Second opinion

My hospital EP has been very helpful in supplying information to Professor Richard Schilling as I requested a second opinion from him for my complex Arrhythmia's.

I have great confidence in my EP here at home. Given the complexity of my Arrhythmia's and suggested ablations (3 of) plus the long long waiting list here I feel better having a second top specialist opinion, belt and braces is the order of the day.

My main concern was not necessarily getting my EP for the actual procedure as I only have a one in four chance of it being him undertaking it. Not that seeing Prof will change that but somehow a second opinion gives me a level of comfort. We only have one heart after all. As a medic said at AFA patients day 'like marriage an ablation is not to be entered into lightly'.

So I am off to London next month. Just hope my EP is not offended but I did mention it when we last met and he was ok about it. As a normally confident person why do I feel so nervous and pathetic when dealing with medics! Must be the white coat syndrome.

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8 Replies

  • I think that it takes great courage to ask for a second opinion. It's natural to think that your doctor might be offended and that you don't trust his professional judgement. In reality he may well be happy to have confirmation.

    I would be anxious about the 1 in 4 chance of having him do the ablation. I know exactly who is scheduled to do mine. I just hope he's not off sick that day.

  • Thanks Jenny I had not thought about him possibly welcoming confirmation. It makes sense after all, no one is perfect and whoever your doctor is he/she should not be an island.


  • Hi Meadfoot, very interested to hear that you are seeing Prof Schilling. Can I ask in what way your arrhythmias are complex? Just in case this will throw any light on why I am still affected after 3ablations. Sandra

  • Hi Sandra

    Apparently, according to my EP, I have Atrial Flutter, Atrial Fibrillation and Atrial Tachycardia, all at the extreme end of the range and when one kicks in it triggers the others. The ablations will be 'complex' I am told. I dare not ask what that means. My attacks are very severe and highly symptomatic.

    All I can really fully comment on is how bad the episodes are when they come - I pass out and come round every half minute or so, have dreadful chest pains which even goes to my feet (can only assume blood flow is compromised hence the feet) pain down arm, jaw, face - all the symptoms of heart attack.

    I am admitted to hospital each time sometimes for a number of days. Mostly convert to NSR myself but had chemical cardioversion with Flecainide last time. Given IV morphine for the pain. Terrifying.

    Don't know if this info helps you, hope it does. Hoping Prof Schilling confirms the planned ablations are the way to go as I am really unnerved at the ablation prospect.

    Pace and ablate was mentioned as a final option. Holding off on that if at all possible.


  • Hi Dee, Gosh that really does sound quite horrific! I'm sure you have made the right decision in going up to see the Professor. I would have done the same. My episodes seem quite mild in comparison. I can assure you that ablations are nothing compared to what you have to go through with your episodes. At least you will have a GA or sedation.. Pace & ablate has been mentioned to me also but Iike you I am holding out as long as possible. Will be very interested to hear how you get on in London.


  • Thanks Sandra I will let you know what he has to say. Its good to hear your feedback on ablation. Did you have a Pulmonary Vein ablation. Have your symptoms lessened post ablation and who did it for you.


  • Dee, yes I did have PVI . I'm afraid that I can't honestly say that my 3 ablations have done much for me. On some occasions I was worse than I have ever been, mainly due to A/flutter. I have had 3 admissions for DCCV since my 3rd ablation last April , the last being 5 weeks ago after I failed IV Amiodarone . I am now on Disopyramide , thought by some to be a ' dodgy ' drug but it is doing what it says on the tin ( goodness knows what it is doing to the rest of my body though LOL )

    I had my 1st ablation at The Heart Hospital in London ( part of UCLH ) under Edward Rowland. Jack Mc Cready performed the ablation & when it came to the 2nd he had moved nearer to me - Brighton Hospital - as consultant EP so I continued to see him for nos. 2 & 3. He thinks that the trigger for my AF is probably coming from a different part of the heart as I have had pretty thorough treatment with ablation & PV isolation. I will be seeing him again in 2 -3months.


  • Sorry to hear your story is not as good as you would wish. To be honest I am not a fan of ablations hence my reticence to just go ahead without the most comprehensive advice. My dread is to go through it all and be no better or indeed worse.

    I do hope you can find a solution which gives you the return to full health that you deserve. I would be very interested to hear what your consultant says at your next visit. Good luck with your latest medication.


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