AF Association

What to expect from a EP from a private consult?

There's no chance of me getting referred to a NHS EP so looking at going private. I realise that I must pay for the consultation and any tests that might be ordered. Just wondering what i can expect. In other word, where does the EP bit come into play?

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I wonder why you say there is no chance under NHS? OK it may take time but you do have the right to be treated by whoever you wish. That said many people pay for a first consultation and then revert to NHS for treatment.

If you have already had ecgs showing AF then you should take copies along with you. You are entitled to copies of all correspondence , test results etc so make sure that you ask for them and have this stated on your medical records. If you have had an echocardiogram, which you should on first diagnosis, then a copy of this is also to be taken as part of your records. Make sure that you have a list of all medication including amounts, when started/changed etc.

An EP is the arrhythmia specialist of cardiology , the electrician to the normal cardiologists plumber if you like and they know a lot more about AF than anybody else. They may not think you suitable for ablation as contrary to popular belief they are not trying to get everybody down that route but they will be able to consider your options with you.

Bob.

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Are you in persistent AF or is your AF paroxysmal?

The first thing is to select your EP. Use the AFA website and filter by AF Ablations since they will almost certainly be EPs. Then do your research by looking up their CVs (Resumes). Then phone say your top two or three to ask about prices, etc. If you can supply a lot of the info below then that will save money. Not only ask about consultation costs but test costs. Also some EPs will see you the first time privately and then switch you straight onto their NHS list but others will want to do some tests, see you again and then switch you over.

Go to GP and get a full set of blood tests done including kidney, liver, thyroid, cholesterol (fasting) and there are a few more. Also get GP to do an ECG. Have you had an echo cardiogram done recently? If not try and get one and get both the report and the pictures.

In parallel get copies of all your notes, test results, etc. Also go a chronological lists (separately) for (1) Consultations and Hospital Tests including A&E and cardioversion(s); (2) Medications; (3) AF Events; (4) HR and BP readings. (5) All your other health issues past and comorbities with date started and finished. (6) Blood Family details (Grandparents, all their siblings and all their siblings. State year born, all major illnesses and if dead year of death and what they died of. However make all of this punchy and write things in the same order.

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Some aspects duplicated as Bob and I were obviously writing at the same time.

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Peter, surely lots of family details are irrelevant? One of my grandfather's siblings (there were ten) died in 1861.

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Can't add much to above except to concur with Bob that you can ask GP for referral on NHS to a specialist of your choice. It is your right.

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Thank you for your prompt and full answers. The situation is different in Wales and we don't get the chance to chose anything. I've asked to see an EP many times. on my most recent request a year ago I was sent to the general medical clinic. who said I was fairly stable and discharged met I'm at the top doses on my medication. Nobody tells me anything, so I can see no alternative than to see an EP privately, to at least get some answers

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I had guessed you were in Wales hence why I wrote my response the way I did.

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Where abouts in Wales are you?

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I'm in Cardigan

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The reason why I asked for your location is because I felt that I could give advice if you were in North Wales. This would have meant that you would go to Liverpool. I think that you will need to go to Cardiff.

Good luck.

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@fairenough move to the usa in NYS.

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Hi there - not a lot to add but that's never stopped me before (just ask my hubby 😀).

I have a private EP really just because I can and I feel happier being able to get appointments at times to suit me while the kids are at school etc. The private hospital is v near my home etc etc.

My EP is a bit of a pratt really - he never sits down during appointments and when we're done he dictates his notes in front of me before I'm 'dismissed '. He's the only one here tho so I'm stuck.

He does however answer all my questions and I get a full half hour with him which I use - FULLY 😀. It is also brilliant being able to have an ECG at each appointment by literally just walking to the adjoining room ans he reads the results as they're being printed out. Ditto a heart scan (echo).

I would advise you to have all your ducks in a row before your appointment. Make a list of questions. Have as many tests done in advance for free (gp can do all your bloods etc don't pay for them buy schedule far enough ahead that you can bring with you).

Good luck, i am sure you will much better when you feel you are in control.

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Don't knock him for standing up. Lats person I knew did that, and it seemed really weird, told me eventually he'd had an accident and couldn't sit for long.

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everydayhealth.com/heart-he...

The above may be of help.

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khanacademy.org/science/hea...

The second link shows how Sodium, Potassium and Calcium work within the muscle cells to cause contraction of the heart.

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Hi there,

I'm in Wales as well (near Cardiff) - my first experience of the NHS route was via A&E and with cardiologists. I decided to see an EP privately (£275 for the first session a couple of years ago) but still needed a referral from my GP in order to get an appointment. My GP was absolutely fine about it - basically got his catalogue out of the drawer, looked down to see who was listed and decided I'd already found the best person. After a couple of private appointments (the second one was about £150, including a £50 ECG), I then went onto his NHS list and have been seen via the AF clinic on that route.

At the first appointment I'd been having trouble with side effects of the bisoprolol I'd been prescribed previously so he changed my medication there and then. At the second appointment he decided that the drugs weren't holding the AF off so I should start on the waiting list for ablation, hence my move to NHS. I've subsequently decided ablation is not for me, but his AF nurse is more than happy for me to contact her if I need to for any reason.

Hope that helps.

Caroline

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Thank you Caroline, that certainly does help.

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