Syncing the heart to improve its efficiency

Cardiac Resynchronisation Therapy (CRT) uses a biventicular pacemaker or defibrillator to make sure that all parts of the heart are contracting at the optimal time to produce the best cardiac function.
Why

Some people with symptoms of breathlessness or swelling may have electrical impulse delay from one side of the heart to the other. This impulse delay makes the heart inefficient and reduces heart function. CRT improves the efficiency of the heart’s contraction and improves heart function in 65-70% of patients. Depending your diagnosis, CRT treatment can be delivered by a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD).

Preparation

Do not to eat or drink anything for 6 hours prior to the operation. Your cardiologist may recommend withholding certain medications. 

How is it done

Under local anaesthesia, an incision is made just below the collarbone and the pacemaker or defibrillator is inserted under the skin. The wires are then carefully fixed in place inside the heart and attached to the device. After, the device is checked and optimised to resync you heart.

You’ll be able leave the hospital often the next day. The dressing will be removed usually after 7 days. In order to allow the leads to fix inside the heart, you will be asked not move your arm above your shoulders on the pacemaker side for 2 weeks. Your cardiologist will arrange a regular review to check the settings of your pacemaker or defibrillator and to adjust any medications as required.

Duration

60 minutes.