Guy Haywood MD FRCP
I am a specialist in Adult Cardiology dealing with all types of heart disease, but focusing on two main areas: heart rhythm problems and coronary artery disease.
I work in Plymouth in the South West of the UK at the South West Cardiothoracic Centre, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth and my consulting rooms are at the Plymouth Nuffield Hospital. (Map)
I trained in the investigation and treatment of heart disorders at St. George's Hospital, London, Stanford University Hospital Medical School, California and The Wessex Cardiothoracic Centre, Southampton University Hospital. In November 1996 I started work as a Consultant Cardiac Electrophysiologist and Consultant Interventional Cardiologist at Derriford Hospital Plymouth. I helped to set up the South West Cardiothoracic Centre - the Cardiac Surgery centre for Devon and Cornwall; it opened for catheter ablation of cardiac arrhythmias, coronary angioplasty (percutaneous coronary intervention PCI) and cardiac surgery on November 1st 1997.
The range of facilities and treatments offered at the centre have continued to expand since this time and I have visited centres in France, Germany, Italy, the USA and the UK to gain experience with the use of technologies that we are now using in Plymouth. This has enabled us to establish complex procedures such as electro-anatomical mapping for the treatment of heart rhythm problems and to introduce the atrial fibrillation ablation program in Devon and Cornwall. I have been greatly assisted in this by the fund raising activities of Hearts Together, the patient support group and charity for which I acted as Principal Clinical Advisor, working on behalf of the Cardiac Unit in Plymouth.
I have served as a member of the Executive Council of the Arrhythmia Alliance heart rhythm charity, and I represented the South West on the National Specialist Commissioning advisory body for Cardiology (CRG). Previously I have served on the Heart Rhythm UK (now BHRS - British Heart Rhythm Society ) Council, acted as the Secretary to the UK Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology Society and been a member of the Department of Health's Expert Group on Cardiac Arrhythmias. I have been a Faculty presenter at the British Cardiovascular Intervention Society Advanced Angioplasty meetings. For several years I was Training Program Director for Cardiologists in Training in the south West Peninsula, served as Chairman of the Seciality Training Commitee and represented the South West at the JRCPTB Specialty Advisory Committee for the supervision of Cardiology training in the UK. I act as an Advisory Consultant to a number of Medical Device and Pharmaceutical Companies helping to develop the next range of therapies for heart diseases.
Cardiac Electrophysiology & Catheter Ablation
Abnormal heart rhythms (cardiac arrhythmias) are extremely common causes for people to seek medical advice. There are a large number of different types of arrhythmia ranging from harmless 'extra beats' (ectopics) to dangerous arrhythmias such as life-threatening ventricular tachycardias or complete heart-block. Recognizing and treating the different types of rhythm disturbance is a specialized branch of cardiology known as cardiac electrophysiology. Many rhythm problems can be helped by drugs, but increasingly the best treatment is to cure the electrical fault by catheter ablation. This entails passing special wires through the blood vessels to the heart and exactly locating the point in the heart from which the abnormal electrical signal is coming. This point is then inactivated either by heating (radiofrequency ablation) or freezing (cryo-ablation).
One of the fastest growing indications for catheter ablation is to treat atrial fibrillation. I established the Atrial Fibrillation Ablation Program in Plymouth in 2004. We have a full range of ablation equipment in Plymouth including the St Jude Velocity and Biosense CARTO 3 mapping systems, Contact Force sensing ablation catheters, Arctic Front Advance Cryoablation balloons and Hybrid ablation approaches. Our results are continuously carefully audited and are in line with the best reported in worldwide surveys (Presentation). In a recent survey of my peers in the field of cardiac electrophysiology I was selected as one of the most recommended doctors in the UK.
In 2013 I started a new collaboration with Sir Malcolm Dalrymple-Hay Clinical Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery in Plymouth to start a 2 stage surgical and catheter ablation approach known as Hybrid Ablation which is designed for patients with the hardest to treat types of Atrial Fibrillation, most of whom have 'Longstanding Persistent Atrial Fibrillation'. Our latest results were presented at the Frankfurt Fusion meeting in October 2017 (PowerPoint Presentation).
In February 2020 we published the results from the largest series of patients treated with this approach (European multicentre experience of staged hybrid atrial fibrillation ablation for the treatment of persistent and longstanding persistent atrial fibrillation).
Pacemakers and ICD's
Other important treatments for electrical problems in the heart are pacemakers (mainly to correct slow heart rhythms leading to dizzy spells and blackouts) and implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICDs). ICDs are designed for patients at risk of dangerous heart rhythms and can deliver special pacing treatments or shocks to terminate life-threatening arrhythmias if they occur.
A special type of pacemaker has also been developed to treat patients with heart failure who are still breathless and fatigued despite drug treatment. This technique is called Cardiac Resynchronisation Therapy and uses bi-ventricular pacemakers or ICDs. I was fortunate enough to be one of the co-investigators in the first randomized trial of these devices (MUSTIC trial).
Many patients with dizzy spells and blackouts do not require pacemakers or ICDs and can be treated with lifestyle adjustments and simple precautions. An excellent resource for information is stopfainting.com.
Coronary artery disease is the commonest heart condition resulting in hospital investigation and treatment in the UK. The symptoms are usually of chest pain or breathlessness and the condition may present as angina, heart attack (myocardial infarction), a hospital admission with chest pain at rest, or in association with another cardiac problem. Many patients gain benefit from drug therapy, but when symptoms continue or when high-risk features are identified, patients often require coronary intervention
to reopen the heart arteries at points where they are severely narrowed or blocked. This is done by passing a tube called a catheter through blood vessels to the heart. The entry point in to the circulation is via a puncture site in the wrist (radial access) or groin (femoral access). An angioplasty balloon is passed through this tube and enters the heart artery to re-expand it by inflating the balloon (coronary angioplasty).
In a high proportion of cases the procedure also involves insertion of a coronary stent. A stent is a metal meshwork tube that holds the vessel open once it has been inflated. The commonest types of stents now used are 'drug-eluting' stents. These are coated with chemicals that reduce the chance of any re-narrowing of the artery as the lining of the vessel grows over the stent and incorporates it in to the vessel wall.
I have been involved in research in a large number of fields and have published articles
in several journals including Circulation and Heart. This work is recognised as among that of the top 5% of researchers in the Researchgate Evaluation score
Guy Haywood MD FRCP
Plymouth PL6 8DH
Tel - 01752 439193
Fax - 01752 792666
Dr Guy Haywood
Fax - 01752 761839