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Conditions & treatments

Here you’ll find information about conditions and symptoms that I treat, and tests and treatments I offer including pacemakers and other complex devices.

 

Conditions I treat Tests ICDs Cardiac resynchronisation

What services do I offer?

I’m a Consultant Cardiologist based at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, where I’m the Heart Failure & Device Lead. I also treat private patients at the Spire and BMI hospitals in Manchester and Cheshire, where I work with some of the top cardiologists in the North West.

Patients come to me with a range of cardiovascular problems, such as chest pain, angina, palpitations, breathlessness or blackouts. I investigate symptoms using a range of tests and provide advice and treatment to achieve the best outcomes for my cardiac patients.

My particular areas of expertise are in advanced heart failure and complex pacemaker implantation, but I also specialise in general cardiology.

 

Call us on 0161 726 5100 Book appointment

Dr Matthew Kahn, consultant cardiologist at Spire Manchester Hospitals

Heart failure / advanced heart failure

The term ‘heart failure’ can sound scary, but it doesn’t mean that the heart is about to stop working. Heart failure means that the heart is not functioning properly.

Heart failure / advanced heart failure

The term ‘heart failure’ can sound scary, but it doesn’t mean that the heart is about to stop working. Heart failure means that the heart is not functioning properly.

What is heart failure?

Heart failure doesn’t mean that the heart has stopped or that it is about to stop working. Heart failure means that the heart isn’t functioning properly. This might be due to coronary artery disease (Ischaemic Heart disease), valvular heart disease, electrical disturbances, inherited conditions or other causes. Heart failure symptoms include:

  • Breathlessness – after activity or when at rest
  • Tiredness – you may feel tired a lot of the time and find physical activity exhausting
  • Ankle swelling
  • Chest pain
  • Palpitations – irregular heartbeat, flutterings or poundings
  • Collapse

If you’re concerned about your symptoms or think that you might have heart failure, you should seek medical advice.

We’ll be happy to answer any questions and discuss your options with you.

Book an appointment

Ischaemic Heart disease / angina

Angina or ischaemic heart disease often presents with chest pain or chest heaviness. This sensation can radiate towards your jaw and down your arms.

Ischaemic heart disease / angina

Angina or ischaemic heart disease often presents with chest pain or chest heaviness. This sensation can radiate towards your jaw and down your arms.

Angina often presents with chest pain or chest heaviness. This sensation can radiate towards your jaw and down your arms. You may also experience breathlessness. The symptoms normally occur when you exert yourself, and they may be relieved quickly by resting. If you think your angina symptoms are deteriorating then you should seek medical advice immediately.

What causes angina?

Angina is normally caused by coronary heart disease. This occurs when the blood vessels (arteries) that supply your heart with oxygen become narrowed over time. The blood (and therefore oxygen supply) to your heart muscle is then reduced causing angina symptoms. A heart attack occurs when one or more arteries become too narrow or blocked off. This is a medical emergency.

How is angina diagnosed?

Your cardiologist will take a full history and examine you. They would normally perform an ECG before deciding on other tests such as an echo, stress echo exercise test or even an angiogram.

How do you treat angina?

Initially, your cardiologist would prescribe medication to try and settle the angina symptoms and reduce your risk of a heart attack. You’d also be encouraged to follow a healthy lifestyle. Further tests and Investigations might suggest that other procedures such as coronary angioplasty (stent insertion) may be necessary.

If you’re concerned about your chest pain you should seek medical advice.

Book an appointment

Cardiomyopathies

Cardiomyopathy is a disease or abnormality of the heart muscle. It’s usually an inherited condition and so family members are often screened.

Cardiomyopathies

Cardiomyopathy is a disease or abnormality of the heart muscle. It’s usually an inherited condition and so family members are often screened.

Cardiomyopathy is a disease or abnormality of the heart muscle. It affects its size, shape and structure. It’s usually an inherited condition and so family members are often screened. Common types of cardiomyopathy include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, dilated cardiomyopathy, peripartum cardiomyopathy or takotsubo cardiomyopathy. Cardiomyopathy can present with a variety of signs and symptoms:

  • Breathlessness – after activity or when at rest
  • Tiredness – you may feel tired a lot of the time and find physical activity exhausting
  • Ankle swelling
  • Chest pain
  • Palpitations – irregular heartbeat, flutterings or poundings
  • Collapse
  • Often patients have no symptoms and a cardiomyopathy is picked up at routine health checks.

How is a Cardiomyopathy diagnosed?

Your cardiologist will take a full history and conduct a thorough examination. They’ll perform an ECG and will often order other tests such as an echo and a 24 hour ECG. Other tests might include a cardiac MRI scan.

Treatments for cardiomyopathy

Treatments include various medications, cardioversion, specialised (complex) pacemakers or defibrillators. If you’re concerned about the health of your heart you should seek medical advice.

Book an appointment

Abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia) / atrial fibrillation

The heart has its own electrical supply, like its own pacemaker. Sometimes electrical disturbances can result in abnormal rhythms.

Abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia) / atrial fibrillation

The heart has its own electrical supply, like its own pacemaker. Sometimes electrical disturbances can result in abnormal rhythms. The heart has its own electrical supply, like its own pacemaker. Sometimes electrical disturbances can result in arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythms). This can cause symptoms such as palpitations, breathlessness, dizziness or collapse. Common types of arrhythmias include:

  • Atrial fibrillation – This is an irregular heart rhythm which can be fast or slow and can put certain people at increased risk of stroke. Patients may need blood-thinning medication. Other treatments include ablation procedures, cardioversion, and pacemaker therapy.
  • Tachycardias – This occurs when the heart is going too fast. Common types include supraventricular tachycardia (SVT).
  • Bradycardias – This occurs when the heart is beating too slowly.
  • Heart Block – This occurs when there is an electrical conduction problem in the heart. This is often treated with a pacemaker.

How is an arrhythmia diagnosed?

Your cardiologist will take a full history and conduct a thorough examination. They will perform an ECG and will often order other tests such as a 24 hour ECG to monitor your heart rhythm over a longer period of time.

If you’re concerned that you’re experiencing abnormal heart rhythms, you should seek medical advice. Book an appointment

Book an appointment

Family history of heart disease

It’s true that having a family history of a heart condition can increase your risk of developing it yourself. However, you can reduce your risk.

Family history of heart disease

It’s true that having a family history of a heart condition can increase your risk of developing it yourself. However, you can reduce your risk.

Should I be worried?

Many of my patients are concerned about how a family history of heart conditions or disease might affect them.

It’s true that having a family history of a heart condition can increase your risk of developing it yourself. However, you can reduce your risk of developing some heart diseases by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Eating a healthy diet, exercising and managing conditions like high blood pressure or high cholesterol can all help.

Monitoring your heart can also help as problems can be identified early.

If you’re concerned about your family history, a cardiologist can assess your risk, monitor your heart, and provide advice and treatment to help keep you well.

Book an appointment

Valvular Heart Disease

The heart has 4 sets of valves that can become thickened and stenosed or even leaky over time.

Valvular Heart Disease

The heart has 4 sets of valves (mitral valve, aortic valve, tricuspid valve and pulmonary valve) that can become thickened and stenosed or even leaky over time. This can affect the ability of the heart to pump blood around the body, causing symptoms such as breathlessness, ankle swelling or chest pain.

How is Valvular Heart Disease diagnosed?

Your cardiologist will take a full history and conduct a thorough examination. They will perform an ECG and will often order other tests such as an echo. If you are experiencing symptoms of heart disease or are concerned about the health of your heart, you should seek medical advice.

Book an appointment

If you’re concerned about symptoms you’re experiencing or would like more advice, please get in touch. We’re available to offer advice and for telephone consultations.

 

Call us on 0161 726 5100 Book appointment

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Tests and investigations

We can carry out a range of tests and investigations to assess your heart, including ECGs, echos, exercise tolerance tests, and 24-hour heart and blood pressure monitoring.

 

ECG Echo Excercise tolerance test 24-hour heart monitor 24-hour blood pressure monitor

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

During your initial consultation, we’d usually arrange an ECG. An ECG can give lots of information about the structure of your heart along with any potential electrical abnormalities.

For the test, we simply place sticky sensors on your skin. These detect electrical signals produced by your heart. The sensors are attached by wires to an ECG machine which records the data for your cardiologist to assess. If you’ve recently had an ECG, we’ll ask you to bring a copy to your first appointment.

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Electrocardiogram (ECG)
Dr Matthew Kahn, consultant cardiologist with echo, or echocardiogram, machine.

Echocardiogram (echo)

An echocardiogram, often referred to as an ‘echo’ is an ultrasound scan of the heart. It allows your cardiologist to see a moving image of your heart on a monitor, meaning they can quickly identify any problems with its physical structure.

An echo also allows your cardiologist to assess how blood is flowing through the chambers of the heart and the surrounding blood vessels.

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Exercise tolerance test

An exercise tolerance test allows a cardiologist to see how a patient’s ECG changes when they exercise.

As with a normal ECG, sticky sensors will be placed on your skin to monitor electrical signals produced by your heart when it beats. You’ll then be asked to either walk on a treadmill or pedal on an exercise bike. The exercise will be easy to start with, and then gradually become more intense as the speed or the resistance of the treadmill or bike are increased.

The test usually lasts about 15 minutes and if you experience pain or become breathless at any point the test will be stopped.

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Exercise tolerance test
24-hour heart monitor (tape)

24-hour heart monitor (tape)

Many patients describe experiencing palpitations, or a feeling of ‘missed’ or ‘extra’ beats. A 24-hour tape allows us to monitor the heart rhythm over a prolonged period and hopefully ‘catch’ some of these symptoms helping us to diagnose the cause.

For the test, we attach 3 sticky sensors to your chest. These are connected to a small ECG recording machine which you wear on a belt. You wear the recorder for 24 hours while you carry on with everyday life. The only thing you can’t do is have a bath or a shower.

After 24 hours, your results can be analysed.

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24-hour blood pressure monitor

Blood pressure varies throughout the day and can be difficult to monitor. Monitoring blood pressure over a 24 hour period can give doctors a better understanding of your health.

For the test, you simply wear a cuff on one arm, which is attached to a small device worn on your waist. The device will trigger the cuff to measure your blood pressure every 30 minutes. You can carry on with your everyday life, as long as you don’t get the equipment wet.

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24-hour blood pressure monitor

What other investigations are available?

We can also organise a variety of other important cardiac investigations including:

Cardiac MRI

This allows us to take a very detailed look at the structure and function of your heart.

CT coronary angiogram

This is a non-invasive way of looking for blocked arteries.

Diagnostic Angiogram

This allows us to look for blocked arteries

Stress echo

This allows us to look at how the heart responds to exercise

If you have any questions, get in touch. We’ll be happy to talk you through the services we offer.

 

Call us on 0161 726 5100 Book appointment

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Pacemakers

I’m the current Heart Failure & Device Lead for The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust where I’ve worked with some of the best cardiologists in Manchester on developing better ways to identify, monitor and treat heart failure. As the Senior Complex Operator, I have particular expertise in this advanced therapy.

What is a pacemaker?

A pacemaker is a device that monitors the heart and stops it beating too slowly. It takes about 45 minutes to fit a pacemaker, and once it’s in place, you won’t be able to feel when it’s ‘pacing’ the heart.

Pacemaker
Cardiology team at a Manchester or Cheshire private hospital smile in front of cardiac equipment.

How will my pacemaker be fitted?

On the day of the procedure, you’ll be met by me and my team, and I’ll go through the procedure with you again, to make sure you understand everything.

We’ll take you to the cardiac catheter laboratory for the procedure, which takes around 45 minutes. You’ll be given sedation and local anaesthetic during the procedure but for the most part, you’ll be awake. I’ll communicate with you throughout.

How long is the recovery after a pacemaker?

We aim to get you home on the same day and you should feel better very quickly. You’ll need to take care lifting or reaching up on the left side for a few weeks. But you should be back to normal by your first pacemaker check, 4-6 weeks after the procedure.

Waiting are at BMI The Alexandra, private hospital in Cheshire offering cardiology treatment.
Dr Kahn outside the cardiac catheter lab, ready for pacemaker or complex device implantation.

How long does a pacemaker battery last?

Depending on how reliant your heart is on the pacemaker, the battery normally lasts between 6-10 years.

How do you change a pacemaker battery?

This is a simple procedure. The pacemaker leads remain in place and the pacemaker box is replaced with a new unit. The procedure normally takes about 20 minutes.

How often should my pacemaker be checked?

Your pacemaker is initially checked 6 weeks after you have it fitted. It’s then monitored once every 6 months.

After this, we may be able to monitor your pacemaker remotely, allowing you to avoid hospital visits. Certain types of ‘complex’ devices allow us to monitor your heart remotely, so we can keep an eye on your health.

Cath lab physiologist at BMI The Alexandra Hospital Cheshire analysing ECG and cardiac data.

If you’d like to find out more about having a pacemaker fitted, or have concerns about the health of your heart, get in touch.

Call us on 0161 726 5100 Book appointment

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Implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD)

I’m the Senior Complex Operator for The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and one of the largest volume implanting cardiologists. As the Heart Failure and Device Lead for the Trust, I work with some of the best cardiologists in the North West to further improve outcomes for heart failure patients.

What is an ICD?

An implantable cardiac defibrillator is a device that monitors the heart throughout the patient’s life. It constantly looks for any evidence of dangerous rhythm disturbances. If the ICD detects dangerous changes to the heart’s rhythm, it delivers a controlled electric shock to the heart that can save the patient’s life.

What’s the difference between a pacemaker and ICD?

A pacemaker simply prevents the heart from beating too slowly. An ICD constantly watches for life threatening disturbances to the heart’s rhythm, and can treat these instantly by delivering a controlled electric shock to the heart. An ICD can also act as a pacemaker for slow heart rhythms if necessary.

Implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD)

If you’d like to talk to someone about having an ICD fitted, or if you have concerns about the health of your heart, get in touch.

 

Call us on 0161 726 5100 Book appointment

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Cardiac resynchronisation therapy

A biventricular pacemaker, also known as cardiac resynchronisation therapy, improves symptoms as well as the long term outlook for patients with significant heart failure. We specialise in this type of procedure procedure and are one of the leading providers of CRT in the Manchester and Cheshire areas.

How does cardiac resynchronisation therapy work?

Cardiac resynchronisation therapy involves placing three pacemaker leads in the heart. This allows the two sides of the heart to ‘re-synchronise’ and beat together, which improves the ability of the heart to pump blood around the body effectively.

Close-up of a Medtronic biventricular pacemaker for cardiac resynchronisation therapy (CRT).
Waiting area, BMI Alexandra, private hospital, Cheshire where biventricular pacemakers are implanted.

Biventricular Pacemaker / CRT

Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) is a beneficial way to manage heart failure. CRT can:

  • Improve cardiac function
  • Improve quality of life
  • Reduce mortality
  • Reduce heart failure hospitalizations

Matt has particular expertise in this advanced therapy and is the senior operator at his hospital. After your treatment we will complete a pacemaker check and chest X-ray and, providing all is well, we expect you to be home the same day as treatment.

Remote Monitoring

Once a patient receives an implanted cardiac device, our care doesn’t stop there. This is only the beginning of a long-term relationship that we establish with our patients.

The technology that is built into the implanted cardiac device allows us to monitor our patients’ hearts and wellbeing long term. Staying connected to our cardiac device patients is critical. Matt continues to monitor patients remotely. If data sent from a patient’s device worries him, he gives them a call to check up on them or arranges an urgent appointment.

Read about Beryl’s experience of having a biventricular pacemaker fitted by Matt.

Learn more

If you’d like to talk to someone about cardiac resynchronisation therapy, or if you have concerns about the health of your heart, get in touch.

 

Call us on 0161 726 5100 Book appointment

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Other areas that might interest you

Treatments

See treatments I offer including pacemakers, ICDs (implantable cardiac defibrillators) and biventricular pacemakers.

Where I practise

Find clinic times and information about the hospitals where I practise.

Case studies

Read about our patients’ experiences of diagnosis, treatment and recovery.