Out-patient consultations take place on Monday evenings for Dr Duncan and Tuesday evenings for Dr Thomas and Dr Cripps at The Spire Hospital, Bristol. The out-patient department is located on the 2nd floor and can be accessed via the main doors to the hospital, or alternatively via the lift from the lower entrance.
On arrival at the main reception you will be guided to the clinic and an ECG will be performed by the nursing staff if required. Please bring any ECGs that you may possess, and a full list of your current medications (if applicable).
During your consultation with Dr Thomas or Dr Duncan, all administrative matters including choosing a convenient date for your procedure and procedure code information for your insurance company will be addressed by Felicity, the Practice Manager. For your convenience, the consultation letter can be dictated and typed immediately whilst you wait in reception so you can take your clinic letter with you. Alternatively, the letter can be emailed to you later the same evening.
Useful Contact Numbers:
Spire Out-Patient Appointments: 0117 980 4070
Spire Out-Patient Reception: 0117 980 4074
In-Patient Treatement »
If a procedure is required, a room will be arranged although many patients feel sufficiently well to return home the same day. The Spire Hospital offers comfortable, private rooms with your own bathroom and TV facilities and a choice of menu. Excellent parking is available onsite for visitors and patients. Although there are no restrictions on visiting hours, between the hours of 10am and 9pm is preferred. The majority of our patients are given rooms on level 3.
You may wish to bring in the following items for an overnight stay:
- dressing gown
- nightdress or pyjamas
- any current medication
- books or magazines
- toiletries, including toothbrush, toothpaste and a hairbrush or comb
You are welcome to bring a battery-operated personal music player e.g. mp3. It is advisable not to bring valuables, jewellery or large amounts of money with you.
Useful Contact Numbers:
Spire Ward Reception: 0117 980 4085
Your consultant will provide you with any special instructions that you need to follow at home, and arrange any follow-up appointments or treatment. If you need any drugs to help your recovery, these will be dispensed before you go home. If possible, you may want to arrange for someone to look after you for a day or two following your treatment.
Paying For Treatment »
For out-patient consultations, Felicity will either invoice you or your insurance company directly. The Spire will bill separately for any tests, such as ECGs, that were performed during your consultation. Please call Felicity on 07596 162206 to find out prices for out-patient appointments and tests.
If you are self-funding for your in-patient treatment, The Spire will send out the full cost breakdown prior to your admission. They will also require payment beforehand.
You are responsible for the costs of your treatment so it is important you understand the cover your insurer will provide. The best way to ensure your insurance company will cover your treatment costs is to contact them prior to each stage of treatment, including your first out-patient appointment, to inform them of your treatment details and confirm cover.
Please note that your consultant may ask you to cover the cost of any excess on out-patient fees (including tests), but not for any in-patient treatment.
After Care: Implantable Device Wound Care Instructions »
Your implanted device is extremely tough, but the body tissues around it are at first quite fragile. The wound needs special care during the process of healing. Please use this guide to help you.
- The wound will be closed with either self-dissolving (vicryl) sutures which are completely buried under the skin or removable blue (prolene) sutures which have a bead on each end or individual knots outside the skin. You should be informed which kind of suture you have had prior to your departure from hospital – if not, ask.
- If you have had your wound closed with vicryl sutures you do not need to do anything and they will gradually dissolve spontaneously.
- If you have had prolene sutures, you will need to have these removed by your practice or district nurse 7 days after the implant.
- The dressing is splash-proof and “breathes” - please leave it on for 5 days after implant. After this time you can remove the dressing and expose the wound to air. The nurse looking after you in hospital will have already checked the wound site prior to your discharge from hospital ensuring it is dry and not oozing or displaying signs of inflammation.
- Do not raise your arm above shoulder height or reach behind your back until you have had your first outpatient device check. This will prevent any problems occurring with the leads.
- In most cases antibiotics are given intravenously during your procedure. If you are prescribed a course of oral antibiotics, please ensure you complete the course. These will be prescribed and provided to you on discharged from hospital. If you suspect you are having a reaction to them consult your GP.
- While the dressing is firmly in place you may wash carefully. Please avoid it getting wet. Once the dressing is off please keep the wound dry until 7 days post implant. Do not get the incision wet. After 7 days you may shower but dry by dabbing only – do not rub or scratch the incision or any scab.
- If you have paper steri-strips over the wound, allow them to come off naturally. Do not try to pull them off yourself. If they are still there after 5 weeks, then remove them.
- A bruise is expected and can take a few weeks to disappear completely.
- Mild soreness or discomfort, especially on movement, is expected and is not usually anything to worry about. The site should get less painful over the days as it heals. Take regular pain killers (paracetamol) if necessary.
- If you notice any signs of swelling, oozing of blood or fluid from the wound, redness, extreme sensitivity, unexplained fever or the wound feels hot to touch please contact your surgeon for advice.
After Care: Discharge Advice: Electrophysiology and Implanted Devices »
- Possible symptoms after the procedure
- You may experience some palpitations following an ablation whilst the area ablated heals and scars over.
- Wound care instructions (Electrophysiology and Ablation Procedures)
- Your wound will take another 2-3 days to heal completely. Bruising is normal and may take a while to disappear. If your puncture site starts to bleed, apply direct pressure and go to the nearest Emergency Department. If it is bleeding uncontrollably, dial 999 for an ambulance. You should not have a bath for a few days, however a quick shower is acceptable. Please ensure the wound site is kept dry.
- Exercise after electrophysiology or ablation procedures
- Avoid lifting, gardening and housework for two to three days. No heavy lifting for two weeks. Slowly return to your normal activities within your own limits.
- You should refrain from driving for 48 hours post procedure. Visit: the DVLA site for more info.
- Return to work
- We normally recommend that you take one week off post procedure.
- Pacemaker/Defibrillator device wound care sheet
- See under separate heading.
- Wound requires stitch removal
- This is not usually necessary but you will be advised by the nursing team on discharge if this is required.
- Arm movement restrictions after pacemaker/defibrillator implant
- Try not to lift your arm on the same side as your device above shoulder height, or stretch this arm behind your back until after the 6 week device check. However do use the arm to stop it becoming stiff.
- Information card for devices patients
- If you were not given this card immediately after your procedure, this will be posted to you shortly. Please keep it with you at all times.
- Medication changes.
- This will have been advised on discharge and a letter will be sent to your GP and yourself within a few days advising any changes.
- Out-patient appointment/follow-up.
- You will need a follow up 3 months after an ablation procedure. Please call 0117 980 4070 to organize an appointment convenient for yourself. Following device implantation, an appointment will be sent to you after discharge from hospital.