What happened during this procedure?
A small hole was made in the vein, at the top of the leg. This can be on both sides.
Sometimes the doctors also need to access your heart from the vein on the side of your neck. These areas will naturally heal themselves.
Will I have any discomfort?
Most people do not have any pain or discomfort following the procedure. If, however, you feel discomfort at the puncture site, you may find taking painkillers such as paracetamol will help. If significant pain occurs at the area, consult the hospital (see below for details).
- You may have some minor chest discomfort for the next week or so that worsens with a deep breath or when leaning forward. This is caused by inflammation from the ablation and should improve over the coming days
- You may experience headache following the procedure; this can be normal and is treated with regular painkillers
- You may have symptoms of palpitations occurring more frequently than usual. This can be normal and will usually settle down within 12 weeks
- Bruising around the groin area can be normal and in extreme circumstances can go as far down as your knee
If you have any worrying symptoms and are becoming concerned within the first week following your procedure please ring us (see below for details). After that time your GP may be the best person to contact.
What symptoms should I look out for?
Keep an eye on the puncture site over the next few days.
In the highly unlikely situation of your wound starting to bleed excessively, lie down flat and get a family member or friend to apply pressure to the site. If the bleeding does not stop within ten minutes, call an ambulance immediately.
If a lump starts to develop which is larger than the size of a 50p coin, lie down flat and get a family member or friend to apply pressure to the puncture site.
How should I look after my wound at home?
The dressing can be removed after 24 hours, although we advise you to leave it for two or three days to reduce infection risk.
What activities should I avoid?
- Do not lift anything heavy for one week. Resuming normal levels of exercise should be a gradual approach; if unsure check with your doctor first
- Avoid hot showers for 24 hours and avoid hot baths for three days (hot water encourages bleeding)
- Avoid drinking alcohol for three days after the procedure
You should arrange to take approximately one week off work, although this can vary depending on the type of job you do and the type of ablation you have had.
If you have a manual job which involves heavy lifting we would advise you to take at least a full week off. You should speak to your employer about your return to work.
When can I drive again?
If you have a successful ablation:
Driving may resume after two days provided there is no other disqualifying condition. We would however recommend you avoid long or stressful journeys during your first week of recovery.
If you have a LGV or PCV licence, driving may resume after two weeks provided there is no other disqualifying condition. You must notify the DVLA and they will give you further advice.
What happens next?
A detailed report will be sent to your GP.
If the hospital doctor would like to see you again in the outpatient clinic, an appointment will be sent out to you through the post.
If you are admitted to any other hospital, inform us as it can be important and related to your ablation.
Please help yourself to any of the information booklets available on the ward.
Feel free to talk to your nurse about any concerns you may have or any health education you feel you may benefit from.
Ask about your medication before you leave the hospital.
Contact details for the Cardiac Care Unit
If you have any concerns about your groin site, or specific to your cardiac procedure during your first week at home, please call the Cardiac Care Unit, telephone number: 01273 696955, extension 64484. You can call this number at any time.
For more general concerns, please contact your GP, or if it is an urgent health issue contact NHS 111 for advise or 999 for paramedic assistance.
Other useful contacts:
Arrhythmia Nurse Specialists
Telephone number 01273 067041
Monday to Friday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
This leaflet is intended for patients receiving care in Brighton & Hove or Haywards Heath
The information in this leaflet is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.