What are the treatment options?
When it comes to treating a fast heartbeat, there are two treatment options. These are:
- Low-energy treatment
Low-energy treatment, or anti-tachycardia pacing, is a very gentle method of treatment used to treat fast heartbeat. A pacemaker in the ICD controls the heart rate, and in some cases, the cardiologist can program the machine to send very low-energy shocks to restore proper heart rhythm.
- Maximum-energy shocks
In this form of treatment, the cardiologist programs the cardiac device to send maximum-energy shocks in order to provide effective therapy for a fast heartbeat.
What happens at a pacemaker/ICD implantation procedure?
A battery-powered device is placed inside a pouch under the surface of the abdomen or chest. The wires attached travel to the heart’s surface but can run through the blood vessels. As a result, there is no need for open-chest surgery to install the device.
Dr Thomas carries out the following when implanting an ICD:
- He injects an anaesthetic to numb the site
- He makes tiny incisions in the chest where he inserts a lead through the vein and positions it onto the heart with the assistance of fluoroscopy.
- The lead's tip connects to the heart, whereas the other end attaches to a pulse generator.
Dr Thomas may carry out a (i) an endocardial, transvenous approach or (ii) an epicardial approach. With an epicardial approach, the patient is placed under general anaesthesia. They remain asleep while the procedure takes place. The generator is inserted beneath the skin of the abdomen. Overall, recovery from this procedure involves a hospital stay over five days, but surgeons may utilise less invasive techniques to shorten a patient’s recovery time.