After the AFib Ablation Procedure
After the procedure, you will be taken to the Prep and Recovery area where your vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing) will be monitored closely. The insertion site will also be monitored for bleeding.
You will need to lie still for about 4-6 hours. This is to ensure you do not bleed from the catheter insertion site.
When your blood pressure, heart rate, and insertion site are stable, you may be transferred to the Cardiac Unit for observation prior to discharge.
Transfer to Cardiac Floor
Nurses are trained to take care of post cardiac ablation patients. They will continue to monitor your progress and update your doctor.
Insertion Site – The tight pressure dressing will stay across your groin until the site is stable. Be sure NOT to touch or scratch the incision area with your hands. If you see blood, redness, or swelling around the incision, let the nurses know immediately. There are sutures at the incision site, make sure they are removed before you leave the hospital.
Pain – You will feel some pain in the chest and at the insertion site. DO NOT wait before asking for pain medicine. Ideally, when you feel your pain intensity level is a 3-4 out of 10, it is time. If the pain medicine is not helping, please let your nurses know and they will contact the physician.
Most patients receive diuretics to remove the excess fluid given during the procedure (used to flush the catheters) and you will be urinating often. Be sure to call the nursing staff to help you with the bedpan or urinal. To prevent bladder infections or bleeding (since most patients are on blood thinners), we usually avoid inserting Foley catheters.
After 6 hours of resting, if the groin area and vital signs are stable, you may move around or get out of bed after your nurse has assessed the site.
Ask your nurse to stay with you when you get up for the first time.
If you are hungry, notify the nursing staff and they will place an order for food with dietary.
Discharge will take place after at least 5 or 6 hours of observations post procedure. If your procedure finishes later in the day you may be discharged the following morning.
Some patients that undergo less complex ablations can be discharged the same day. However, please be prepared to spend the night.
A follow-up appointment and detailed discharge instructions will be provided to you. It will cover activity, medications, follow- up appointments and potential problems.
Access site – It is fine to shower the day following your procedure. Clean the area with warm water, mild soap, and pat dry. Do not put lotion, ointment, or powder on it. Keep it dry and let us know if the area is red and/or you experience swelling or discomfort without improvements.
Considerations of Atrial Fibrillation Ablation
It is common for patients to have some chest pain for 1 or 2 days. It is typically described as chest tightness that gets worse when taking a deep breath.
This pain is caused by inflammation from the ablation. It should subside within a few days. This is why we prescribe Colchicine, an anti-inflammatory agent, for a couple of weeks post ablation.
You may have short spells of A-Fib after your ablation before your scheduled follow-up appointment with the EP physician. However, if the A-Fib lasts longer than 24 hours, please let us know.
If you have any questions after you have arrived home, please call us at 786-804-5585