Following a recent lively discussion here about costs of ablation etc this link is fascinating for stats geeks!

I looked up the cost of Propafenone which I take daily, wondering if it is more cost-effective to have an ablation! This study is only comparing treatment options not including ablation, but one interesting stat was that at 15 years of PAF your likelihood of going into permanent AF rises to about 40%.

2 Replies

  • The reference in another post about saving money by NOT doing ablations may be flawed since many of the costs will still be incurred (or have been). This is because of the nature of ablations and because they are so specialised. Costs can be split into fixed equipment; fixed staff and let's call consumables (which includes medicines, food, etc). This is from a non nhs layman's perspective but using principles from other areas.

    Once built a Cath lab basically only used electricity because the capital cost and running costs (eg maintenance) will still be 100% even if procedures are scaled back by 20%. Similarly with the cath lab staff one has to assume that most, if not all, will still have to be paid for 100% even if they are not in the lab only 80%. Obviously in some cases the ward staff may be able to be reduced but this is tenuous since AFers are normally only in for one night after their procedure and in m case it was a dedicated cardiac ward. Obviously the consumables such as medicines, catheters, etc are actual costs and have to be paid for patient by patient as each is treated but the costs will be in the very low thousands or maybe high hundreds of pounds. Therefore the suggestion of saving £15,000 by not doing an ablation is probably flawed.

    Contrasting this with costings if a new facility is to be built where the cost of new or modified building, new equipment and new staff will be significant and will have to be amortised over X number of patients for Y number of years.

  • After living with PAF for months, then getting completely "cured" by ablation, I'd have to say it was easily worth ANY cost to me personally. Having my life back is price-less! That said, I realize not every procedure, even multiples, is/are so successful. I'm just glad they have found that option, because nothing else was working for me.

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