Pacemakers & Defibrillators
Learn more about electrophysiology treatments and procedures in Kansas City.
The treatment depends on the type of arrhythmia disorder — its frequency, duration, symptoms, and associated risks.
Treatment decisions should also consider underlying heart conditions. Treatments can include medication to stabilize the heartbeat, pacemakers, implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs), or cardiac catheter ablations.
A pacemaker is a small electrical device that is used to restore the normal rhythm of the heart. Pacemakers are most commonly used to in patients who are experiencing symptoms associated with a slow heart rhythm, which is called bradycardia. Bradycardia may result from a person developing disease of their natural pacemaker, which is called the sinus node. When a person develops disease of the sinus node, they are diagnosed with sick sinus syndrome and a pacemaker in recommended. Patients can also develop disease of the conduction system that allows electrical impulses to travel from the top chambers (atria) to the bottoms chambers (ventricles) of the heart. When patient develop disease of the conduction system, they are diagnosed with heart block and a pacemaker is recommended.
If a pacemaker is recommended, the patient can expect a surgical procedure where a small incision will be made under to collarbone. We perform this procedure with an anesthesiologist providing sedation. Wires are positioned into the heart and then connected to pacemaker that we place under the surface of your skin. The procedure usually takes 30 minutes to perform. The pacemaker monitors a patient’s heart rhythm and stimulates the heart to maintain a normal heart rate and rhythm.
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An implantable cardiac defibrillator, also known as an ICD, is a device implanted in patients who are at high risk, or who have experienced prior life-threatening heart rhythm disorders such as ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. An ICD continuously monitors a patient’s heart rhythm and if it detects a dangerous heart rhythm, it will try to terminate the rhythm disturbance by delivering an electrical shock to the heart to restore the patient’s normal heart rhythm. Most defibrillators can also function as a pacemaker if a patient experiences slow heart rhythm problems.
If an ICD is recommended, the patient can expect a surgical procedure where a small incision will be made under to collarbone. We perform this procedure with an anesthesiologist providing sedation. Wires are positioned into the heart and then connected to ICD that we place under the surface of your skin. The procedure usually takes 30 to 40 minutes to perform. The ICD provides protection against sudden cardiac death by continuously monitoring for dangerous heart rhythm disorders such as ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation.
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Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) is an implantable pacemaker used in patients with symptoms of congestive heart failure that has not responded to optimal medical therapy. We often utilize this in patients with a weakened heart muscle that also have advanced conduction disease of the heart. By implanting a pacemaker wire that stimulated the left ventricle, patients can experience an improvement in heart function and exercise tolerance.
To learn more about Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy, click on the links below:
Our EP specialist at Healient works one-on-one with each patient to design an individualized treatment plan. Our doctors and staff help patients identify and reduce their risk factors for heart disease, make necessary lifestyle and diet changes, and suggest multiple treatment options for each patient. We realize every person is different and we collaborate to provide the best electrophysiology treatments and procedures in Kansas City.
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