Heart and Vascular Care
Subcutaneous Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Device
A breakthrough treatment option for patients at risk for sudden cardiac arrest, the subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator (S-ICD) is an innovative system designed to provide the same protection from sudden cardiac arrest as transvenous ICDs.
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.
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.
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