Thursday 17th November 2011
A problem solved
A wee tale.... After (gratefully) spending 40 (ish) years with almost NO medical history whatsoever, out of the blue in the space of ONE day I developed palpitations, periods of black outs, dizziness and other various strange and alarming symptoms. I was forced to take sickness leave despite having NO sickness record ever,with any of my employers. I had a long wait ahead of me on the NHS so decided to book an appointment at Dr Forbats Glasgow Clinic. On my initial visit despite being more than a bit anxious,I was instantly made to feel at ease by Dr Forbat. He took time to listen and left absolutely NO stone unturned throughout my subsequent visits. His manner was professional, friendly and compassionate. My problem wasn't heart related, but through HIS expertise and knowledge, he referred me to a neurologist who was able to identify that the problems I was having were due to a tumble and subsequent head/neck/back I had a few Months ago. My symptoms are slowly diminishing and I'm getting stronger each day, I just have to employ patience now. In essence its due to Dr Forbat that I got an answer to what was wrong with me,which went a LONG way to putting my mind at rest! Should I EVER need a cardiologist (or even just general health advice) again in this lifetime I would go nowhere else other than to his Clinic. Thank you very, very much
Friday 24th June 2011
Atrial fibrillation TOE and DC cardioversion
I thought it may be beneficial for others if I provide a brief summary of my experiences of both AF and of Dr Forbat himself. I discovered that I had AF purely by chance (my daughter who is a doctor discovered this during a routine pulse check). Following a GP visit, during confirmed that my daughter's diagnosis was correct, I was referred to Dr Lance Forbat in November 2010. Lance immediately put me at ease, explaining AF and the risks associated with it. AF, as I understand it, is where the heart beats irregularly and although this in itself is unlikely to be life-threatening, it can lead to an increased risk of a stroke for sufferers with additional risk factors. This is because blood is allowed to pool in the heart, which ultimately forms clots.
One means of treating AF is to undergo electrical cardioversion, a medical procedure to revert the heart back to normal heart rhythm, and this was the course of action which I was advised to take. Lance explained to me that there is an increased risk of stroke immediately following cardioversion, due to any dormant blood clots being released as a direct consequence of the heart returning to normal rhythm. In order to reduce this risk to an acceptable level, I was put immediately onto Warfarin, an anti-coagulant drug which thins the blood and reduces the risk of blood clots forming, and thus of a stroke. I had read a little about Warfarin (essentially rat poison) and was a little hesitant about this course of action. Nevertheless, after 8 months now on the drug I have suffered no side effects whatsoever, although it does impose a constraint on you in terms of not being able to drink alchohol, along with the need for frequent blood tests in order to monitor blood levels and thus Warfarin levels. Inconvenient, but not a real problem compared with the risk of a stroke.
In February 2011 I was scheduled to have my cardioversion. The thought of your heart being shocked electrically back in to normal rhythm can be rather daunting, even more so when Lance told me that in order to reduce the risk of clotting to an absolute minimum he would be putting a tube down me throat in order to check that no blood clots were present and that I would need to remain awake for this procedure. Despite this, I can honestly say that the procedure really isn't worth worrying about at all. I was heavily sedated and didn't feel any discomfort at all. Immediately after the tube was inserted, I was put to sleep and knew nothing whatsoever about the procedure until I was woken in the recovery room. The entire process from leaving the ward to returning was less than a couple of hours, with the procedure itself lasting no more than 15-20 minutes. Throughout the entire procedure, Lance kept me informed and was very reassuring. Later that day I was released and allowed to go home.
Being a keen runner, I actually ran 8 miles the very next day and have continued to run almost every day thereafter. Four months later my heart is still beating in normal rhythm and despite being on Warfarin and beta blockers, I am gradually returning to a level of fitness which will hopefully enable me to return to competitive athletics in time for my 50th birthday in a couple of months time.
I can thoroughly recommend Lance. He is approachable (I have contacted him several times by email with questions, and have always received a prompt reply), explains things well, and clearly has a very deep understanding of his specialist area. He is always pleasant to deal with and treats you as an individual, unlike many other specialists. I am of course very grateful to Lance for his knowledge and expertise, which have enabled me to return to full health within a relatively short period of time and would have no hesitation in recommending him to others with a similar heart condition.