What are Implantable Defibrillators (ICDs)?
Heart rhythm disorders can show up in many ways, from lightheadedness caused by minor palpitations to life-threatening disorders. Some people are in danger of developing a dangerously fast or irregular heart rhythm that can lead to death within minutes.
An implantable cardioverter defibrillator, or ICD, is a device that can detect abnormal heart rhythms and shock your heart back to its normal pace. ICDs have saved many people from sudden cardiac death.
UR Medicine's Approach
The Electrophysiology Lab at UR Medicine offers some of the most advanced treatments available for heart rhythm disorders, including medications in addition to the ICD.
In many cases, our treatments can permanently cure an arrhythmia, so no further medication is needed.
ICDs are surgically implanted by an electrophysiologist, a doctor who specializes in heart rhythm disorders.
During the procedure, a cut is made just under your left collarbone. Once the ICD is implanted, the wires from it are directed through veins until they make contact with your heart. The generator of the ICD is then placed beneath your skin. This surgery typically takes from two to four hours.
What Sets Us Apart?
We offer world-class expertise in identifying who needs defibrillators to prevent sudden cardiac death. Our specialists in heart rhythm disorders treat thousands of cases a year. That expertise attracts patients from all over the world.
We have also been a worldwide leader in the development of ICDs and their use in treating heart rhythm disorders. Our researchers led the groundbreaking MADIT clinical trials that helped establish ICDs as an effective treatment for patients who are in danger of sudden cardiac death.
We also use ICDs in our world-renowned research and treatment of Long QT Syndrome, a genetic disorder caused by a glitch in the heart’s electrical system that puts patients at high risk of arrhythmias, fainting spells, and sudden death.
UR Medicine has three fully equipped electrophysiology labs for the diagnosis and treatment of heart rhythm disorders. Our labs are staffed by nurses and technicians who work exclusively with patients who have heart rhythm disorders.
We offer treatments unavailable elsewhere in the Rochester region. And as part of an academic medical center, our patients have access to clinical trials exploring new methods for treating heart rhythm disorders.
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