Will I have restrictions after cardiac ablation for atrial fibrillation?

After cardiac ablation for atrial fibrillation you may have some restrictions. Doctors recommend avoiding any strenuous activity such as pulling, pushing and lifting for a week after any catheter procedure, including cardiac ablation.

Dr. Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Practitioner

After undergoing cardiac ablation for atrial fibrillation, you go to a recovery room for observation. You should lie completely still to prevent any bleeding. Healthcare professionals will monitor your vital signs, including your blood pressure and heartbeat. If you have no bleeding or other complications, your doctor may allow you to go home. Or, you may need to be hospitalized for several days, depending on certain risk factors, age and any problems present during observation.

After cardiac ablation, you may feel slight pain, but it should go away within a few days to one week. Usually, you should be able to go back to work and resume your daily activities within days of cardiac ablation.

Temporarily, yes. If you have tickets for the opera the same night as your procedure, give ’em away. When you wake up in the recovery room after undergoing cardiac ablation, you’ll need to hang out for a while (up to six hours) to prevent bleeding where the catheter was inserted.

Your doctor may even want to keep you overnight. Regardless, when you do get released, you’ll be too spacey from sedatives to drive yourself home, so have a friend or relative be your chauffeur.

Your doctor will probably instruct you to take it easy for a few days. After that, though, you can go about your normal daily business.

In addition, for the long term, your doctor may suggest some diet and lifestyle modifications (like limited sodium, caffeine and alcohol) to make sure you don’t have to go through the procedure all over again.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.