Cardiac Resynchronisation Therapy (CRT)
Cardiac resynchronisation therapy with BiV defibrillator or pacemaker. 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.
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 both sides of the heart contract at slightly different times so reducing heart function.
CRT improves the efficiency of the heart’s contraction and improves heart function in 65-70% of patients and so may improve symptoms such as fluid build up and breathlessness.
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 connecting the left and right ventricles or pumping chambers. Both ventricular leads are attached to the device. After, the device is checked and optimised to resync both sides of your heart to come together at the same time.
You’ll often be able leave the hospital the next day. Usually, the dressing will be removed after 7 days. In order to allow the leads to fix inside the heart, you will be asked to 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.
Your cardiologist may organise in 3 -6 months after the device is inserted, an echocardiogram that provides a further tune-up of the device and your heart.