The Hartford HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute continues to add more advanced procedures for cardiac patients in eastern Connecticut.
Dr. Paras Bhatt, Medical Director of Electrophysiology in the East Region, inserted an implantable biventricular defibrillator in an 80-year-old patient who had ischemic cardiomyopathy (weakened heart muscle) at Backus Hospital on March 11 — the first time this advanced procedure was performed at the community hospital.
The cardiac resynchronization device is a small battery-powered unit that recognizes a fast heart rate from the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles) and will “shock” the patient if they go into cardiac arrest to correct the heart rhythm.
“In the past, patients had to go to Hartford Hospital for this procedure,” said Dr. Bhatt. “It’s a more advanced procedure than the standard single chamber or dual chamber devices.”
The procedure takes between two to three hours. The patient is home from the hospital within a day.
“When these devices first became available more than a decade ago, the procedure could take up to six hours,” said Dr. Bhatt. “Thanks to better tools and technology we can do it in less than three hours.”
The implantable defibrillator is recommended for patients with a heart pumping function of less than 35 percent. Patients with a pumping function of above 35 percent would be candidates for a pacemaker (CRT-P). Cardiac resynchronization devices are used for patients who also have underlying electrical conduction disease.
Information from the device is transmitted back to the cardiology office every 90 days allowing providers to detect any abnormalities that need to be addressed prior to the usual six month follow up visit.
To learn more about the Atrial Fibrillation Center at the Hartford HealthCare Heart and Vascular Institute, click here.