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Canadian Journal of Cardiology

SAME-DAY DISCHARGE FOLLOWING ATRIAL FIBRILLATION ABLATION PROCEDURE

      Background

      Complications following atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation have steadily decreased over the past decade. Following the global COVID-19 pandemic, significant pressure was put on electrophysiology labs to reduce their use of hospital beds. We sought to determine the feasibility as well as safety of same-day discharge following AF ablation procedure.

      Methods and Results

      Between April 2020 and April 2022, 134 patients underwent an AF ablation in our institution and were scheduled to be discharged the same day. Among them, 86.6% (116) went home an average of 8.1 hours after the sheaths were pulled. As for the remaining 18 patients, the majority stayed because the procedure finished too late for the monitoring period to be complete and had no complications requiring an overnight stay. Of the remaining 5 patients, 3 stayed for groin bleed, 1 for minor pericardial effusion and 1 for pulmonary edema. All except the pulmonary edema patient went home the next day. As for the 116 patients who went home the same day, 9.5% (11) came back in the following week to the ER with either pericardial pain (7), shortness of breath (1), recurrent arrhythmia (1) or minor groin discomfort (3). All of them were safely discharged from the ER the same day.

      Conclusion

      Our data confirms that same-day discharge following AF ablation procedures is both safe and feasible as confirmed by the absence of any major complications in our single center experience. Some patients came back to the emergency room for expected post ablation discomfort, but none required an overnight stay.