Athens Banner-Herald (GA)
Utilizing a pulse generator, the S-ICD System uses a subcutaneous electrode that detects when the heart's main pumping chambers develop a dangerous rhythm or stop beating altogether and delivers a powerful electrical shock that re-starts the heart.
The device was created by
Although relatively new,
Condron became a candidate for the new device after complications of congestive heart failure sent her to
During the study, he found one small blockage and recognized that Condron's heart was dangerously weak and that she could be at high risk of fibrillation, a condition that causes the muscles of the ventricles in the heart to twitch or quiver without squeezing the chambers and pumping blood effectively.
She was referred to cardiologist
In the past, patients like Condron would have gotten an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, known as ICD, which also restarts the heart by passing a powerful electric shock through it, but requires doctors to implant leads, or wires, into the heart.
"Once leads are in the heart they become scarred into place and if you ever have to remove them it's very dangerous," said cardiologist
Layher likened the wiggling of the wire to unfolding a paper clip and bending it back and forth until it breaks.
"That's what happens with the leads," he explained. "They tend to fail over time. With S-ICD we have a lead that's not sitting in the heart or wiggling, it's just under the skin. That makes it more durable and we think it's going to be a longer lasting device with less complications."
"The biggest complication in the traditional device is lead failures. The nice thing about the new system is that there's no lead in the heart, so it can't break," said Nilsson, who will perform the procedure for the first time at
The S-ICD system also is good news for patients not eligible for the traditional ICD system, such as dialysis patients and patients that have current infections as a result of past devices, Nilsson said.
Condron was home resting on Tuesday and said, overall, she's happy with the procedure.
"I think everything is fine. It's painful, but not as much today as it was (Monday)," she said. "I think I'm recovering pretty fast."
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