A cardiac ablation procedure is done to mutilate small areas in the human heart that cause heart rhythm problems. Some of the common symptoms of heart rhythm problems may include slow or fast heartbeats, dizziness, chest pain, frequent sweating, or paleness. An ablation procedure involves destroying tissues that trigger abnormal heart rhythm, which cannot be treated with medicines. It is typically done by placing small wires called electrodes inside the heart to measure its activity. The tissues are then destroyed as soon as the source of the issue is found. Catheter ablation is a safer option unless some rare complications erupt, such as excessive bleeding, blood clots, or damage to arteries or nerves.
Recovery tips that may help
Post an ablation procedure, the patient will be moved to a recovery area to rest for a few hours, so as to monitor and reduce the risk of bleeding. Most patients experience mild chest pain and discomfort or irregular heartbeats, but usually, recovery from the procedure is quite simple and patients may return to normal life within a few days. Patients may be advised to follow few tips for fast recovery and lifestyle changes that may improve overall health.
- Post-surgery, the nurse would put pressure on the area where the catheter was inserted to prevent or reduce bleeding.
- Once the sheath is removed, patients may be asked to lie down with legs straight for 6–8 hours.
- Patients may be advised to sleep more than usual for the initial few days.
- Patients may be advised to take medications, like antacids and anti-inflammatories, as prescribed by doctors.
- They may be advised to not perform vigorous physical activities or intense exercises as the body is recovering.
- Quit smoking and avoid alcohol intake, increase eating food items healthy for the heart, and try to maintain a healthy weight.
- Patients may be advised to speak less and control strong emotions.
- The doctor will monitor the heart’s rhythm and in case the ablation procedure has to be repeated, the patient may be advised to undergo the procedure again.
- Avoid lifting, pushing, lifting, or pulling and refrain from any strenuous activity for about a week after the ablation procedure.
- Ensure that the surgical wounds stay clean and dry until they heal.
- It is not recommended to use a very hot water bath or immerse yourself in water for long after the surgery. Patients can take a quick shower though.
- Avoid using chemicals, like creams or lotions, near the surgical wound.
- Contact the doctor if there are signs of an infection around the wound, such as reddishness or swelling.