Implantable defibrillator

Dr. Ignacio García Bolao, especialista en cardiología de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra
patients can be discharged in 2-3 days

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Treatment with the implantable defibrillator at the Clínica

The implantable defibrillator is a device that enables the treatment of patients who have or are at risk of severe ventricular arrhythmias.

This device is generally indicated for patients who have experienced a cardiac arrest due to severe ventricular arrhythmias (ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation).

It can also be implanted in a number of patient subgroups who, although they have never experienced these arrhythmias, are at risk of having them.

The implantation procedure is generally performed under local anaesthesia throughout almost the entire procedure, except for a few minutes during which the correct operation of the apparatus is checked, at which time the patient is administered a general sedative.

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The implantation of the defibrillator is sometimes combined with cardiac resynchronisation therapy, thereby improving the patient’s heart failure, which they can sometimes suffer from".

During the implantation, one or several electrodes are placed inside the heart chambers, through the subclavian vein. These electrodes will stay permanently in their final location, connected to the defibrillator, which in turn will be implanted below the skin in the right infraclavicular region.

The defibrillator permanently controls the heart rhythm. When an arrhythmia is detected, the device applies various treatment modalities using electrical impulses to suppress the arrhythmia.

Depending on the severity of the arrhythmia, the defibrillator can automatically apply softer (antitachycardia stimulation) or more radical (cardioversion through electrical shock) treatments, which can occasionally be perceived by the patient.

Sometimes the defibrillator is combined with cardiac resynchronisation therapy, thereby improving the heart failure that the patient can occasionally experience.

Learn more about the implantable defibrillator

Normal life

Recovery from the surgery is fast, and patients can be discharged from the hospital in two to three days.

Patients who carry an implantable defibrillator can have an almost completely normal life.

These patients only need to attend specific follow-up visits every three or six months and keep in mind a few precautions that will be explained by their physicians.

Recovery from the surgery is fast, and patients can be discharged from the hospital in two to three days.

When the batteries run out (approximately every six years), the defibrillator will need to be replaced.

For what diseases is this indicated?

Know what a defibrillator is and for what diseases is indicated. [Video only available in Spanish]


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