Discharge Instructions for Cardiac Ablation

You have had a procedure called cardiac ablation, which was used to correct an abnormal heartbeat or rhythm. This procedure destroyed (ablated) a few of the cells in your heart that were causing your heart rhythm problem. During the procedure, a thin, flexible wire (called a catheter) was inserted into a blood vessel in your upper thigh and threaded up to the heart.

Home care

  • No one can drive home from a procedure after having sedation. You will need to make arrangements for a ride. Doctors typically advise that you not drive for 24 hours after the procedure.

  • Avoid heavy physical activity for several days after the procedure to allow your body to heal.

  • Ask your doctor when you can expect to return to work.

  • Take your temperature and check your incision for signs of infection (redness, swelling, drainage, or warmth) every day for a week. It is normal to have a small bruise or lump where the catheter was inserted.

  • Take your medications exactly as directed. Don’t skip doses. There may be changes to your medications as a result of the ablation procedure, so be sure to go over your medication instructions with your doctor before you are discharged.

  • Learn to take your own pulse. Keep a record of your results. Ask your doctor which readings mean that you need medical attention.

  • Avoid lifting heavy objects for a period of time after your ablation. Ask your doctor for specific recommendations.

Follow-up care

Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.

 

When to call your doctor

Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:

  • Redness, pain, swelling, bleeding, or drainage from your incision

  • Chest pain, shortness of breath, or dizziness

  • Fever above 100.0°F (37.7°C)

  • Sudden coldness, pain, or numbness in the leg or arm with the insertion site

  • Nausea or vomiting

Note: Ask your doctor what to expect about your heartbeat. Sometimes the irregularity goes away immediately after the procedure. Other times it may take longer to subside.