Best Surgeon

Big question I know, but if you were having an ablation, who would you want to carry out an ablation on you in the UK, basically who would be the first choice? Been reading up since a bad weekend last week and horrendous week of exhaustion this week and leaning towards ablation as at 51 and with paroxysmal af I would rather try stop this from developing, Sabine Ernst appears to be an authority from what I read, has anyone paid privately and what was the cost please. Ian

26 Replies

  • If no one here can reply from personal experience I guess the way to find out costs of having an ablation done privately is to email Sabine Ernst's secretary. She works at the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hosptital, I think.

  • I have not had an ablation but if I were to do so I would choose be Professor Richard Schilling London.

  • i have not had an ablation but read a lot about the surgeons who carry out these procedures and i would gp for Schilling.

  • Regarding costs I was quoted 15k in 2009 . I spoke to friend who had one done recently at 16k. Best to phone or email EP s secretary for up to date fig

  • Dr Chris Pepper who is a consultant cardiologist and EP based in leeds who works for both the nhs and private..... You could pay for a private consultation and then move to the nhs list as an option. I did just what you are thinking, diagnosed with PAF in March and had ablation at the beginning of July to nip it in the bud, and because I don't get in with the beta blocker. I am lucky in that I have medical insurance but I would have paid a private consultation which is approx £250/300 and the gone nhs which dr pepper offered to do.

    Fantastically, calm, lovely guy who came recommended from two heart specialists one from A and E and the one who diagnosed me. I trust him wholeheartedly.

  • Both suggestions above are good but first you need to find out if they offer a private option.

    I had 2 ablations done privately, in a private hospital in London in 2014 & at the sort of figures quoted above. I was very happy with Dr Dhinoja who was trained by Prof Schilling at Barts.

    But it isn't just the specialist - it is also the equipment - so go to the hospital with state of the art equipment & that is often an NHS hospital.

    The other consideration if you are paying for it yourself, is the cost if you are unfortunate enough to have complications - it is easy for costs to spiral so look at the whole package offered.

  • My EP is Dr David Gareth Jones at Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital. In my experience he has no bedside manner (In case empathy is important to you) but my ablation for AF and Flutter was quick and successful, partly no doubt because of very up to date equipment.

    Have you ever been referred to an EP?

  • No not yet, asked my gp she laughed and said ep! But tbh in the North East I think ablation isn't the best probably need travel, just want best possible shot first time.

  • 🙄 Another GP who doesn't take AF seriously...... Hopefully someone from your area can make a good suggestion. The usual route seems to be through a cardiologist who does physical checks and then recommends an EP. I got lucky on the NHS but if you can choose yourself that is very fortunate.

  • Yea she basically laughed at that and when I told hef flecanide had made my heart beat so fast after the pip I had after 20mins before it slowed it down she didn't take blind bit notice, gonna see usual doc as unfortunately he was off this week in hols and go through it with him, focused now, losing weight, healthy lifestyle and then ablation if it becomes a regular thing

  • I'm sure that you will find that The Freeman in Newcastle has an excellent reputation.

  • I saw Dr Bourke a couple of years ago then I had an initial afib attack prior to stopping drinking (drink triggers it), he didn't inspire me with confidence and actually said wait if you can as technology isn't as good as it will be in few years, and concerned me with his tales of making it worse or needing 2 or 3 attempts to maybe make it a success, emphasising on maybe, made me go off the idea tbh hence why I have put up with the 4/5 episodes I have had in two years, not sure if he's as u to date as shilling or Sabine in London form what I have looked at, and would rather have the best attempt and most informed and advanced options I can to improve any chance I have of being free of this.

  • Whatever you do please don't call them surgeons as they electrophysiologists and do not like to be confused with plumbers (normal cardiologists,). There should be a list by area on AF Association main website.

  • He is correct. Electrophysiologists deal specifically with the electrical function of your heart. Cardiologist are not trained in ablation, at least here in the States. I don't know what a private Dr would cost. I have a co pay of $250. Kitty

  • I had two ablations, first one was private in 2006 by BMI at the QE in Birmingham. It was under insurance so not sure of the cost. I was quoted about £15000 a few years ago for the 2nd ablation, again BMI.But I decided to go under the NHS (same EP but a loooong wait).

    If I were to go for a private ablation paid for by myself, and I might if I need another, then a few things I would ask apart from the EP and the hospital are what happens if something goes wrong and they have to call in someone (a surgeon etc) in the unlikely event of emergency treatment being needed. I think I remember being warned that it could be many tens of thousands etc.

    Also, what happens if (as with my last ablation) they have to abort. In my case it was aborted because my AF could not be stimulated. Would that mean another ablation and would you have to pay again?

    And, what happens if it just doesn't work? I guess the answer to that one is just tough luck, but I don't know that.

    Whatever you do I hope your ablation works. Mine did and made a huge difference to my life. Best thing I ever did.


  • My Ep is Dr Bourke at the Freeman in Newcastle he is very good and a really nice guy. As the Freeman is a specialist heart hospital they have state of the art equipment and some excellent Eps. I had my second ablation there 8 weeks ago and so far have not had one episode of AFib. I was told by the cardiacnurse specialist and a radiographer at the Freeman that if they had to have an ablation they would want Dr Bourke to do it as he is the best EP there. I dont know if he does private work but his secretary is very helpfull.

  • Hi Ian, I had an ablation performed by Dr Riyaz Kaba at Spire St Anthony's in Cheam. Was only done a few weeks ago but very happy so far. Dr Kaba also works at Cromwell hospital and I think does NHS too. The cath lab at Spire is state of the art and much better equipped apparently than an NHS lab.

  • All 4 of my ablations were done by Dr Kaba. At Harley Street and St Georges Tooting. I like the way he listens to you and I trust him implicitly. He also does NHS work.

  • Met DR Bourke and wasn't sure after he seemed to be putting me off it if anything, saying technology wasn't quite where it should be, that was 2014, don't know of much as changed there since or equipment is different like the 3d stuff they seem to use London etc

  • Things do move on quickly. I had an Rf ablation 8 weeks ago tomorrow and he used a 3D mapping system. My first ablation in December was a cryo ablation wich just didnt help at all but this one has been excellent i havent had one episode of AFib since he did i have had some ectopics and the odd run of tachycardia wich have lasted only a few mins so i am hoping this one has worked. I certainly feel better just get a bit tired if i overdo things. I have a check up at the Freeman tomorrow when i am hoping to be taken off some of my meds.

  • That sounds great didn't know the did the new, 3d mapping yet at Newcastle, may ask for another referral, thanks so much for replying , Ian

  • It was called Carto mapping. I had pads stuck on my back and hips along with all the other bits and pieces they attach to you. Dr Bourke lectures at Newcastle university medical school so he is very up to date on new developments etc

  • Ianp66 I had a 3 hr ablation back in feb this year. I was brave and had it done under sedation and pain relief. i choose to go with Dr Faizel Osman in Coventry you can watch him on youtube do a talk about the procedure. I will say i had mine done on the nhs and there is a 6-8 month waiting list.

    My ablation didn't work so i am back on the waiting list for a re-try but this time i have choose to have it done under a general , good luck with yours. x

  • Lanp66

    I'm in California and see an electrophysiologst, Dr Taylor Liu. I have not had an Ablation yet. He is with Kaiser Permanente.

  • So far as I know, Professor Schilling is the only EP to publish his ablation results with details not only of the success rate but also the complication rate, which is very low to non existent.


  • Oh, and by the way, Prof. Schilling carried out my (successful) ablation over two years ago. If I ever needed another I would go back to him.

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