PATIENTS in Worcestershire who have problems with their heart’s rhythm can now undergo a life-changing procedure closer to home, writes Daniel Cooke.
The new procedure, known as cardiac cryoablation, began this week at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital for patients with atrial fibrillation and this treatment is the most complex heart procedure carried out in the county.
Previously patients had to travel to Coventry for the operation.
Nicola Brewster, heart arrhythmia specialist nurse said: “Being able to offer this procedure in the county for the first time is wonderful news for arrhythmia patients.”
Cardiac cryoablation involves placing tiny wires inside the heart via the top of the leg to measure the heart’s electrical activity. Freezing techniques are then used on the area of the heart causing abnormal heart rhythm, to alter the affected cells and attempt to restore a regular heartbeat for the patient.
The development means Worcestershire’s hospitals join a small number of hospital trusts across the country which can carry out this complex work.
The move is thanks to a partnership between Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust.
Dr Will Foster, consultant cardiologist at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “This is fantastic news for patients, who will be benefit from shorter waiting times, reduced travel and from receiving a local service closer to home.”
Cardiologists at the Worcestershire Royal first started carrying out the cardiac ablation procedures last March, initially just performing the simplest heart rhythm procedures.
But this new development has allowed specialists to carry out the advanced cryoablation procedure for the first time, which is expected to help more than 50 people with serious heart rhythm problems in the first year.