Before leaving hospital make sure you understand:
- how to care for the puncture site
- your level of activity
- symptoms to look out for that require medical attention
- any changes to your regular medication.
If have a general anaesthetic, you may feel different for 2 or 3 days, with more fatigue or difficulties with your memory. You shouldn’t drive or drink alcohol, and avoid making big decisions, if this happens.
Resuming activities and returning to work
In the week after the procedure your doctor will probably advise you to avoid sports, leg stretching or unusual positions of your leg, until the vein has completely healed. A small bruise may appear in the puncture area. As long as your job doesn’t require intense physical activity, you should be okay to go back to work in 2 to 3 days.
Bathing and swimming
It’s fine to shower but avoid baths and swimming for 5 days after the procedure.
If you need to fly, you may want to order a wheelchair to take you to and from the plane. If it’s a long flight, get up and walk around for a few minutes every hour.
If you’re facing a long drive home and you’re discharged the same day as your procedure, you may be better off staying overnight in a hotel near the hospital, as it’s not advised that you sit for prolonged periods of time.
Your doctor may prescribe blood-thinning medication to take after the procedure. You may also need other medication.
If you’ve had ablation you may experience mild symptoms, such as an achy chest due to inflammation caused by the procedure, but this should settle within 48 hours. The site of the puncture in your groin may also be uncomfortable for some days.
You may experience the feeling of skipped heartbeats or rapid heartbeat during the 2 months after your procedure. This can be due to inflammation in your heart. These symptoms should settle, but if they worsen, let your cardiologist know.
You’ll need to make a follow-up appointment with your cardiologist for further tests to check the effectiveness of the procedure.
Watching out for problems
Call your cardiologist immediately if you have:
- fever or chills
- shortness of breath
- redness, bleeding or swelling near the puncture site
- chest pain that gets worse
- an unusual pain in your leg
- ankle swelling.