Cryoablation for afib 2 months ago

Posted , 7 users are following.

I just wanted to give another bit of insight on what you can expect after cryoablation.

I had mine 2 months ago yesterday. The first day was a bit nerve wrecking. My heart rate would take off dramatically and I had the feeling I was blacking out. They got that under control fairly quickly. I took it easy the first week and suffered from a significant amount of pvcs. Any exertion at all would set my heart to racing. I went to the store about a week later and I seriously had to walk like I was 90 yrs old, any faster pace and my heart would race badly. To make a long story short, I was so disturbed by my  exhaustion, pvcs and racing HB I called the dr... they said to give it 4 to 6 weeks to feel better and 3 months to heal... at my 6 week visit I told the nurse practitioner that I felt that it might have been a terrible mistake to get the procedure. I felt bad every day. Then like a light switch, the 7th week I started feeling dramatically better. It would still race under stressful situations but never went into afib. Yesterday on my 8th week anniversary I was able to get in my 10,000 steps for the first time in months. So at this point I’m still hopeful for more improvement. My resting Herat rate before surgery was 70s and low 80s, it’s now high 50s. That’s a little unsettling. I feel lightheaded at times. Also now when my heart rate approaches 70s 80s or higher it’s really uncomfortable. Also I now suffer from a lot of pvcs but it’s just an uncomfortable feeling and not as terrifying as before the surgery. In summation I feel I’m greatly improved but also have traded one set of symptoms for another. I’m praying for a little more improvement but I have no regrets. I’m thinking when I stop taking my sotalol in May that my heart rate might pick up a little. I think some of this uncomfortableness is just getting used to my new heartbeat. Here’s to a new more active happy life without the fear of afib!! Be patient with your recovery and Good luck to you all!!

0 likes, 12 replies

12 Replies

  • Posted

    I had a cryoablation last August, after a few weeks my heart was much calmer and I felt confident. 15 weeks later I had my first AF episode since my ablation. I have now had several but they only last about an hour or so. My cardiologist is giving me a cardio MRI scan and we will then discuss a second ablation later on this year.

    I am trying to stay positive.

    • Posted

      Hi Sarah, My EP also said there was a possibility that I may need a second ablation. My first ended up taking almost 6 hours and he said that the areas were more extensive and hard to reach than he thought they would be but was hopeful it would hold. I think I might have been in Afib a couple weeks ago but the episode was only an hour or so and much less harsh than before
  • Posted

    Hi Glenn,

    Thanks for sharing your experience, it always helps to understand a little more about our condition and the treatments that people go through.

    Good luck for continued improvement.

    Sherpa Al

  • Posted

    Hi Glenn and all - 

    So what are pvcs? And I guess, from "went to the store", that you are in North America. (I am in Scotland.)

    Anyway, for balance I should give my experience - perhaps better than yours so far. I had cryoablation about 12 weeks ago. Before that I typically had an HR of 50-60, but had bouts of AF just about every week (and lasting around 36 hours). This was a higher frequency than a year or so ago. I was on Sotalol (320mg/day) and Warfarin. I never got palpitations, but felt decidedly rough for the first few waking hours when in AF.

    Since cryoablation I have generally felt fine, but had two - perhaps three - further bouts of AF (I had been warned this might happen). First was after eight days, which kept me in bed in the morning but was clear by evening. Secod was after another five days (Christmas Day!), but this came on in the evening and cleared in a few hours. The third (which I am only 90% sure was AF) was about seven weeks after the ablation, and was quite unpleasant but short. I almost passed out.

    Since than I have been fine. Having given up the Sotalol I generally have more energy, although an entirely different ailment is (I believe) responsible for a shortage of breath when walking uphill.

    My HR is now typically 70-80 - the reverse of your trend! Though my BP is also now higher than it was - may need meds for that although hopefully not.

    So I am very pleased with the results of my ablation. At some point I will no doubt see a cardiologist for a review.


    • Posted

      I’m happy to hear your doing well Alan, I wish you continued improvement and a happy life without this dreaded ailment 
  • Posted

    I have had two ablations (not cryo) and have had really frequesnt Af, more gentle but still frequest.  The best I have had is a gap of 3 or 5 days max.  Also now having misbeats (ectopics?) daily.  Something I never had before.  Have kept on the flecainide (increased dose in evening to try and stablise the heart.  Not the outcome I was hoping for!  Awaiting appointment to see my EP,  Not sure what wil be suggested,  Do I try a third when my heart has played up so badly?


    • Posted

      Very sorry to hear of your experience, Shirley. It's amazing the difference between different people's experiences. Of course, while I seem to be pretty clear at present, who knows what the future may bring!

      From what I gather, cryo-ablation definitely has some advantages over "traditional" catheter ablation. But I guess it's not suitable for all circumstances.

    • Posted

      Thank you! I had my procedures at QE Birmingham 

      yes I have read that cryogenic can be more successful than catheter. So far it has not been suggested and no idea if they do there. There is also a new treatment now but that is surgical.No going back so hope there is something that can be done for me. Not looking forward to more meds if that is all can be done.

    • Posted

      Best of luck! I'd have thought the QE would have all the best techniques available. I was born there! But that was 71 years ago ... sad

      I got my cryoablation at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where they seem very competent.

    • Posted

      I now live in Dunblane. (Left Brum in 1965, though my sister still lives there.) Our local general hospital is at Larbert (near Falkirk), but while they have an EP they don't really have the facilities for ablation. So they referred me to ERI in Edinburgh.

  • Posted

    Hi. Ive had 3 ablations. First cryo then others catheter. Im not cured, but I have reached a point where I function even when I get PAF. My pulse rate doesnt generally go over 120, a big improvement from 13-25 hours at 130-150! Im off all meds currently and by diligently avoiding my food triggers, life goes on. I strongly believe that having reached this point physically, I am mentally far, far better able to "cope" when I do get an episode. It no longer rules my life, but is just something I live with and have had to adapt to. I must admit though - I would not opt for any further procedures. I feel that option is exhausted in my case.

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the community to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the community are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the community is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.