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 FAQs A-Fib Ablations: Elevated Heart Rate 

Catheter Ablation

Catheter Ablation

“I’m six months post CryoBalloon ablation and very pleased. But my resting heart rate remains higher in the low 80s. Why? I’ve been told it’s not a problem. I’m 64 and exercise okay, but I’ve had to drop interval training.”

It’s common after an ablation for one’s heart rate to increase somewhat, but it usually returns to normal as the heart heals. That’s probably because the heart’s nerve endings have been irritated by the ablation. Although I’ve heard of some patients whose heart rate remains higher than it was before ablation. This is an area that hasn’t been well investigated.

We may have to list “increased heart rate” as a possible consequence of an ablation. But, as you have already experienced, it sure beats living in A-Fib.

Exercise to Lower Heart Rate: If your higher heart rate affects you, there are steps you can take to lower it. As you are already doing, long-term exercising at a moderate/high level helps lower heart rate. (I am a fairly fit 75-year-old sprinter. My heart rate over the years has dropped down to the 50s.)

Beta Blockers to Lower Heart Rate: Discuss your increased heart rate with your EP and how it affects you. Ask if short-term use of medication such as beta blockers may help you.

Warning: But only take beta blockers (or medications like them) for a short time, certainly not for life.  These type of drugs have bad side effect over the long term. (Bob writes that metoprolol hasn’t lowered his heart rate after ablation.)

Resources Needed: If anyone his run across more research or has insights into this question of higher heart rate after an ablation, please let us know. Thanks to Bob for this question.

If you find any errors on this page, email us. Y Last updated: Thursday, February 9, 2017

Return to FAQ Catheter Ablation and Maze Surgeries

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