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Subcutaneous Implantable Defibrillator

For Patients at Risk of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Saint Mary's Cardiology is among the first hospitals in northern Nevada to implant the Boston Scientific S-ICD System, the world's first subcutaneous implantable defibrillator (S-ICD) for the treatment of patients at risk for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

The S-ICD System is designed to provide the same protection from SCA as traditional transvenous implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). However, the entirety of the system sits just below the skin without the need for thin, insulated wires – known as leads – to be placed into the heart itself. This leaves the heart and blood vessels untouched, providing a new exciting solution for patients. Because the heart and vasculature are left untouched, it eliminates potential for vascular injury, reduces potential for systemic infection and avoids potential complications associated with endovascular lead implantation or extraction.

This system has two main components: one is the pulse generator, which powers the system, monitors heart activity, and delivers a shock if needed, and two the electrode, which enables the device to sense the cardiac rhythm and serves as a pathway for shock delivery when necessary. Both components are implanted just under the skin—the generator at the side of the chest, and the electrode beside the breastbone. Implantation with the S-ICD System is straightforward and can be done using only anatomical landmarks which removes the need for an X-ray procedure that is required for standard leads to be placed in the heart.

The pulse generator's discreet pocket placement offers excellent aesthetic results, even in slender patients. Once implanted, the S-ICD System is designed to not limit range of motion and most patients are able to resume normal daily activity shortly after the procedure.

For more information about this new technology or Saint Mary's Cardiology, please call 775-770-7622.