Anxiety/Panic attacks after cardiac ablation

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/24/2013 1:15 AM (GMT -6)   
I am interested in anyone who has experienced anxiety/panic attacks after having a cardiac ablation. My son had a cardiac ablation performed June 2013. Since then he has not felt right...and he has continued to get progressively worse. He had this procedure done for atrial arrhythmia. He was having several episodes a day where his heart rate would beat at 200 beats a minute/sometimes higher. The cardiologist felt he should have this procedure done because he's only 25 and the medication has a lot of side effects. Since having this procedure he has developed anxiety/panic attacks. Oct. 2013 we took him to the ER because he felt like he couldn't breathe his lips, face, hands and extremities felt numb and he felt faint. He also was experiencing like a burning sensation across his chest and palpatations. They did some test in the ER and felt everything was fine with his heart and thought it might be anxiety. In addition, he is not eating well and continues to feel anxious. He hardly goes out for fear of having an episode. The episodes have become more frequent usually 3 a week, but he feels like he is always trying to fight it from happening. He has been using breathing and relaxation techniques to try and stop/prevent them. He has been to Doctors to rule out any physical health issues and has seen a Psychiatrist as well. He is now taking Lexapro and Ativan to help with the anxiety. These symptoms have developed since having this procedure and appears to be produced by the physical symptoms he is experiencing. Also, the cardiologist (EP Doctor) has put him on a holter monitor for 1 month, but doesn't feel it's his heart. Looking for any similar experiences...just want to try and help him in some way. It seems like we can't get to the bottom of this and he is getting so discouraged. I just want my son back...I want him to feel well and enjoy life...

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 11/24/2013 1:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Good Afternoon,
I pulled up a few threads from our archives that speak to this topic:
I am in the dark after cardiac ablation procedure:
Does ablation work?
Post SVT ablation - continued chest pain...all normal test results??
I hope these threads provide you with some info that you can use.
I wish you fair winds and following seas.
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

"She Stood in the Storm & When the Wind Did Not Blow Her Away, She Adjusted Her Sails."

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/24/2013 9:46 PM (GMT -6)   

Thanks for your reply. I will check out the sites you suggested.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 11/27/2013 8:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey, sorry to hear about your son goin thru this. I am a 29 year old female and I too had a heart ablation done in Aug.2013, I also was having tachycardia (started in June2013), my heart rate would go up to the 160's, I had episodes everyday, several times a day and was unable to work before the ablation. It took a couple of months before I started seein any success with this procedure. I now have pvc's along with my tachycardia, but it's definitely not as bad as it was before my ablation.I have also recently started back working, which triggered my tachycardia again, but still not as bad as it was, I take 360mg of cardizem to help control my heart problems but still sometimes this doesn't work. I can understand where your son is coming from, its very fustrating, n frightening to not kno what exactly caused this, and why its still happening even after this ablation (I thought I was gone be completely cured). I personally have came to the conclusion that this may be something I have to deal with for the rest of my life. At first it altered everything I did, I didn't wanna leave the house, afraid I would have a flare up, I didn't wanna eat, I lost 20lbs. I am just now getting to where I accept this illness n have begun to live again. I to was put on anxiety pills that I only took for a week they seem to do me more harm than good, I too have dizzy spells, n burning sensations in my chest, that I have told my doctor about, they seem not to be worried, I honestly dnt know what to do but to except my illness and try to live life to the fullest,(easier said than done), thanks for sharing your son's story, I hope he is able to read this also so he could kno he's not alone, this site has really helped me thru some hard times

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 2/26/2014 1:33 PM (GMT -6)   
How is your son and you feeling?
I feel for your son. I had mine done in Oct and 4 months later, I still have stress and anxiety. But I am resisting taking any medications (Xanax or whatever) for as long as I can. And I live by myself which is adding lot more stress.
I am not sure how long it will take me to be completely normal, but every day is a learning.
Every person is different and how each person handles anxiety and stress is upto each individual.
Also every individual's heart condition is different.

I have been blogging almost every day since my ablation about how I feel that day, what I ate, what I want to do etc...I use google blogger that way I can type a lot. This helps me see a trend in my health. Initially whenever something hurt or pinch, I was thinking its my heart. The mind is very complicated uncontrollable horse. Having a blog helped me realize that minor aches and pains were not related to my ablation.

I am also eating super healthy - lots of fruits and vegetables, juices, sea food, nuts and oils. No fast food, no coffee, no liquour, no smoking, nothing bad. All that will add to anxiety.

After my ablation, I started walking a mile a day, then 2 miles a day, then treadmill. Recently I started doing yoga and even though I have skipped beats (which trigger my anxiety too), I force myself to do yoga.

A friend of mine suggested I write down all that is positive about me and my goals and start working on those goals. It helps sometimes.
Anxiety is there because we are faced with uncertainty ( i need to read it loud to myself). But nothing in this world is certain. But we have to go and enjoy what we like to enjoy.

For me it has been learning to live again. Every thing I do feels like I am doing it first time.

If the cardiologists say his heart is now ok, then he may have to start accepting that his heart is ok.
I avoid taking medications - we have to learn how to deal with anxiety rather than depend on medications that have side effects. I am not against them. I myself take a Xanax once in a while when it gets to me.

Also being a guy, I am not ashamed to say that the stress and anxiety has gotten to me couple times and it has brought out a lot of emotions.
Simple things like bad news on CNN were getting to me. I stopped watching the news or reading it.

I hope as time passess all of us will get over our anxiety and continue to live a normal life.

Good luck to your son and let him know that he has a lot to do in this world and shouldn't let anxiety stop him from doing things he enjoys (I have to learn that too).

kenny g
New Member

Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/18/2014 2:39 AM (GMT -6)   
yes yes yes After about a month after heart ablation i had wired panic attacks anxiety.To make a very long story short nothing help accept integrated health care. I went to a doctor that does alternative treatment iv vitamin therapy acupuncture etc.... He doesn't know what happened to me but it can be from anesthesia or since the burn nerves in your heart they are controlled by your sympathetic nerves system which also controls your fight or flight, which controls the anxiety !!! Its been a year and a half now i am better but still not right. I still feel blah some days lightheaded etc. If you want to talk more reply back

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/18/2014 10:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to HealingWell. Being connected to an integrative Dr. is a wonderful thing.  I have wished I had access to integrative medicine.  Your Dr. seems to have some great alternative treatment and I hope this helps you.
Do feel comfortable posting in our Anxiety Forum as the experts on learning to live with anxiety can be found in that forum.
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic
and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

"She Stood in the Storm & When the Wind Did Not Blow Her Away, She Adjusted Her Sails."
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