The GP should normally be best placed to help you to choose which heart surgeon or cardiologist you should be referred to. However, it never does any harm to do some research, particularly as this is a highly complex field of medicine and with the technology improving and changing so rapidly. Furthermore, patients both private and NHS are entitled to have a say in who they can be referred to, whether via Choose and Book or as a self payer. Insured patients often find that they may have restrictions according to their policy, but even these restrictions are often open for discussion.
The best starting point for anyone seeking a medically authoritative view on their treatment options is to see what the achnowledged expert consultants from the specialist heart hospitals and from across the heart specialities are saying. It is also useful to find out what 'personal approach' each cardiologist and cardiac surgeon takes with regard to their philosophy to patient care.
For example, some consultants are focussed on developing the best possible skills within one treatment area, whereas others take a more overall or holistic approach and wish to tailor the treatments towards the patient's lifestyle.
Total Health therefore asked Six leading heart consultants to descibe their personal approach to treating heart conditions. Here is what each had to say:
Consultant Cardiologist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Consultant Interventional Cardiologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Cardiology, King's College Hospital and King's College London School of Medicine
Dr Mark Mason, Consultant Cardiologist at the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust
Dr David Brull, Consultant Cardiologist, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Mr Inderpaul Birdi, Consultant Cardiac Surgeon.Basildon and Thurrock Universities NHS TrustUK's Heart Experts - a personal approach to treating heart conditions - Mr Inderpaul Birdi