AF Association
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Ablation in Japan

As some of you know I am a Brit living in Japan.

I am due to have an ablation the last week in July and here is how it differs from the UK.

As the health care system is part funded by the state and part self funded I HAVE TO pay for my ablation. The cost to me is approximately 339pounds sterling all inclusive(see below).

I can choose my EP, the hospital I attend and my cardiologist. If I dont like them. I go to the next.

My first consultation with my EP cost me 50p, I didnt mind paying that!

He spent an hour with me explaining RF Ablation, showed me all the bits of gear he would use, discussed the plusses, the possible negatives. All in all he did a very thorough job.

Each trip to my cardiologist costs about 5pounds.

What I like about this is I can go when I like, so if I have an attack, I feel bad or somethings not quite right I know I can see him at 9am tomorrow, all I have to do is turn up and be first in the cue. That lessens my anxiety somewhat.

Now, about the ablation itself.

I am told I will be (on average) in hospital for 6 days, 2 days before they take me off all meds except anticoags and I am permanently wired to map activity. During that time I will have stress tests, a cat scan and my heart made into a 3d modal on his computer.

Then I have the ablation, he always starts them at 9am, I dont know why, thats his thing.

After the ablation I have to stay in the hospital for 4 days, again wired permanently to ecg to see how things go.

Upon release I am told not to return to work for 2 weeks!!

I am having it done at the end of the summer semester (I am a teacher in school) so I will have 5 weeks after to recover.

Thats all I know so far, the price is all in, meals, tests, drugs, and the procedure.

I asked whether he sedates or uses a GA.

He said (in a heavily Japanese accented English) "I give you some very nice drugs, you going to feel you are in heaven!"

Doesnt sound too bad!

12 Replies

That sounds like an amazing health system. Wish we were in Japan. I've had those drugs he talks about. After the last GA I lost 20 years, I felt amazing. I thought maybe they had accidentally cleared a clogged-up artery and that's how I was going to stay, but alas, it was the drugs and it only lasted about 3 days :-(



What a bargain. Enjoy the rest. It is reassuring to be monitored for a period afterwards.



Sounds amazing. It looks as though they give a good service to their patients with AF in Japan. I think we could all do with that aftercare too.



Sounds like Japan has its priorities right and you will receive the very best care.

Best Wishes


Haiku for you Japoholic

Japanese treatment

Precision engineering

For the heart; cheaply



You can be sure of regular updates, if I could I'd stream it live online, NOW THERES A THOUGHT!!

I don't mind paying 50p to see an EP, better than the 250 I was quoted in the UK and 10 grand for an ablation, seems reasonable. The amount you pay is means tested against the tax you pay in the previous financial year. Earn more, pay more, earn very little, pay very little.


Wow, think many of us will be queuing up for a trip to Japan. Interestingly here we are told the in patient time is short and recovery to go back to work a couple of weeks, not likely says I.


Haha feel like you are in heaven that's great. Sounds as if you are, health system wise. Can we all move in with you? :D


Wow, that sounds amazing what a good system. Good luck to you.


Maybe there idea of health should be what our NHS moves to?


Keep us posted - sounds like an exceptional situation! Take advantage of everything they offer so you recover well.... as you've heard before - once you get to the ablation the day will fly by. It is the waiting which is so difficult!

All the best


Well, the system isn't perfect, I have to pay for my monthly prescriptions which costs more than the UK. I don't mind the thought of paying BUT it has to be means tested and available to the poorest in the community. The homeless have a real hard time accessing health care in Japan. One Doc I know said quite matter of factly he wouldnt treat homeless people because they don't have any money.


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