Skip Navigation

  • PRINT  | 

What To Expect After Catheter Ablation

After catheter ablation, you'll be moved to a special care unit where you'll lie still for 4–6 hours of recovery. Lying still prevents bleeding from the catheter insertion site.

You'll be connected to devices that measure your heart's electrical activity and blood pressure. Nurses will regularly check these monitors. Nurses also will check to make sure that you're not bleeding from the catheter insertion site.

Going Home

Your doctor will decide whether you need to stay overnight in the hospital. Some people go home the same day as the procedure. Others need to stay in the hospital longer.

Before you go home, your doctor will tell you:

  • Which medicines you need to take
  • How much physical activity you can do
  • How to care for the catheter insertion site
  • When to schedule followup care

Driving after the procedure might not be safe. Your doctor will let you know whether you need to arrange for someone to drive you home.

Recovery and Recuperation

Recovery from catheter ablation usually is quick. You may feel stiff and achy from lying still after the procedure.

Also, a small bruise may form at the catheter insertion site. The area may feel sore or tender for about a week. Most people can return to their normal activities within a few days.

Your doctor will talk with you about signs and symptoms to watch for. Let your doctor know whether you have problems such as:

  • A constant or large amount of bleeding at the catheter insertion site that you can't stop with a small bandage
  • Unusual pain, swelling, redness, or other signs of infection at or near the catheter insertion site
  • Strong, rapid, or other irregular heartbeats
  • Fainting
Rate This Content:
Last Updated: March 5, 2012