Conditions Dr Lowe treats

As well as getting access to gold standard diagnosis, with quick results and a fast track to onward treatment, you’re also getting unparalleled access to Dr Lowe’s specialist expertise, which covers more than three decades.

That starts here. For more information about some of the conditions Dr Lowe typically sees, along with answers to many of the questions asked by his patients, simply scroll down.

Atrial fibrillation

What is atrial fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation (AF), is an irregularity in the heart rhythm. If the heart’s two upper chambers, known as the atria, beat irregularly, it pushes the two lower chambers, or ventricles, out of synch as well.

Atrial fibrillation is the most commonly reported heart rhythm abnormality. In younger patients AF can be triggered by underlying health conditions such as hypertension or hyperthyroidism, or as a result of certain lifestyle factors.

However, AF is increasingly prevalent in older patients, and is thought to affect between four and five per cent of the over 70s

What are the symptoms of atrial fibrillation?

The most commonly reported symptom of atrial fibrillation is heart palpations. The heart can feel like it’s beating irregularly or abnormally fast, fluttering or pounding. This can last for a few seconds or even a few minutes.

Is atrial fibrillation a serious condition?

AF is normally not life-threatening, and many people live perfectly normal lives with the condition. However, in rare cases, AF can have a more serious impact.

It can lead to fatigue, leaving patients less able to exercise or even perform day-to-day activities. It can also cause people to feel faint, breathless, and experience chest pain. Due to its impact on the heart’s performance, it can also lead to low blood pressure, heart failure and increase the risk of stroke up to five times.

Are there different types of atrial fibrillation?

AF falls into two categories: paroxysmal and persistent. Paroxysmal means it’s intermittent, with symptoms only lasting a short time. Persistent means your heart rhythm doesn’t return to normal and an electric shock is required to restore it. If it is permanent, treatment will focus on keeping the heart rate under control with medication.

What are the causes of atrial fibrillation?

There are many causes of atrial fibrillation, including:

  • Abnormal heart valves
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Heart attack
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Increased or high blood pressure
  • Lung disease
  • Overactive thyroid gland
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Stress and anxiety

How is atrial fibrillation diagnosed?

At your appointment Dr Lowe will assess your symptoms and talk to you about your medical history. He’ll then perform a thorough physical exam, and may order further tests, including blood tests, a chest X-ray, and an echocardiogram

An echocardiogram is a non-invasive test that uses ultrasound energy to create moving pictures of your heart and its structures. You may also have an electrocardiogram (ECG), which involves monitoring your heart activity for a period of time. If necessary, you may also be asked to undergo screening tests for sleep apnoea.


What are my treatment options for atrial fibrillation?

No two patients are exactly the same, and your treatment will depend on a combination of factors: the underlying cause of your AF, what symptoms you’re experiencing, and what triggers you have.

In order to reduce your risk of stroke and reset your heart rhythm, Dr Lowe may prescribe anticoagulants or blood-thinning medication. These usually prove very effective but, in some cases, you may need an electrical cardioversion.

Longer term, a catheter ablation may be needed to manage your natural heart rhythm.

If you’re concerned about any of the symptoms associated with atrial fibrillation, don’t worry, Dr Lowe can help. Get in touch and make an appointment.


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Adult and paediatric arrhythmias

What is an arrhythmia?

An arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm. As well as affecting adults of any age, it’s also a common paediatric condition, although your child may not experience any symptoms. Dr Lowe treats arrhythmias in both adults and children.

Typically, it’s caused by a disruption to the electric signals in the heart which control how it pumps, leading to the heart beating too fast, too slow, or in an irregular pattern.

A normal, resting heartbeat is usually between 60 and 100 beats per minute, although our heart rate increases during strenuous exercise or when under stress. Its important to note that people can fall outside that normal range and still be healthy.

Is an arrhythmia serious?

It’s a very common condition, thought to affect approximately two million people a year in the UK, and many of those live perfectly normal lives.

However, an arrhythmia is often a sign of a serious underlying condition that can significantly affect your quality of life and, in some cases, prove fatal. That means it’s essential that you seek medical assessment when you notice the symptoms.

Arrhythmia is a common symptom of atrial fibrillation, where the heart beats faster, sometimes causing blood clots to form in the heart which can result in a stroke.

Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is another condition that causes a very fast and irregular heartbeat. While generally not a serious heart condition, it can result in frequent episodes of dizziness and breathlessness that can be challenging to live with.

Among the causes of paediatric arrhythmias are: long QT syndrome (LQTS), premature or extra contractions, sinus tachycardia, supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) and ventricular tachycardia.

Dr Lowe is particularly sensitive to the fact that it can be challenging for children to describe their symptoms. He’ll talk through your family medical history with you and recommend any diagnostic tests that will help to successfully diagnose your child.

How will I know if I have an arrhythmia?

Many people can have an arrhythmia without symptoms. Some may feel their heart beating too fast, too slow or at an irregular rhythm, while others can experience palpitations or feel their heart skipping beats. Other symptoms to be mindful of are fatigue, dizziness or breathlessness.

How is an arrhythmia diagnosed?

Dr Lowe will examine you, take a full account of your symptoms, and ask you about your medical and family history. If necessary, he’ll then organise diagnostic tests for you.

These include an echocardiogram, a non-invasive test using ultrasound to create moving pictures of your heart and its structures. Another test is an electrocardiogram  (ECG), a portable device that monitors your heart activity for a period of time.

How is an arrhythmia treated?

Treatments will depend on the underlying cause and your symptoms. This can include addressing certain lifestyle factors and medication, as well as procedures such as catheter ablation.

If you are concerned you may be experiencing an abnormal heart rhythm, contact us to arrange a consultation with Dr Lowe today.

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Book an appointment

To book an appointment with Dr Lowe, you can call, email, or use our contact form:

T:+44 (0)20 3860 0110


Dr Lowe sees patients at:

The Harley Street Clinic

88 Harley Street

London W1G 7HR


The Portland Hospital,

84 Harley Street,

London W1G 7HW


Appointment times

Wednesdays: 2-6pm (last appointment 5.15pm)

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