Frank's ablation

Frank Lucock

Keen golfer Frank Lucock had a catheter ablation. Despite initial concerns, he recovered well and is back playing twice a week.

Frank, now 75, had always kept active and enjoyed playing sport, particularly golf. In 2007, while he was out on the golf course, Frank started to feel short of breath. “I suddenly began puffing and panting,” he says.

“Over the next few days, the same thing kept happening, several times a day. I took my own pulse during one episode and it was around 160 beats per minute, so I made an appointment to see my GP.”

Frank underwent an ECG and this showed that he had a common abnormal heart rhythm, similar to atrial fibrillation (AF), called atrial flutter. Frank’s GP referred him to a local cardiologist, where he had a series of further tests.

I was worried, but the cardiologist and his team were very reassuring

After the results of these had been assessed, Frank was referred to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford for a catheter ablation.

“I was worried, but the cardiologist and his team were very reassuring. I remember I was awake for the whole procedure and was able to watch what they were doing on a TV screen. I didn’t feel any discomfort, except for when the cannula was put into my groin at the start, although I was told it would feel like a small, sharp scratch.”

Frank recovered well from the procedure and was allowed to return home within two days. “I am fully fit again, am back to playing golf four times a week and go to the gym twice a week,” he says.

“It is seven years since I had the ablation and there has been no sign of the atrial flutter returning,” says Frank. “I was discharged by my cardiologist in 2012.”

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