Fresh back from my first appointment with my EP – Dr Bourke at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle Upon Tyne, and it’s good news. Here’s a brief summary of what he told me:
• I shall be ablated within 3 months on the NHS.
• There is no advantage to going through BUPA, other than perhaps getting to choose morning or afternoon!
• There is a slot available the week before Xmas because it isn’t a popular week for ablation. I politely declined.
• They do 300 ablations per year.
• I have a 75-80% chance of being “cured” with 1 or more ablations.
• I will be sedated but not by general anaesthetic. I will be sleepy, but awake.
• There is a 2-4% chance of serious complication including death, but in the 17 years that they have been doing ablations, they haven’t had a single case of death by oesophagus rupture. Other complications include Stroke, heart bleed and a diaphragm / nerve problem.
The 2-4% statistic seems quite high and it does worry me... but I conclude that it’s better than the alternative - I’m only 37 and my AF isn’t getting any better.