Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), also called biventricular pacing, is delivered by a small, battery-operated device that can be permanently placed inside you. This new therapy is typically used for ventricular dysynchrony, a type of heart failure, where the two ventricles in the heart are not beating at the same time. This specialized pacemaker helps your ventricles beat together to pump efficiently. If the sensor detects that the heart is beating too slow, electrical impulses from the pacemaker are sent through leads (wires) placed near the heart wall. This stimulates your heart's right and left ventricles to pace simultaneously, helping the heart to pump normally.
How a Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) Is Inserted
A CRT implantation is usually performed during a minimally invasive surgical procedure in a cardiovascular catheterization laboratory. Local anesthesia is used to numb the treatment area. The pacemaker is inserted into the chest, through a small incision which forms a pocket to hold the pacemaker in place. From a small incision under the collarbone, the leads are guided into large veins that connect to the heart; this process is aided by viewing X-ray images on a fluoroscopy machine. The leads are attached to the heart's right atrium, right ventricle, and left ventricle while the other end of the leads are attached to the pacemaker.
If your physician determines that minimally invasive surgery is not ideal for you, CRT devices can also be implanted with open-heart surgery.
We also provide surgical services to extract CRT devices and leads of infected or malfunctioning devices.