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Avatar universal

PVC's after ablation

My husband recently went through a cardiac catheter ablation...his 2nd attempt finally produced arrhythmia's in the lab, and the dr was able to ablate 2 locations.  Within 2 hours after the completion of his procedure, the PVC's began...and became very frequent.  Sometimes as close together as every other beat.  This has continued and remained at this frequency and we are now about 31 hours post ablation.  His dr prescribed metoprolol XL, which did nothing to help the situation today, so has changed to Rythmol.  My husband has the misfortune of being able to feel every flutter, PVC, pause,  everything--which we've been told is rare, most people who experience them don't even know they're happening--makes me wonder if many patients have this post-ablation and just do not know it.  I've read that some people after ablations do experience palpitations or PVC's or abnormal rhythms that eventually decrease over a few weeks, that sometimes meds are needed then tapered off and all is well....but I've also read that sometimes these things persist despite a "successful" ablation procedure.  At this point, we're looking for how common is it to experience this?
What time frame can the PVC's persist?  How often is medication needed temporarily then taper?  Can they be occurring because of needing to heal after the ablation?  Are they only occurring because there is an un-ablated area causing disturbance?  Does anyone know a good resource to locate more info on the subject?  (Many places I've searched only comment on the wound site and chest discomfort post-op, not the rhythm after affects).    
53 Responses
Avatar universal
I had an ablation on 6/10. Yesterday I got an EKG at my cardios office. I had PVCs. I Dr said they were not life threatening. I am on 100 mg metoporlol twice a day and have been for years. I guess I have to live with the PVCs.

21064 tn?1309308733
I had an ablation for PVCs, and six weeks later a Holter showed 6000 PVCs in a 24 hours period.  I was thrilled since prior to that I was having more than 20,000.  Doctor performed a second procedure for an entirely different area in my heart and I only have occasional PVCs now.  However, 6 weeks after the second procedure, I was in bigeminy (PVC every other beat) for about 6 hours.  I remember because it was Christmas Eve : )
Does the cardio think it will settle down?  What was the ablation for?
489725 tn?1280052553
i had a ablation for svt 12mths ago and before that i did not feel any pvcs and while i had the pathway ablated i was left from the night after the ablation with pvcs .i still have them all the time .my cardio thinks i had them before just did not notice them and they started going into runs {svt} i am going for a another study in a few weeks to see if they can ablate again cause i am having runs again.
it can take a while for the heart to settle down and heal after the ablation esp if he was on meds before.i was on a lot of meds before mine and all were stopped straight away and i think it did not help me
i know for me they say the rhythm or electrial side of things is trying to go the route it was going when it went into a svt run and because that area is now blocked partly i get pvcs if that make sence.i find it confusing.i will say after my ablation after a couple of weeks things did settle down and altough i now have the pvcs and sometimes svt run it is not as bad as it was.
give it time
hope that helps
Avatar universal
My PVC's became worse after my ablation for SVT back in January.  They were almost constant and worse at night.  I felt them all the time and while unnerving, was able to ignore them for the most part.   I was told to expect this while my heart healed.  After 6 weeks I thought the PVC's would settle down a little but they didn't and some times were worse than others.

It's now been close to 6 months and I can now honestly say that I have finally started to feel better - been two weeks and that's the longest I've gone without a set-back.  I'm now in sinus rhythm more than I'm in arrhythmia.  As strange as it sounds, it feels weird to be feeling normal again.

Does your husband have a follow-up appointment with the EP?  Maybe it would be a good idea for him to discuss what he should expect post-procedure.
Avatar universal
I haven't been on for awhile....I think post-ablation we just had to take a step back from things and let him heal, and take a mental break from being submerged in arrythmia "shop talk".  I've been reading and reading, and it seems like you have been through a ton with your arrythmia's, etc.

Were you ever on anxiety meds?  If so, did they cause any PVC's?  

My husband is about 5 weeks post-ablation...he's still taking Rhythmol 225 mg twice daily per EP's instruction.  He's supposed to start weaning down to 1, then two weeks later down to 0 to see if it worked.  But since he's still having PVC's he's wondering if he should bother?  Could it be they will eventually still go away unmedicated?

He had the ablation for NSVT, and MANY pvc's, at times was in bigeminy or however you spell that word...every other beat....
His EP felt confident the 2 places they ablated were the source of his NSVT and PVC's....he kept feeling little half-palp's post-procedure, which sounded like a good thing...as it heals it's relearning a new pathway, and it can still try the old one but be unsuccessful.

They're full PVC's, sometimes many in a day, sometimes none.  But there are few days that say 0 on the calendar, so most often they're still there....

Have you experienced this?  Has anyone else or does anyone know of anyone else who it took more than a month post-ablation to get the PVC's to go away?  

Searching for answers....of course the EP reminds him he has a choice...if he can't live with palps we can medicate (which he's doing now but still having them, so we'd up the dosage back to what he was at BEFORE the ablation), do nothing and he deals with how annoying and disruptive they are, or try the ablation again.

Oh, and they're worse in the heat and while he's walking and talking at the same time...any ideas?

Thanks a million
21064 tn?1309308733
Welcome back "LovedOneSuffers",

We absolutely understand your choice to back away from arrhythmia "shop talk".  In can be all-consuming for sure...

I have taken anti-anxiety meds and although, they do not suppress the PVCs, they offer a calming effect.  It is more of a band-aid than a treatment, so I am/was careful not to rely too much on them.  I take 1/2 of a .25mg tablet of Xanax as needed and find it helpful. I no longer have frequent PVCs, but there are times, like when I travel by air, when they may kick up a bit. For those times, I can take the Xanax.  In my case, the medication does not cause PVCs.

It is not unusual for the PVCs to take months to settle down. I was told I could take a beta blocker when I needed/wanted post-ablation.  Your husband's heart has been irritated by the poking and prodding, and it will take some time for it to heal.  

My ablations were also for frequent PVCs, NSVT.  Did his doctor mention the possibility of additional procedures? I was multi-focal and I knew it might take more than one procedure.  I ended up with 2 ablations and it has made a world of difference.  Yep, it's bigeminy (you got it right...) and I can recall being in bigeminy for 6 hours on Christmas Eve (my 2nd procedure was 11/7) and shortly after that they settled down for good. (The first ablation was 8/1)

Is he still having very frequent PVCs?  Has he worn a monitor to try and capture the actual frequency?  

Yes, I had PVCs for a couple of months post ablation.  After the first one, I had daily (frequent) PVCs.  After the second, it lasted a couple months.  "Sueinns" (posted above) had PVCs for about 6 months.  Try not to get discouraged....You might want to check with the doc about a monitor so you can quantify the activity.


Searching for answers....of course the EP reminds him he has a choice...if he can't live with palps we can medicate (which he's doing now but still having them, so we'd up the dosage back to what he was at BEFORE the ablation), do nothing and he deals with how annoying and disruptive they are, or try the ablation again.

Oh, and they're worse in the heat and while he's walking and talking at the same time...any ideas?

Thanks a million
465516 tn?1302553328
Sorry to hear that, I had an ablation a couple weeks ago and I feel better than I have in years. I feel an occasional PVC but my doc said that is normal.
21064 tn?1309308733
HOORAY!!  I'm so glad you continue to feel well!!  Isn't life grand?  

Remember how frightened you were?  Worth it, right?

Avatar universal
I have had occasional SVT all my life.  I am 47 YO WF with asthma and chronic allergies.  The asthma will kick in an SVT, and sometimes into A-Fib.  I just spent 12 hours in A-fib at the hospital.  My blood clotting time was normal, but they put me on a thinner as a precaution.  They tried a calcium blocker, which made me crash 90/50 (not a pleasant experience); they tried beta blockers after that, to no avail.  I reset on my own.  I have had a couple bouts of A-fib before, but thought it was just another part of SVT, until I was told otherwise this time.  Am also in a severe allergic state at this point.  My skin presented to allergist dehydrated and have been put on a regimen of medications and creams, baths, etc.  Asthma is still triggering some SVT, but I can usually vagal them away.  Longest SVT has been 10 minutes.  Longest A-fib was the recent 12 hour bout.  Echo showed a healthy heart, valves, etc.  I have pitting edema, but no known hepatic cause.  My liver, kidney and other functions are actually in great shape too.  The SVT and A-fib are genetic, as are the allergies.  Prior to presenting to hospital, my primary care put me on a water pill, and I think that threw my body into its allergic state it is in now.  The asthma is triggering the SVT's; and the SVT's can trigger the A-fib.  My blood pressure goes up with asthma - 138/84 to 140/88, but normally it is 110/74 or thereabouts.  Is there an absolute answer for me, except to get my asthma under control.  I am scheduled to take allergy testing in less than 2 weeks now.  I do intend to take shots if that is what they say I need.  I will do anything to avoid ablation or cardioversion if I can, as I have read enough of the good and bad on these subjects.  Any thoughts?

Thank you, Christine
251395 tn?1434494286
Your history seems sounds similar to mine. Think of SVT like an umbrella. Afib is a form of SVT as is AVNRT,AVRNT, WPW, Sinus Tach etc...these are all forms of SVT. They all occur in the upper 2 chambers, above the ventricles.

Asthma can trigger you to go into SVT as can some of the medications used to treat it. DId your Dr put you on any other medication besides the blood thinner for rhythm or rate control?

I noticed that you separate SVT from Afib. If you have had both, do you know what for of SVT you have? Have you ever had an EPS (electrophysiology study)

I have had both cardioversion and ablation procedures. Medications can be used to treat symptoms but are no guarantee to prevent recurrance. Along with taking medication come the many possible side effects as well. It is that old double edged sword. The only way to be assured of increasing your chances that you don't have anymore SVT would require an EPS with possible ablation (if they are able to pinpoint the focal area sending the crazy signal)

If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask:)
Avatar universal
Hi! I am in a dilemma and would appreciate your advice. I have had a history of cardiomyopathy and frequent PVC's (20-30,000). I have tried all the available meds incuding a new one, Multaq, this past year. I haven't been feeling great and figured it wasn't working, today I had an echo and I am in bigeminy (sp?). My regular cardiologist and I decided it is time to have an ablation. He contacted a Dr. at Mayo, but I found out they are not in my network. I was wondering if you would tell me the name of the Dr. that did your ablation. I  have multi-foca lPVC's and the other Drs. in my city aren't expereinced in that area. Thank you very much for any help you can provide. Also, I believe you said you had two ablations, how far apart were they? Thanks again! Mary
1137980 tn?1281285446
Hi i read your post....i had my ablation 3 years ago for a number of things...one was a fib the other was SVT....and yep i went thru what your husband did...i am in my mid 50's now and it was a little rough going for the first 6 weeks because my doc said that the heart takes time to revert back and retrain itself because it has been used to for so long going in the bad direction and now it has to re route up over and around until it gets it right.  You have to remember as i always say that it has been poked, prodded and penetrated and is now swollen and it definately will take some time.  Hopefully your loved on isn't in the fail group.....if your heart doc said he was in the 70% or better range relax a little and try to help him by diverting him so that he doesn't let this take over and only concentrate on the bad.  I too was put on a beta blocker for the first 2 months and then was eased off until my doc told me i didn't need them anymore but i chose to stay w. a very low dose of Antenolol just as a safety net and it has worked for me.  The only thing i can say is patience, patience, patience...the docs say that it takes up to 6 months for everything to go back to normal but that they know with in the first 3 months if it is a success or not.  Don't be down hearted because he;s on the meds...most of us were for a while anyway and when i personally hit the 4 month mark all of the PVC's and tach stopped as well as the a fib and i have only had one incident since that i am pretty sure i caused myself....help him...don't let him sit and wait for a bomb to go off which may never will.....go for rides in the car, visit friends, throw a BBQ, do anything but anything that will give him the opportunity to feel every little thing....stay away from quiet places like movies,  if walking is bothering him avoid it.....divert him if you can and keep reassuring him that its too soon to tell...good luck
21064 tn?1309308733

I sent you a private message.   : )
21064 tn?1309308733
Good morning!

Did you get my message?  If not, let me know, and I can resend or post it on the forum.
Hope you're having a great day!

Avatar universal
I had a catheter ablation for AVNRT in December of 2011. It has been 3 months. I am still experiencing PVCS all the time and was just wondering how you are feeling now. Is it really true that it will probably go away some day for good?
1807132 tn?1318743597
I had an ablation in September for avnrt.  I had a lot of pvcs right afterwards.  They slowly settled down.  I still feel them most days some just a few but others seem to go off more than other days but the farther I get away from the ablation the less I feel them.  My doctor seems to think at some point we will stop feeling them so hang in there.  Depending on how much a person's heart had been through before the ablation is possibly a factor in the time it takes for their ectopics to calm down and or go away.   Take care and keep us posted on how you are doing.
Avatar universal
Thanks. I had the AVNRT for about 25 years. It was really rare until October and it went crazy. I took 12.5 mg of atenolol today and it seems better. The atenolol has however made it hard for me to sleep in the past and I think it may have caused an anxiety attack once. I dont know. I guess I will just wait. I feel better whenever I hear of someone who had them after the ablation and they got better. I just keep thinking it has been 3 months and that seems so long.  apparently its not that long for this sort of thing. My doctors office doesnt tell me anything about it. They dont tell me its normal and that there is a chance that they will go away. I have had to look online to find out that it is common and doesnt always last forever
1807132 tn?1318743597
I don't know that it is normal or not.  I think it depends.  My doctor claims the ablation didn't cause them.  I know I had them before the ablation but not in the quantity I have them now though I can't say that with absolute certainty because I thought everything I was feeling before the ablation was related to the svt.  I even woke to some sinus tachycardia after drinking one night recently and realized I may have mistaken a few normal sinus tachycardia episodes from dehydration for my svt so until the symptom gets isolated I think it is easy to not see it for what it was.  My doctor also claims the svt didn't cause the pvcs either.  To be honest I don't know what to believe but going on 7 months I really don't feel them as intensely.  Your case sounds a lot like mine so hang in there.  I really do think by the time you reach 6 months you will feel better regardless if you ever get totally rid of them.  But do try to do whatever you can to work through any stress they may be causing you because that will definitely bring them on more.  Take care.  
Avatar universal
Thank you fo the information. It really helps
Avatar universal
I have had a couple incidents of palpotations that lasted for like 30 seconds. I am getting my event monitor finally on Tuesday. I am so tired of all this weird new stuff. I also had an episode where I felt my heart beating really fast in my chest, but  my pulse wasnt that fast. Have you ever had anything like that?
Avatar universal
Hi All - I'm new to this board, and have been reading these posts.  I'm a healthy 38 year old who used to work out 4 times a week.  No major health issues ever, until I started having SVT episodes about a year ago.  Saw an EP who recommended an ablation to cure it, which I had done in March of this year.  It was AVNRT.  Since then, no SVTs (thankfully), but a huge increase in PVCs, to the point where they are daily occurrence.  I'm one of those people who feel most, if not all of them.  My EP has claimed that the ablation procedure has nothing to do with the increase in PVCs, that they are two entirely separate things.  I think it's a rather odd coincidence.  I'm beginning to think that the ablation is the cause of these PVCs, since I've never, ever had so many before (once every 3-5 heartbeats when it's bad).  I appreciate the sharing of experiences on this board.  It would be good to hear if these PVCs after ablation go away after a few months.  Perhaps the heart is readjusting, given a pathway was ablated?  I just know that my qualify of life is not better than it was, and it's really making me regret ever having the ablation done.  Thoughts?  Comments?  Thanks all.
Can you update on how you're doing now?
Avatar universal
Well, heck, every single cardiac cell membrane (to say nothing of that of every other cell in the body) is an electrical entity depending on a current shift to do its job.  No disrespect to your EP, but to say that physically burning hundreds of cardiac cells would not affect irritabilty or inherent contractility is a tad nuts.

On the bright side, you are only a couple of months out of your procedure and are still healing.  I'd give it a little more time before panicking.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your post.  Was this your experience as well after having an AVNRT ablation?  How long did it take for the PVCs to subside and for you to start feeling like yourself again?  Would like to hear your experience!
Avatar universal
Although I have had PVCs and other minor arrhythmias for decades, I myself have not needed an ablation.  My understanding of cardiac function is based on years of studying anatomy and physiology.

However, a fair number of people on this board have actually had ablations and have described their experiences here.  Many of them describe PVCs for weeks afterward, so you are not alone.  You might find it helpful to run a search for "ablation for AVNRT" to read some of their experiences, and perhaps to communicate with them personally.  A member named Jannie411 has kindly mentioned that she would be happy to answer questions about her own ablation for AVNRT.

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