Madeline Hibberd is the Heart Rhythm Clinic Partnership manager and all enquiries should be directed to her. Professor John Morgan, Dr Paul Roberts and Dr Arthur Yue are consultant cardiologists with expertise in the management of abnormal heart rhythms (see below).
The Heart Rhythm Clinic is based at the Spire Hospital Southampton where there are consulting rooms and a dedicated suite for cardiac investigations. This includes state of the art echocardiography (cardiac ultrasound), ambulatory monitoring (ECG and blood pressure) and exercise testing. There are comprehensive facilities for the follow up of pacemakers, implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICDs) and cardiac resynchronisation (CRT) devices.
The cardiologists perform all of their invasive procedures in a brand new cardiac catheter laboratory. This was opened in March 2008 replacing the previous equipment. This laboratory is equipped with all of the latest facilities required for most electrophysiology procedures. This includes a brand new electrophysiology system, 3D mapping system (EnSite®) and all of the equipment necessary to perform atrial fibrillation ablation. The catheter laboratory is staffed by experienced catheter laboratory nurses, radiographers and cardiac physiologists.
Heart Rhythm Clinic is based at Spire Southampton Hospital but also consults in Lymington, Sarum Road (Winchester) and the Nuffield Hospital, Southampton.
This refers to the treatment of a series of conditions such as high blood pressure (hypertension), abnormality of the hearts valves and pump function (valvular heart disease and cardiac myopathy) and heart abnormality that is the consequence of disease elsewhere in the body. Often these conditions lead to abnormality of heart rhythm too.
Abnormal Heart Rhythms
The heart has a complex electrical controlling system. In the past two decades much has been learned about the conditions that cause abnormality of heart electrical control and this understanding has also lead to the development of new treatments, many of which are actually curative.
Some types of heart rhythm abnormality can be life threatening.
Indeed, the sad phenomenon of “sudden cardiac death” is a major cause of death in the developed world and accounts for around 100,000 deaths per year. Many of these deaths relate to abnormality of heart rhythm that is the consequence of disease in the heart arteries (coronary artery disease). It is one of our jobs to identify such patients and put in place preventative treatments to protect individuals who are at risk. The abnormal heart rhythm called “atrial fibrillation” can also have important consequences and in some circumstances is a cause of strokes. Other relatively uncommon rhythm abnormalities can be inherited and it may be important to “screen” the relatives of affected individuals to ensure that others have-not inherited an abnormal rhythm condition.
However, many types of abnormal heart rhythm are not life threatening, even if they cause very irritating or disabling symptoms.
Fortunately, there are many types of treatment available to treat these abnormalities, dangerous or not. Treatments may range from use of specific drugs that help control the heart’s electrical system to more complex treatments: as implantation of pacemakers and other “implantable" devices such as implantable defibrillators, and complex, often curative treatments called “catheter ablation”. More details of these treatments are provided in the patient information and glossary pages.