Regional Now Offering Breakthrough Heart Procedure

February 25, 2013

Regional Now Offering Breakthrough Heart Procedure Dr. Raghotham Patlola, interventional cardiologist with Cardiovascular Institute of the South on the Regional Medical Center campus.

Regional Medical Center of Acadiana is the first hospital in the state to implant the new Boston Scientific S-ICD® System, the world's first and only commercially available subcutaneous implantable defibrillator for the treatment of patients at risk for sudden cardiac arrest.

The S-ICD System is designed to provide the same protection from SCA as transvenous implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs); however the S-ICD System sits entirely just below the skin without the need for thin, insulated wires – known as electrodes or ‘leads’ – to be placed into the heart itself. This leaves the heart and blood vessels untouched, offering physicians and patients an alternative treatment to transvenous ICDs.

“The new S-ICD System provides implanting physicians with a new breakthrough treatment option for patients at risk of sudden cardiac arrest,” said Dr. Raghotham Patlola, interventional cardiologist with Cardiovascular Institute of the South on the Regional Medical Center campus. “The system’s innovative design is an important new alternative that provides patients with a new treatment option that eliminates the need for transvenous leads.”

Sudden cardiac arrest is an abrupt loss of heart function. Most episodes are caused by the rapid and/or chaotic activity of the heart known as ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. Recent estimates show that approximately 850,000 people in the United States are at risk of sudden cardiac arrest and indicated for an ICD device, but remain unprotected.

The S-ICD System has two main components: (1) the pulse generator, which powers the system, monitors heart activity and delivers a shock if needed, and (2) the electrode, which enables the device to sense the cardiac rhythm and deliver shocks when necessary.  Both components are implanted just under the skin — the generator at the side of the chest, and the electrode beside the breastbone. 

Unlike transvenous ICDs, the heart and blood vessels remain untouched. Implantation with the S-ICD System is straightforward using anatomical landmarks, without the need for fluoroscopy (an X-ray procedure that makes it possible to see internal organs in motion). Fluoroscopy is required for implanting the leads attached to transvenous ICD systems.   

The S-ICD System is intended to provide defibrillation therapy for the treatment of life-threatening ventricular tachyarrhythmias in patients who do not have symptomatic bradycardia, incessant ventricular tachycardia or spontaneous, frequently recurring ventricular tachycardia that is reliably terminated with anti-tachycardia pacing.

The S-ICD System received CE Mark in 2009 and is commercially available in many countries in Europe as well as New Zealand. To date, more than 1,400 devices have been implanted in patients around the world.