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Ablation recovery times depend on a patient’s overall general health, age, and whether diabetes or kidney disorders are present. Any complications that occur during the procedure also affect ablation recovery. For most people, ablation recovery might include slight discomfort that lasts a few days. Most procedures are done on an outpatient basis, with the patient returning home the same day.
Cardiac ablation might treat irregular heart rhythms by destroying tissue in the heart that sparks abnormal electrical impulses. A catheter fitted with electrodes uses heat or cold to target the area that misfires. The doctor threads the catheter through a large vein, usually in the groin, to reach the heart. If the procedure goes well, cardiac ablation recovery takes about a week before soreness subsides.
Recovery could take longer if a patient’s heart rate remains irregular or blood pressure rises. It might also be affected by decreased oxygen levels in the blood, and whether a pacemaker was implanted along with ablation. If blood vessels or the heart are damaged by electrodes, or blood clots form, ablation recovery takes longer because those complications must be treated.
Endometrial ablation recovery typically takes two days to two weeks. This form of ablation destroys tissue lining the uterus that causes heavy bleeding. A lighted scope guides electrodes into the uterus, where laser beams destroy tissue. Patients typically suffer some cramping and a bloody discharge for a couple of days during endometrial ablation recovery. If the uterus is accidentally punctured, recovery becomes more complex.
Some cancerous tumors are also treated by ablation. A hollow needle can be inserted directly into the growth, where high heat or freezing temperatures might kill cancer cells. This method of treatment usually works best on small tumors in the lung or liver, but also might kill cancer cells in the breast, bone, or kidney. Most patients fully recover in about a week as discomfort fades.
Venous ablation corrects abnormal blood flow in the legs, with discomfort usually lasting a week or so. Contraction of leg muscles pushes blood to the heart through one-way valves. When the valves fail to function properly, varicose veins could develop. Ablation seals the troublesome vein via a tube inserted through the knee.
Patients over the age of 75 usually take longer to recover from ablation procedures. People with diabetes or kidney disorders might suffer a reaction to dye used to highlight the path of electrodes. These conditions might make it harder to excrete the dye through urine and cause complications that lengthen ablation recovery time.