Subcutaneous Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Device

New device offered for arrhythmia diagnostics and treatment.

Sharp HealthCare now offers a breakthrough treatment option for patients at risk for sudden cardiac arrest — the subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator (S-ICD).  

The S-ICD device received FDA approval in September 2012, and it is the world's first and only commercially available device of its kind. Sharp is the only medical provider in San Diego County to offer the treatment.  

The S-ICD system sits just below the skin and without the need for thin, insulated wires — known as electrodes or "leads" — to be placed in the heart. Instead, an electrode — located just under the skin near the chest bone — delivers a lifesaving jolt to the heart if it suddenly stops. The procedure to implant the device is less invasive than that for the traditional defibrillator implant.  

This new, innovative system is designed to provide the same protection from sudden cardiac arrest as transvenous ICDs. The system has two main components:  

  • The electrode, which enables the device to sense the cardiac rhythm and deliver shocks when necessary
  • The pulse generator, which powers the system, monitors heart activity and delivers a shock if needed

Patients who suffer from congestive heart failure are constantly at risk for an accelerated heart rate to the point that the heart can no longer maintain blood circulation. Approximately 8,000 San Diegans are currently in need of a heart defibrillator implant.      

Locations of Treatment
The subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator procedure is offered at the following Sharp hospitals in San Diego.

Sharp Grossmont Hospital
5555 Grossmont Center Drive
La Mesa, CA 91942
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Sharp Memorial Hospital
7901 Frost St.
San Diego, CA 92123
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Find a San Diego Cardiologist
To find a Sharp-affiliated doctor, search for a San Diego cardiologist or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.  

For More Heart and Vascular Information
To find general information about heart and vascular care, visit Cardiovascular Diseases in Adult Health or read the Heart and Cardiovascular News archive.