Lincolnshire man among first to benefit from diamond-based heart treatment

Michael Lynas was given an ablation to restore a regular heartbeat Credit: Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

An elderly heart patient from Lincolnshire has become one of the first to benefit from a procedure using diamond-tipped surgical equipment.

Michael Lynas, from Holbeach, was one of the first patients at Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge to undergo a treatment to correct abnormal heart rhythms.

The 82-year-old had an ablation using a catheter containing industrial-grade diamonds in the tip.

The process uses either heat or freezing cold to destroy problematic heart tissue and restore a normal heart beat.

It aims to enhance patient safety and shorten procedure times.

Doctors used a diamond tipped catheter Credit: Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Mr Lynas, who has previously suffered a cardiac arrest and heart attack, said: "I can feel the difference inside myself and it gives me an inner confidence I did not have before.

"I may be 82, but I like to stay active and get out, so this makes such a huge difference to my quality of life.

"I find it quite amazing that, at the age of 82, I can be given a general anaesthetic, undergo an ablation and then be walking and talking in my room within an hour or two.

"I hope that telling my story encourages and reassures other people who are due to come in for an ablation and gives them confidence that they too will be treated safely."

Michael Lynas Credit: Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Claire Martin, consultant cardiologist at Royal Papworth Hospital, said the new technology makes procedures safer because less saline infusion is needed to cool down a diamond catheter, compared with platinum alternatives.

She said: "This is important in patients with heart failure because fluid can easily build up in the lungs, so we want to use as little fluid as possible.

"By using diamonds instead of platinum, we are able to use up to 50 per cent less saline.

"It also provides quicker, more effective cooling, which helps to reduce procedure times and in turn will allow us to perform more ablations each day."