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What's the recovery like from surgical ablation?

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Open-heart surgery will take the longest to recover from. It can take many weeks to heal. You'll probably have to stay in the intensive care unit of the hospital, then up to 5 days in a regular room.

Minimally invasive surgical ablation is usually quicker. You should be able to leave the hospital in 2-4 days and can go back to normal activity after a few weeks.

After surgery, you may take diuretic drugs, to help control fluid in your body, and blood thinners or aspirin, to prevent clots.

For about a month after surgery, don’t take very hot showers and avoid soaking in a bath or whirlpool tub. Your surgical wounds may itch or feel numb or tight, and your chest may be sore for a few weeks. It may take a few months for your heartbeat to become normal.

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: “Surgical Procedures for Atrial Fibrillation (MAZE).”

University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine: “A Patient's Guide to Heart Surgery,” “Robotic-Assisted MAZE Surgery.”

Society of Thoracic Surgeons: “Atrial Fibrillation Surgery - Maze Procedure.”

Cedars-Sinai Hospital: “Preparing for Maze Surgery.”

American Heart Association: “Treatment Guidelines of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib or AF).”

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on August 27, 2019

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: “Surgical Procedures for Atrial Fibrillation (MAZE).”

University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine: “A Patient's Guide to Heart Surgery,” “Robotic-Assisted MAZE Surgery.”

Society of Thoracic Surgeons: “Atrial Fibrillation Surgery - Maze Procedure.”

Cedars-Sinai Hospital: “Preparing for Maze Surgery.”

American Heart Association: “Treatment Guidelines of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib or AF).”

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on August 27, 2019

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