AF Association
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Trouble getting a referral to cardiologist?

Hi. I have had a couple of episodes of rapid heartbeats in the past, but this past year I began getting more frequent episodes that drove me to the emergency room a few times and once I was hospitalized overnight. I was put on diltiazem because my Afib pushes my heart rate over 200bpm. My Afib is now constant and I am dizzy all the time. I asked my doctor for a referral and he would not give me one. He said that they would probably want to try ablation and that the risk was substantial and often the Afib comes back. We have never tried any drugs to control the heartbeat and I have never been checked by a specialist. Has anyone else had a problem like this?

7 Replies

Not at all.

I suggest you change your GP he is living in the dark ages. It is outrageous that he should refuse you a referral.

If you get a good EP the risk is very low!



Change your doctor. If you are in UK he is obliged to refer you to a specialist if he is unable to help you.

This doctor should be ashamed of himself.


Not the only one. My friend has AF, her GP told her he wouldn't refer her as he has had four ablations and it is not very pleasant so he wouldn't want to put her through it! To be fair I think she has permanent AF (now) but she has developed heart failure as well.


The need to change GP is a no brainer. His ignorance and approach are potentially life-threatening. You need to ask around your friends to find to find a good GP, either within the same practice or a different one. Changing within practice is dead easy, and change to another practice should not be difficult, so along as they have vacancies.

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I would suggest that you not only see another GP but go to your local A&E as a walk in patient experiencing chest pains, they should see you and do an ECG and get a cardiologist to review it. this may be the quickest path to treatment. You have every right to be referred to a specialist!

Be strong



Change your GP now, that is ridiculous if you are in constant afib you need to be on medication to try and contol it and also an anticoagulant to minimise the stroke risk.

Also I've just had an ablation and have gone from afib/atrial flutter 5 days out of 7 to to zero apart from a bit of flutter for an hour on day 6 after ablation which seems normal, while ablation is not pleasant it is certainly worth it.

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I can relate in my own small way still fighting for a diagnosis 5 years on i do however now finally have an appointment mid july to see a cardiologist. Keeping my fingers crossed i get a sympathetic one who extends a helping hand. Please don't except the don't care attitude of your doctor. See if you can re register at another local surgery or see another GP because you deserve better treatment and you are worth the effort. please keep us updated how you get along.

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