After an ablation

I’ve just done a clinic and had several patients who had their first appointment after an ablation. It got me thinking of the things that people wanted to know so I thought I’d get this information out there.

When can I drive? The DVLA have just updated their guidelines and say for most ablations that you can drive 2 days after an ablation. For a bus or lorry it’s 2 weeks

When can I exercise? We ensure you are up and walking about before you go home. Walking as exercise is not a problem. Upper body exercises can be done when you feel ready. I’d be careful about bending exercises such as sit ups or crunches, squats, and running. I’d suggest waiting a week to make sure your groin has healed well.

When will the bruising go? Not all patients have bruising, it’s much more common if you are on blood thinners. The bruise is due to blood leaking from the vein into the skin. The bruise is usually pretty well gone by 6 weeks but it can take longer if it’s a big bruise. If there’s a lump, or if it’s painful, or if it’s throbbing then you should get in touch so we can look at you.

I feel great – all the palpitations have disappeared! This is what I love to hear and is the highlight of my day!

I’m much better but I’m still getting some pounding or flutters? This is not uncommon, particularly in patients who have SVT’s (supra ventricular tachycardias). The ablation deals with an extra connection in the heart, but not with the extra beats that trigger it. So I often hear people say it feels as if it’s going to start, but it doesn’t. Many people get extra beats but I think people with SVT’s are sensitised to them because they have felt their heart race. Oftentimes the gradual realisation that it won’t set off a sustained palpitation means the bad association with the extra beats goes away and people don’t feel them as much.

Any more questions? Hopefully this has addressed the common issues, but please get in touch if you have any more questions and I’m happy to answer by email if I can or otherwise we can book you into clinic.

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