"This book is incredibly complete and easy-to-understand for anybody. I certainly recommend it for patients who want to know more about atrial fibrillation than what they will learn from doctors...."

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Dr. Wilber Su Cavanaugh Heart Center, Phoenix, AZ

"Your book [Beat Your A-Fib] is the quintessential most important guide not only for the individual experiencing atrial fibrillation and his family, but also for primary physicians, and cardiologists."

Jane-Alexandra Krehbiel, nurse, blogger and author "Rational Preparedness: A Primer to Preparedness"


"Steve Ryan's summaries of the Boston A-Fib Symposium are terrific. Steve has the ability to synthesize and communicate accurately in clear and simple terms the essence of complex subjects. This is an exceptional skill and a great service to patients with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Jeremy Ruskin of Mass. General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

"I love your [A-fib.com] website, Patti and Steve! An excellent resource for anybody seeking credible science on atrial fibrillation plus compelling real-life stories from others living with A-Fib. Congratulations…"

Carolyn Thomas, blogger and heart attack survivor; MyHeartSisters.org

"Steve, your website was so helpful. Thank you! After two ablations I am now A-fib free. You are a great help to a lot of people, keep up the good work."

Terry Traver, former A-Fib patient

"If you want to do some research on AF go to A-Fib.com by Steve Ryan, this site was a big help to me, and helped me be free of AF."

Roy Salmon Patient, A-Fib Free; pacemakerclub.com, Sept. 2013

 FAQs A-Fib Ablations: Post-Ablation Anticoagulant

Catheter Ablation

Catheter Ablation

“I was told that I will have to take an anticoagulant such as Pradaxa, Xarelto or Eliquis for about 2-3 months after my ablation. Why should this be? After all, if fibrillation episodes are reduced or eliminated after an ablation, shouldn’t there be even less need for a prescription anticoagulant rather than more.”

By prescribing an anticoagulant for a few months post-ablation, doctors are just being cautious. Since one of the reasons you are getting a catheter ablation is to eliminate the danger of forming A-Fib clots, you certainly don’t want to have one during or just after your catheter ablation.

Making RF burns around your pulmonary veins or in other parts of your heart obviously affects the integrity of your heart tissue. They give you the IV anticoagulant heparin during your ablation and anticoagulants afterwards to make sure none of this damaged tissue produces a clot. Also, the irritation and inflammation of the RF burns may temporarily produce bursts of A-Fib which you are more at risk of just after your ablation. And sometimes they have to Electrocardiovert you during the ablation procedure which rarely can produce what is called “stunning” where your atrium and particularly your Left Atrial Appendage (LAA) may temporarily not contract properly. Clots can form and be released when the atrium and LAA start to contract again.

Having to take anticoagulants for 2-3 months after an ablation is a small price to pay for a successful catheter ablation. If you are A-Fib free, barring other risk factors, you may never have to take anticoagulants again for the rest of your life. (That’s one of the main reasons people get a catheter ablation!) If you no longer have A-Fib, you obviously can’t have an A-Fib stroke. Your stroke risk drops down to that of a normal person. (Also see: Anticoagulant Therapy after Successful A-Fib Catheter Ablation, Is it Right for Me?)

Thanks to Stephen M. Brown for this question.

Last updated: Thursday, February 9, 2017

Return to FAQ Catheter Ablation and Maze Surgeries

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