Going in for Groin Cardiac Ablation

Hi Everyone, I hope this message finds you well...

Last year I had a pacemaker implanted and now due to Afib factors I am going in 10 days for Heart Ablation through my groin.

Does anyone have advice on what I should expect?

In regards to average hospital stay, pain following procedure and recovery...

To be honest I am stressed about this and when I spoke with Surgeon I mentioned I also had Fybromyalgia so pain is a concern and his answer was "We will give you more Tylenol" which stressed me out even more.

I am a 56 year old man that is looking for real advice from my friends in this group.

I thank you in advance, as this forum has saved me from a nervous breakdown.



Ablation Experience

by DoingMyBest - 2023-10-07 15:39:17

I hear you loud and clear. I had a lot of fear and trepidation before my ablation too. I couldn't fathom them snaking things into my heart to zap it.

My ablation was in May (prior to getting my pacemaker in August - another story). They used a concious sedation med, possibly propofol or something very similar, which sounds scary, but for me it puts me in a hypnotic state that I don't remember after waking in recovery. It was the same experience I had with a colonoscopy.

The groin incision was tiny, healed quickly, and never caused me any pain or discomfort. It was an out-patient procedure. I was sent home the same day. Honestly, it was one of the easier procedures I've been through this year.

On the other hand, the ablation did irritate my heart and took a few weeks of recovery. The ablation took care of AVNRT - AV node reentrant tachycardia - that was the cause of my SVT episodes. Unfortunately, my irratated heart responded with a lot more than the usual PVCs which become bothersome and annoying as they occurred frequently (many time per minute). Weeks later after things calmed down, I was back to my normal level of PVCs which are infrequent enough not to bother me.

That was my experience. YMMV. There are many different ablations for different symptoms, different locations in the heart, different amounts of tissue to burn, etc. Hopefully yours will be as straightforward as mine and will go as well. Good luck.

[Edit added] I see you're going in for Afib. They will work on a different part of the heart than what I had done. So, I really have no idea whether your heart will respond similarly to mine or not. Perhaps some other members who've had Afib ablation will weigh in with their experiences..

My experience

by atiras - 2023-10-07 15:52:58

I had the same procedure 5 years ago. I told the guy who did it to be generous with the happy juice and he was, so I can't tell you much about the procedure itself. Not much discomfort apart from the boredom of lying flat in bed for some hours afterwards. Home the same day.

The thing I remember most clearly is walking up the hill from the hospital to where my car was parked and being able to do it without stopping for the first time in years because I was no longer plagued by permanent persistent Afib.


AV node ablation

by beachbaby - 2023-10-07 16:44:47

I'm just 1 week post ablation. Had biventricular ICD implanted 10 days prior to that. Some mild groin discomfort but that was mostly from tape on the dressing/site the 1st 24 hours. No real pain at all. 

My afib has not been able to be controlled for years. Ejection fraction 29-30 even with heavy duty medication support. 

Do your best to be thankful....view this as a procedure with a purpose to move you along the road to real recovery. I'm 73. 

My UK experience

by IAN MC - 2023-10-08 07:11:19

Hi Johnny , I had an atrial flutter ablation 12 yrs ago and it really was no worse than a trip to the dentist.  Like you I was feeling quite apprehensive .The thought of someone burning my heart muscle to create scar tissue which in turn changes the electrical circuit didn't fill me with joy !

But the reality was :-

The anaesthetist suggested that I have a general anaesthetic as, in his words, " some patients experience minor discomfort ".  So that is what I opted for

After a period of time in LA-LA land, I had one overnight stay and left the next morning with instructions to " take it easy for a few days ". I remember that I went for a run on  Day 4.

I had absolutely no pain at the groin site and , far more importantly, the procedure was totally successsful  .My arrythmia has disappeared and  I have enjoyed normal sinus rhythm ever since.

I hope that your's is equally successful. Let us know how you get on




by piglet22 - 2023-10-08 08:34:46

Frankly, I don't like having anything done.

The hygienist scares the life out of me and causes real pain with her ultrasonic thingy.

Get on with it missus. Never more grateful when the lingering dentist says "all looks fine"

Head for exit.

I'm not too bothered by pacemaker insertion and removal and never had sedation or more.

The last time they got me ready for external pacing, but didn't need it. I don't think I'll be so lucky next time, probably early 2025.

I'll mention two things excluding childbirth that had me going through the ceiling.

One was a needle biopsy through my right nipple without a local and the other, a nerve conduction test with tens of thousands of volts up my left arm.

Nothing short of sadistic torture.

Won't get caught again.


by IAN MC - 2023-10-08 08:54:03

I feel better about myself having read your message. I thought I was the only person in the world who is scared of dental hygienists.

Pacemaker installations  and ablations..........absolutely no problem !


Ablation Experience

by Julros - 2023-10-08 14:08:37

Hi Johney, 

I underwent an extensive ablation procedure in March. My EP uses a transesophageal sensor to measure temperature to avoid burn injuries to the esophagus. This necessitates general anesthesia, which I had. I believe the procedure took about 6 hours, as she did both an a flutter and a fib ablation. I had to be cardioverted twice and thankfully I didn't have any skin burns like I did for 2 previous cardioversions.  I felt nothing. Immediate recovery took a little longer, because one of the groin punctures kept oozing. I went home the same day. 

The worst part was afterwards, because one of the premed drugs I was given to prevent nausea was a steroid and I was hyper,  bouncing off the walls for 2 days. I had some total body swelling that subsided after a few days.  That, and I had some mild chest discomfort for about 5 days, and I ended up taking oxycodone (leftover from my pacer implantt) so that I could sleep. I had to take high doses of omeprazole for 2 weeks to allow my esophagus to heal. I also developed a staph infection in one puncture site that required 2 courses of antibiotics. 

So far, I am arrhythmia free. 

You know you're wired when...

Your pacemaker receives radio frequencies.

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