Getting to the heart of it

Getting to the heart of it

Heart problems can affect anyone at almost any age. So if you think you don’t feel as fit as you used to, have had heart problems in your family, or are just thinking about the health of your heart, then Spire can help.

Common conditions

The heart is a complex organ and as a result there are a number of areas of your heart that can be damaged.

  • Coronary heart disease is caused by the build up of fatty deposits in the arteries of the heart. This means the heart has to work harder to pump blood through your body.
  • Angina is often caused by coronary heart disease, where the arteries are narrower than they should be. It may result in pain in the chest, but it can also radiate down the arm or across the shoulder blades, neck and even the stomach.
  • Heart valve problems occur when one of the heart’s four valves does not open and close as it should, causing blood flow to be disturbed. Heart valves regulate the blood flow through the heart. A healthy heart valve opens and closes quickly to ensure blood flows in the right direction.
  • Cardiac arrhythmia describes an abnormal rate or rhythm of the heart

GlynSpire have a number of specialist cardiac clinics across their network and we wanted to find out more so spoke to Dr Glyn Thomas – Lead Cardiologist and Electrophysiologist at Spire Bristol, the Glen.

The Heart Centre at Spire Bristol Hospital, The Glen, is the only private facility in the South West with the facilities to offer high quality, complex cardiac surgery and associated cardiology.

At the Heart Centre, Spire pride themselves on providing the highest quality specialist care – from the first moment you are in touch with them through to the completion of your treatment and aftercare.

The Bristol Heart Rhythm Centre, based at Spire Bristol specialises in disorders of heart rhythm (cardiac arrhythmias). The team specialise in the treatment of Atrial Fibrillation (AF), which is one of the most common heart rhythm disorders seen in about 5% of the population aged over 60 and increases with age.

Early diagnosis

A diagnosis of AF doubles the risk of early death and increases the risk of stroke 5 fold. Since opening the cardiac catheterisation suite in October 2012 the cardiology team have diagnosed and cured hundreds of patients with the condition.

Dr Glyn Thomas said, “We are fortunate to have such modern facilities to cure this common and often debilitating illness. We get the patients off to sleep then insert small tubes into the right leg which we feed up to the heart.

“We then freeze the part of the heart responsible for the abnormality, curing the majority at the first attempt. The procedures take just over an hour and patients tend to go home the following morning”.

The Cardiac Department at Spire Bristol is the biggest and busiest in the South West. The service also offers the full range of conventional treatments for patients with angina or previous heart attacks with angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery and is supported by a dedicated intensive care department.

by Tina Foster

For more information visit Spire Bristol or telephone 0117 980 4080.