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Avatar universal

skipped beats and tachycardia after ablation

I had a catheter ablation for avnrt 5 weeks ago.  I am still experiencing occasional skipped beats and also some rapid beats (2-8 in a row) that feel like the old svt. These rapid beats occur about every other day.  Today I also felt several irregular beats before starting into several seconds of what felt like svt. Is this normal?    Could the irregular beats have been several skipped beats in a row?   They only lasted a few seconds, but I had an episode of a-fib a few weeks before the ablation, which the ep felt was probably caused by the svt, so I am worried that the short irregular beats could have been a-fib again. I know that skipped beats and rapid heart beats can occur for a few weeks after the ablation, but I'm getting concerned that this is going on too long.
78 Responses
503607 tn?1275671579
Hi Annie,

It is normal to get irregular beats after the ablation.  I had one 5 months ago.  I was told it could take 6 months for the heart to heal.  I would get little runs of svt also and my ep told  me its the heart trying to go the old path but it can't so it goes to the new path.  I had them the worst the first 3 months.  Then they subsided.   I was advised if they last a few seconds not to get myself crazy over it.  It sounds like your having the same thing a few beats and then it finds the new path.   It should improve as your heart heals.  5 weeks is not a long enough time for your heart to heal from being poked and prodded.

Good Luck!
Avatar universal
Hi Debbie,

Thank you so much for your response!  I feel much better knowing that someone else had the same symptoms as me.  My svt runs only last a few seconds and then stop on their own, so what you said about the heart trying to go back to the old pathway makes sense.  And the irregular beats also only lasted a few seconds didn't feel nearly as awful as the afib episode did two months ago, but I was just concerned cause I really don't want the afib to come back!  I have my follow-up appointment with my ep in three weeks, so knowing you had the irregular beats and short svt runs like me will help keep me from worrying so much until I see him!

Thank you!
503607 tn?1275671579
Glad I could calm you down.  I was the same way after my ablation every little flutter I was upset thinking my ablation did not work. As you did I came to the forum looking for reassurance.  Things will calm down more and then one day you will be shocked that your heart is normal.   Keep us updated!
1317224 tn?1378705134
Agrees with the rest of you. I feel like I'm often checking my pulse rate just to make sure it's normal. I had several intense a-fib episodes the night of the ablation, and a few flutters here and there.
I don't feel so hot today and my first thought was "OH NO, something's gone wrong. I've probably got a malfunction in my heart from the ablation (5 wks ago). I had to talk myself down and realize I have a little cold and my heart is fine. I think after years of having a-fib and an irregular heartbeat, it's going to take awhile to realize something has changed and we can relax.
I'm working on it, and it sounds like everyone else is too.
Wishing each of you the best! And thank God for technology and people who are skilled in using it...
Avatar universal
Well I had a run today that lasted 17 beats which seemed a little high to me so I called the ep and he wants me to pick up a 48 hour monitor tomorrow.  Am soooo down about this!  I wanted to just be done with the whole arrhythmia problem.  UGH....
503607 tn?1275671579
Don't give up hope yet Annie!  Its too early for that!   I hope the monitor catches whats going on!   Keep us updated!
Avatar universal
Well I called the doctor's office again this afternoon and asked if I could please come in and get the monitor today, because my heart was going crazy and I wanted to capture it on the monitor.  Was afraid if I waited til tomorrow it might have subsided. They were extremely accomodating and had me come in and get hooked up today.  Then the nurse also did an ekg while I was there to get an immediate reading of what was going on, which I really appreciated. I was having a ton of PACs, but blessedly not atrial fibrillation.  That was a huge relief!  But I was getting several PACs every minute, which was not very pleasant.  I wonder now if the "17 svt beats" that I thought I felt earlier were actually a run of PACs.  Can you get that many in a row??  Not sure!  As much as I don't want to get another run of svt-like beats, I am really hoping it happens again over the next 48 hours so it is captured on the monitor.  The PACs have stopped after a solid run of about 4 hours.  Not sure what that was all about, but the nurse did say that some people get them from caffeine.  I have not had caffiene in 15 years cause of the svt, but I met a friend for breakfast this morning and had a large cup of decaf coffee and I know sometimes at restaurants I always wonder if it is really decaf!  Maybe that's what did it.  I think I'm done drinking even decaf coffee after this!
503607 tn?1275671579
Glad the dr accomodated you.  Don;t drive yourself to crazy trying to figure out what the trigger was.    Hopefully its just PAC/PVC's and not SVT.    The heart does crazy things as it heals.  If things persist maybe they can maybe give you a beta blocker while the heart heals.   I was placed on Atenolol at my last visit he told me to get off of it but right now its my safety blanket that I am not ready to give up.  I tried but had a run of SVT due to trying Zyrtec and decided I am staying on it a while longer.  Its mental at this point.   Good Luck with the monitor, I hope you capture the problem.
1137980 tn?1281285446
Hi Annie i am weighing in too...i had my ablation 3 1/2 years ago for the exact same thing that you did and went thru the exact same thing.  I panic 'd any time i felt anything and then my doc put it into perspective for me telling me tht the human heart beats over 100,000 times in any day at a minimum so that cleared that up.  They actually had me use the cardionet instead of the monitor so i could press it to my heart the second tht the episodes popped up and it went straight to a 24 hour service that notified the doc if anything looked weird.  I could have sworn it did but hey what do i know.  Like Debbier they put me on a low dose of antenolol to get me thru the rough patches and told me to give it up to six months and as each day goes by it will become less and less and less....that i had to be patient because my heart was relearning the right way to have the electrical activity flow and to beat in mind that my heart was no doubt still angry at me from being poked, prodded and penetrated and then zapped!!!  They were totally right day by day it got to be a little bit better until the day came where i had a run of about 3 days and suddenly remembered that i couldn't feel my heart anymore what a shock that was...and i think the docs office was glad they weren't mistaking me for a plant anymore and tried to water me LOL because i sat my fanny in there office every time something popped up....you can bet i sent them a huge bunch of flowers after the 6 month mark and i now have my life back...patience, patience, patience...if they said they got it they did....don't wait a bomb to go off that never will and just so you know...decaf coffee has caffeine in it.....good luck we are all here for you....
Avatar universal
Hi Annie - I had an ablation 11 days ago and like you I have had some 'runs' whereby my heart feels somewhat like a yo yo ... I checked with my EP and he says its normal ... a lot of people here confirm the same ...  Since I stopped monitoring my HR I feel a whole lot better.  You can check your pulse just by simply placing your index finger on your wrist (pulse) take a 10 second count and multiply by 6.  I think it is under-estimated just how psychologically damaged people with arrhythmia become.  It takes time to come to terms with the fact that it takes time to get over the trauma of SVT's etc.  Ending up in the ER via ambulance, Adenosine, cardioversion, it all takes its toll.  I just hope you have understanding people around you to support you.  I do and I have never felt so loved and understood in my whole life.  

Take care, it will get better for you, and for me!
Avatar universal
Thank you all for your support!  I really appreciate hearing all of your stories!!  It helps me to know that I am not the only one who has had this happen.

Kinda funny.....today I am really hoping my heart goes into one of its little svt-like runs while I am on the monitor.  I want the doctor to be able to see what is happening with me.

Debbier, hearing that Zyrtec brought on a run of svt in you after the ablation leaves me kind of wondering just how "cured" we all really are after an ablation. Obviously certain medicines would trigger the svt before the ablation, but I thought that was all supposed to be behind us once we were "fixed."  That's like me yesterday....went to Panera and had a cinnamon crunch bagel and large decaf coffee and as I was ordering I was thining, wow, this order would have thrown me into svt before the ablation!  Well guess what...it did anyway.  So what happened to the 98% cure rate or whatever I was quoted by the doctor before I had it done???  Sorry to sound negative, but I guess I'm still just kind of down today.  I expected to be well and have all this behind me by now.  Maybe I should go have a large cup of caffeinated coffee and really get my heart going for the monitor!!! (just kidding!)
1317224 tn?1378705134
I can relate to how you feel about "wondering how cured we all really are." After my ablation, my doc told me there were complications and I might have to stay on my meds the rest of my life! He said that would be considered a success and if I had felt better (he said this RIGHT after the ablation) I would have hollered at him. Part of the reason I had the ablation was to get off the stinky meds.
But, almost 6 weeks in, I can tell you that I feel so incredibly much better, higher energy, emotionally awake, that I'm going to be grateful even if I have to stay on the meds, which I hope I don't.
My doc quoted a 75% cure rate, with 23% having to have an ablation done more than once. I was afraid to ask about the other 2%! Because mine had complications, he was only able to ablate 95% of left atria and none of the right. But it seems to have made a huge difference and I'm going for that.
You will relax, I still get nervous sometimes. It does get better day by day is my experience. And when you really start to feel good, you begin to realize how horrible you felt pre-ablation.
Take care!
Avatar universal
i had an ablation done on june 16th of this year and felt fine, that was till today i was setting at work an out of the blue i got my irregular heartbeat back although it does not feel like the pounding in my chest before the ablation i can feel it i was hoping after the ablation everything would be fixed now i guess i have to wait to see what my ep Dr. tells me
Avatar universal
Well I had my appt today with the ep and the 48 hour monitor showed PACs and also a brief run of atrial tachycardia.  He said that the reading showed that the svt that I had ablated was definitely gone, but now I have a different arrhythmia in its place.  And though the monitor only captured one tachycardia run, he was fairly certain that the tachycardia episodes that I have been having are also atrial tachycardia.

So now I have a new arrhythmia...blah.  I have very confused about this whole thing.  He said that the atrial tachycardia could be a new arrhythmia, or a precurser to atrial fibrillation, or still just be from my heart being irritated and healing from the ablation.  Of course that is what I am hoping and praying it is.  I am scared to death of atrial fibrillaion.  And I really don't understand how I could have suddenly developed a new arrhythmia, unless the ablation caused it, or if it was always there and just masked by the avnrt svt which was worse.

In any case, he prescribed 35 mg atenolol to keep things under control.  Has anyone taken this and does it have many side effects?  He stressed that an atrial tachycardia is not a serious or dangerous arrhythmia, but I am so worried about it progressing to a-fib.  I am clinging to the hope that it will improve as my heart continues to heal from the ablation, but it's been 8 weeks now, so I'm not so sure.

I'm sooooo down about this.  Any encouraging words would be greatly appreciated!!!
503607 tn?1275671579
Hi Annie,  I am taking Atenolol since my ablation.  It has worked really well.  I had issues up until 5 months,  My EP told me it could take up to 6 months to get the full effect.   I just reached 6 months and things have been good and he has suggested I wean off Atenolol but its my security blanket that I dont want to give up just yet.  The Atenolol may make you tired but your body will get use to it.  Good Luck!
Avatar universal
Hi Debbie,
So you think the atrial tachycardia is from the ablation?  I hope so! It does seem strange that I had the first episode exactly one week after the ablation.  EIther it must have caused it, or it was there all along and was masked by the anvrt.  Just seems too coincidental to develop something brand new just now.  At least that's what I keep telling myself, then I get all worked up again and worried.  I just hope it goes away as my heart settles down.

Has anyone else out there developed atrial tachycardia after an ablation for avnrt??
Avatar universal
Hey, this has been comforting to read cause I had my ablation going on three weeks ago. It seemed like the first week and a half my heart was fine but now I'm getting skipped beats, extra beats or like a set if 6 or 7 fast beats. I had the ablation done for avnrt.
1423357 tn?1511085442
It's perfectly normal to experience some skips and short runs for up to a year afterwards.  It will take some time before you con tell if your ablation was successful.
Avatar universal
I just had my ablation for AVNRT 6 weeks ago.  My EP said it was a success.  However, I've been experiencing some episodes of palpitations and skipped beats.  I was beginning to think that the procedure really didn't work and that my EP was wrong about it's success.  But like everyone on this site, he said these palps and missed beats are normal during the healing process. It's hard to believe I am cured when I'm still experiencing the same old symptoms but with increased frequency.  I've had to call for an ambulance a few times since the ablation because of palps and each time the paramedics tell me I am not in SVT but a regular sinus tachycardia (anything over 100 beats/min).  It still feels like the SVT with how fast it races, but I will take their word and hope this will eventually go away.  I am especially encouraged by those of you who are further out from your ablation and reporting feeling great.  Thank you for taking the time to help those of us who are still in the early phase.
1774112 tn?1329541297
Hi, i'm just reading the whole conversation.. made me feel a little better. So u had the same symptoms too? I had an ablation done i think 4-5weeks ago. Had an svt episode 2weeks ago, last week, and yesterday and today too. The longest was a think not even a minute and the others around 15-20sec. I'm stressed, was crying a lot, that it didn't work out with me, my smile went away...and the skipped beats... sometimes i have an episode like 30minutes or 15 minutes, i'mhaving skipped beats, extra beats, feels like i'm getting an electric shock to my body, and specially when i'm to trying to sleep...it wajkes me up,and i start stressing and having hot flushes and feeling everything even more...and am totally focused on my heart... sometimes it feels like starts an svt and it stops and starts again... ot simply svt, it takes my breath away, feels like somebody hits my chest, very weird...
It looks like i can't drink coffee?not even decaf???does have decaf coffeine?? no way... i'm shocked!! When i talk to people about my symptoms, everybody says that everything will be ok, and etc.. but this forum makes me feel better... i want somebodys opinion with the same problems, not just somebodys who has no idea what i'm talking about....
I'm in europe now, came for a vacation, was shaking about my episode again, but i just calmed down that i#m not alone..
But actually i'm scared too from those skipped beats, if it's not a different type of arrythmia now... but i still don't understand that how is that possible ,having svt's after ablation...if the nerves died...
Avatar universal
Hang in there, Viki!   I know it is scary and frustrating, but I am now almost two years post ablation and feel great.  My heart pretty much calmed down about 6 months after the ablation.  I still was getting very brief (seconds) of what felt somewhat like the svt, but the doctor said not to worry about these brief "tachy bursts"....that they were most likely just a run of skipped beats.  He put me on atenolol 25 mg to calm the skipped beats and I barely notice them anymore.  Keep asking your doctor...don't be afraid to contact him with your quesitons!!
annie1724

ps....I haven't posted in so long, the forum had kicked me off!  Couldn't remember my password, so I had to sign in under a slightly new name!  It's still me!  :)
Avatar universal
I have been reading the comments on many sites to try and see if I am feeling normal stuff. I have been having Palpitations constantly for months. I had an ablation on December 30th for AVNRT and the PVCs are getting worse and not better. I have them sometimes ever 8 beats or so all day. It has only been 3 months so I am trying to keep calm. I have not had anyone at the drs office tell me it will ever get better. They have not even mentioned that it is part of the healing process. I have asked and they hedge the answer. I never had them before. I never eat chocolate or drink caffeine or drink alcohol or anything. I am tired of all the action in my chest.
Avatar universal
Were you on any medication before your ablation to help control the AVNRT?  Just wondering, because I was on verapamil for years to control the AVNRT before finally having the ablation to correct it.  Then I went off all medication and the AVNRT was cured but I was having a lot of trouble with skipped beats. I was very concerned, thinking it was either a new arrhythmia or that the ablation hadn't cured the AVNRT.  My ep said not to worry about these brief skipped beats and tachy bursts, but he did put me on 25 mg atenolol to help calm things.  At first I was really annoyed at having to take heart medication after my ablation, but finally accepted it and it has made the world of difference.  I barely even notice them anymore.  I think with me, the verapamil I had been on was helping to calm the skipped beats along with the AVNRT.  When I went off the medicine since the AVNRT was cured, I felt the skipping so much more.  Just a thought....  
Avatar universal
I have taken 12.5 mg atenolol the last 2 days and I must say I hardly feel anything now. Before the ablation I was on 50 mg of Atenolol only when I had an SVT attack because my blood pressure dropped really low and I was faint at work. I think I will continue to take the atenolol until the 6 moth mark and see if it settles down. I never had the PVCs before, just the occassional SVT so this constant activity is really disturbing. At least knowing that other people experienced these skipped beats after their ablation and they often go away or get better gives me some hope.
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