For families coming from out of town it is suggested that they plan on being in Albuquerque for 4 days and 3 nights. Albuquerque is a rural state with long distances to advanced health care. Most problems after ablation happen in the first two days. The extra days allow our patients and families access to advice and expert care if they need it.
- Day 1- CT scan, possible visit with doctor (if needed)- stay in hotel
- Day 2- day of ablation- stay in hospital overnight
- Day 3- leave the hospital- stay in hotel overnight
- Day 4- leave for home
***Please ask office staff for hotel information***
The day of the ablation is a very long day for families in particular. The patient will be in the operating room for 4-6 hours. During this time the patient will be under general anesthesia for most of this time. This is an anxious time for families, so we recommend they bring something to do. If the family wants to leave the hospital, plan on leaving a cell phone number with the day patient nurse assigned to patient.
By the evening of that day the patient will be eating and walking around without too much trouble. Usually the patient will feel pretty well by the next morning.The worst day is the third evening after the ablation. On this evening, almost everyone will have some shortness of breath. This shortness of breath usually passes within 12 hours. If the shortness of breath keeps the patient from laying flat in bed or talking normally or walking around the house, then they will need to be brought TO AN EMERGENCY ROOM. Please call NMHI from the emergency room, so we can assist the doctors there (505 841-1000).
There will also be some mild chest pain after the ablation. This is best addressed with motrin 600 mg every 6 hours. This can only be taken for 2 days in a row. Pain which persists >3 days should prompt a phone call (505- 841-1000).
The patient will be very tired the first week after the ablation. We recommend that they not work in the first week, no matter what type of work.
There are several precautions which we ask people to observe:
- No vigorous exercise the first week, walking slowly is encouraged several times per day
- No sexual intercourse for 7 days
- No showering until post-operative day 2
- No bathing or swimming for 3 weeks
Over several weeks, the fatigue will gradually improve. By 3 months most people will have completely healed. Almost everyone will have some heart rhythm symptoms after ablation is performed.
The family plays a critical role in reminding the patient that many people have atrial fibrillation during the first three months. This is part of the healing process and usually does not affect outcomes. Because this an important time, we ask that you help the patient keep track of their pulse rate. This can be done by counting the pulse on their wrist, using a pulse oximeter, using a blood pressure cuff or a wristwatch pulse rate monitor.
If the pulse rate is elevated > 110 beats in 1 minute for > 24 hours, then please call us (505-841-1000).