heard that having VT is more serious than SVT according to my research on the internet and i've read that it's life threatening in some people so i hope i get rid of this thing.

I've asked my docs and they've not actually gave me an answer to my question about is it life threatening, and the nurses told me not to worry, i've just had an operation and i should rest and take it easy, the heart is a complicated thing.

Since then i've been taking each day as it comes, i'm not thinking about the future, it scares me, just take one day at a time and deal with it step by step, it's a better approach otherwise if you think too much you'll just worry.
Avatar universal
I had the same thing after my ablation for SVT's (almost 4 yrs ago). It went away after about 8 weeks, I know it drives you crazy. But my doctor told me it can take up to 8 weeks for the ablation to take full effect. it's been great since then. Good luck to you, I wish you the best.
Avatar universal
Hi Rachel, just wanted to know what tests did they do to find out that you needed ablation, and how high wasd your pulse rate?
Avatar universal
I had an ablation 5 weeks ago on the left side of my heart. and 1-13-09
I had an ablation procedure done on the right side. The first one went smooth as silk. I was thrilled from day one. But the last one has been quite different. My chest pain has been horrible. Now i know that its just been a day, but I just want to make sure this will GO AWAYsoon. MY doctor said it should go away in three to four days, but my nurses said expect two to three weeks. Thats okay if its typical, just as long as it does GO AWAY.
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