World first heart op changed my life

Posted by fi17 at Nov 16, 2011 03:13 PM |
A year on a heart patient is thanking medics at Leicester’s Hospitals and the University of Leicester for changing his life, thanks to a revolutionary heart procedure

Issued by University Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust on Wednesday 16 November 2011

In November last year Dr Andre Ng, senior lecturer at the University of Leicester and consultant cardiologist and electrophysiologist at Glenfield Hospital, carried out the world’s first heart procedure using a robotic arm alongside 3-D mapping.  The procedure was used to cure 64-year-old Patrick Flood’s irregular heart rhythm, a condition called atrial fibrillation (AF). 

AF is the commonest heart rhythm disturbance seen in clinical practice, with over half a million sufferers in the UK. It also increases the risk of a person having a stroke by five times and doubles the risk of death. 

Patrick, from Alvaston in Derby, underwent the world’s first catheter ablation procedure using the robotic arm with 3-D mapping.  He said:  “One year later, I am free of the pain and breathlessness and fainting I had suffered for years, the operation has proved to be truly life-changing.

“The procedure did not take place in some exclusive private clinic, I have no great wealth or powerful friends, I could not be 'plucked' from the waiting list, nor did I want to be, I was privileged to wait my turn to be an NHS patient at the Glenfield Hospital.

“Throughout my treatment, I was met with courtesy and sensitivity and professionalism.  Although a cliché it seems appropriate today to thank the team who cared for me 'with all of my heart'.

“Although this experience reflects specifically on Dr Ng and his fabulous team of professionals at Glenfield, I think it also pays tribute to the National Health Service in general. To be able to access such care and pioneering surgery, free to the patient at the point of need, illustrates why the service is the envy of the world.”  

Dr Ng and his team are actively involved in the evaluation and development of this pioneering Amigo robotic arm system. The initial experience has demonstrated that the doctor can use the Amigo to move catheters via the remote controller safely in an adjacent room outside the x-ray zone, thereby reducing the radiation exposure and eliminating the need for wearing heavy lead aprons. Combining the robotic arm with 3-D mapping in ablation greatly enhances the precision of the procedure and tentatively the results.

Dr Ng said:  “I am delighted that Patrick has had such a great benefit from his procedure at Glenfield - this treatment can completely change lives.  The system we used when treating Patrick was unique, we were the first centre in the world to use the Amigo system and hence the first to be able to offer this ablation procedure.  The news that Patrick has recovered well and is now enjoying life to the full is heartening to our team and only goes to motivate us further in our ongoing research and improvement of this type of technique and equipment.” 

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