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After Catheter Ablation

We wish you a speedy recovery from your catheter ablation. Here is some important information for when you return home.

Some Discomfort

You may feel discomfort at the catheter insertion during the first 24 hours after the procedure. The doctor will tell you what medications you can take for pain relief. You may also experience mild chest discomfort, mild shortness of breath and fatigue after the procedure.

Heart Rhythm

Many people feel extra heartbeats, a racing heart, or skipped heartbeats on and off for a few weeks after the procedure. Sometimes, you may feel as if your abnormal heart rhythm is starting, but then the symptoms stop. You may also have mild shortness of breath or fatigue.

These symptoms are all normal and should subside within 4 to 6 weeks after the procedure. However, please tell your doctor or nurse if your symptoms are prolonged or severe, or if your abnormal heart rhythm reoccurs.

Medications

You may need to take an antiarrhythmic medication to control abnormal heart beats for 2 months after the procedure.

Ask your doctor if you should keep taking the medications you took before you had the procedure.

You will receive the necessary prescriptions and medication instructions from your doctor.

Care for the procedure site

You may take a shower. However, avoid water temperature extremes. Do not take a bath, swim or soak in water for 5 days after the procedure or until the incision sites have healed.

Keep the procedure site clean and dry. Do not scrub the area. You do not need to keep the area covered with a bandage. Do not use creams, lotions or ointments on the procedure site.

Look at the area daily to make sure it is healing properly. If you notice any of the signs of infection, please call your doctor.

Activity

These activity guidelines should be followed the first week after your procedure:

  • Do not lift anything that weighs more than 10 pounds.
  • Avoid activities that require pushing or pulling heavy objects, such as shoveling the snow or mowing the lawn.
  • Stop any activity before you become overtired.
  • You may resume your normal exercise and activity routine 1 week after the procedure.
  • Your doctor will tell you when you can resume driving, go back to work, usually within a week after you go home. If you have the flexibility at your job, ease back to your regular work schedule.

Telephone transmitter

You may receive a telephone transmitter for home. You will receive instructions for use of the transmitter and frequency of transmitting from your health care team.

Follow-Up Appointments

A Cleveland Clinic follow-up appointment will be scheduled after your procedure. Follow up timing depends on the results of the procedure. You will receive a reminder card for this appointment. However, if you don’t receive an appointment notice within 3 weeks after your procedure, please call 216.444.6697 or 800.223.2273, ext. 46697 to schedule this appointment.

If you are still experiencing your arrhythmia at the time of your follow-up visit, you may need a repeat ablation.

You may also follow up with your local physician.

Please call right away if you have any of the symptoms listed below.

  • Lump develops at the catheter insertion site or increases in size
  • Abnormally low blood pressure (systolic reading less than 90 mm/Hg)
  • Symptoms become worse or more frequent
  • Signs of infection at the wound site:
    • Increased drainage, bleeding or oozing from the insertion site
    • Increased opening of the incision where the device was implanted
    • Redness, swelling or warmth around the device insertion site
    • Increased body temperature (greater than 101 degrees Fahrenheit or 38.4 degrees Celsius)

For any questions or concerns, you can call the phone number on your magnet or discharge instructions to speak with a registered nurse. After hours, you can contact the hospital operator to speak to the EP-Fellow On-Call.

Talk to a Nurse: Mon. - Fri., 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. (ET)

Call a Heart & Vascular Nurse locally 216.445.9288 or toll-free 866.289.6911.

Schedule an Appointment

Toll-free 800.659.7822

This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

© Copyright 2014 Cleveland Clinic. All rights reserved.

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