Dr David Begley and his colleagues at a catheterisation lab at Royal Papworth Hospital have carried out a brand new procedure for the first time. The first pulsed field ablation took place at Royal Papworth Hospital in June and the hospital shared the story on their website.

Dr Begley worked alongside his colleagues and the wider cath lab team. Together they became the first pioneering professionals to carry out this new treatment for atrial fibrillation in the UK. Dr Begley regularly provides atrial fibrillation treatment but this innovative new technology means it can be even safer and more efficient to treat the condition.

Understanding Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation or AF is the most common rhythm disturbance of the heart. Approximately 1.4 million people in the UK have atrial fibrillation and it can present a number of different, worrying symptoms. The main symptoms include:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty exercising
  • Tiredness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Faint periods
  • Dizzy spells

Atrial fibrillation can be detected during routine health examinations. Sometimes patients experience no symptoms at all. It can be very scary when you experience some of the symptoms and many people want to find an effective treatment for the condition. Until now, catheter ablation has been the most common treatment for AF. Dr Begley regularly carries out this procedure but is does have the risk of potentially damaging tissue in the area surrounding target. This new technology seeks to minimise or remove this risk.

Pulsed Field Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation

Pulsed field ablation is the medical term from the new technology, known as FARAPULSE. The technology was created by Boston Scientific and uses non-thermal electric field energy to target hart tissue while not posing any risk to other tissues or structures.

Dr Begley and his colleagues Dr Claire Martin and Dr Patrick Heck led the procedure with the wider team of nurses, cardiac physiologists and radiographers. The first pulsed field ablation took place on June 13th. Early studies from other procedures across Europe are resoundingly positives. Patients show excellent outcomes and low complication rates with this new technological approach.

Dr Begley is of course proud to have been part of this new procedure. The team as a whole are proud to have been the pioneers in the UK with this technology. Royal Papworth Hospital will remain a key centre for AF treatments, with more opportunities to make use of this innovative new technology in research trials and more.