“I am a practicing cardiologist who did electrophysiology training. Your story is honest, true and a very apt and telling description of a horror story. I do believe that the entire concept of atrial fibrillation…indeed of catheter ablation of most (not all) cardiac structures is fraught with danger and quite honestly should not be performed except under the most dire of circumstances. I can’t defend the medical community’s blatant advertising of the technique on television, radio, and news articles.
“It is reprehensible that dishonest statistics and assurances are made to the general public. I truly believe that an audit of Dr. Calkin’s statistics for success – I mean permanent, long-term success of the technique should be insisted upon. This data needs to be available for Hopkins and for all hospitals in our country. There is absolutely no chance that any ablation technique (for the atria or the ventricle) is capable of the success rates that are being described over the long term.
“I believe that if an audit was performed of all patients who were treated with ablation alone (no additional medications) and followed over a 5 year period of time – the rate of recurrence of the arrhythmia would be 70-75% (failure rate)! These centers that are advertising a cure are selling snake oil. Dr. Calkins sold and bottled the snake oil in Baltimore…and he is trying to sell it nationally as well.”