Thursday, 21 June 2007

Bob's Heart Op #1 (of 3)

Bob had the first of three procedures on his heart on Tuesday 19 June. This first procedure was a cardioversion - where they place paddles on your chest and shout things like "Stand Clear" and "charging to 200"!
The result was two large rectangular red marks on his chest and a heartbeat which is back in a normal ('sinus') rhythm for the first time in 4 years! And he has now dropped the beta-blockers from his medication (they slowed his heart down).
The procedure is done under a general anaesthetic as it is pretty uncomfortable - the heart is stopped and then restarted with an electric shock. Bob's heart restarted okay, but it only beat at 20 beats per minute to begin with, so he was given some atropine to speed it back up again to a normal (for Bob) 40-45 beats per minute. The ECG he had afterwards showed a lovely regular trace and there were sighs of relief all round!
The next procedure should take place in the next couple of months to complete the process of removing all irregularity from Bob's heartbeat (atrial fibrillation catheter ablation for those of you who are interested!), and then they can finally close the hole in Bob's heart. We'll keep you posted, but Bob seems to feel fine and has taken off for a boys' weekend (5 days) in Poland this morning with three friends!

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