Patients can now get the same protection from sudden cardiac arrest as they would get with a defibrillator but through a less invasive procedure that does not touch their heart and blood vessels, thanks to the world's first and only commercially available subcutaneous implantable defibrillator (S-ICD).
Dr. Miguel De Puy with Imperial Health Cardiovascular Specialists was the first cardiologist in Southwest Louisiana, and among the first in the state, to implant the Boston Scientific S-ICD® System. He performed the first procedure at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital earlier this month.
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is an abrupt loss of heart function. Most episodes are caused by the rapid and/or chaotic activity of the heart known as ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. Recent estimates show that approximately 850,000 people in the United States are at risk of SCA and indicated for an ICD device, but remain unprotected.
Dr. De Puy explains that the S-ICD System is designed to provide the same protection from SCA as traditional transvenous implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). However, the entirety of the S-ICD sits just below the skin without the need for thin, insulated wires – known as leads – to be placed into the heart itself. This leaves the heart and blood vessels untouched, providing a exciting new solution for both physicians and patients. “This is a less invasive procedure with fewer short- and long-term complications,” says Dr. De Puy. “It functions as well as, if not better, than current technology and is usually more tolerable.”
The less invasive S-ICD device had two main components: a pulse generator, which powers the system, monitors heart activity, and delivers a shock if needed; and an electrode, which enables the device to sense the cardiac rhythm and serves as a pathway for shock delivery when necessary. Both components are implanted just under the skin — the generator at the side of the chest, and the electrode beside the breastbone. Implantation with the S-ICD System can be done without x-ray imaging, using only the anatomical landmarks of a person’s body structure.
The S-ICD System is intended to provide defibrillation therapy for the treatment of life-threatening ventricular tachyarrhythmias in patients who do not have symptomatic bradycardia, incessant ventricular tachycardia, or spontaneous, frequently recurring ventricular tachycardia that is reliably terminated with anti-tachycardia pacing. The S-ICD does not provide pacing therapy, so it is not indicated for patients who need the pacing function of a traditional defibrillator
“The treatment for adverse heart conditions continues to evolve. It’s important that physicians understand how to perform procedures and treatments using the most advanced technology available,” Dr. De Puy said. “As our knowledge, research and technology become more complex, less invasive and high-performing methods become available—and we want our patients to have access to that.”
Dr. De Puy is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease, a fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. His special interests include invasive cardiology and cardiac pacemakers/defibrillators. He is also a Certified Cardiac Device Specialists by the Heart Rhythm Society. He is the only physician in the region trained to perform the new S-ICD implantation.
For more information, call Cardiovascular Specialists at (337) 436-3813 or visit www.csswla.com.