After Your Procedure

What happens after catheter ablation?

  • Dr Smith will remove all sheaths placing a small stitch in the groin before you wake up. You will then be moved to the recovery room.
  • You should keep your leg straight for 6 hours after the sheaths are removed.
  • The nurse will watch you carefully and check your heartbeat and vital signs (pulse and blood pressure).
  • Tell the nurse right away if you notice any swelling, pain or bleeding at the puncture site, or if you have chest pain.
  • Before you leave the hospital, the nurse will begive you written instructions about what to do at home.

What happens after I get home?

  • Follow the instructions you were given. Most people can return to their normal activities on the day after they leave the hospital.
  • Don’t drive for 24 hours after you leave the hospital.
  • Don’t drink alcohol for 24 hours after you leave the hospital.
  • Avoid heavy physical activity for three days. Ask Dr. Smith when you can return to strenuous exercise.
  • A small bruise at the puncture site is normal. If the site starts to bleed, lie flat and press firmly on top of it. Have someone call Dr. Smith’s office or the hospital.
  • Call 911 if you notice:
    • The puncture site swells up very fast.
    • Bleeding from the puncture site does not slow down when you press on it firmly.
  • Call Dr. Smith’s office if:
    • Your leg with the puncture becomes numb or tingles, or your foot feels cold or turns blue.
    • The area around a puncture site looks more bruised.
    • The spot begins to swell, or fluids drain from it.
    • You feel pain or discomfort in your chest that moves into your neck, jaw or arm.
    • You feel sick to your stomach or sweat a lot.
    • You have a fast or irregular heartbeat.
    • You feel short of breath.
    • You feel dizzy or lightheaded enough to have to lie down.

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Macy C. Smith, Jr., MD, FACC, FHRS