Pacemaker

A pacemaker is a small device implanted just under the skin that is connected to pacing wires within the heart that sends electrical impulses to help it maintain a normal rhythm. The device is placed in the chest and may be necessary if you have a persistent abnormal rhythm. Newer pacemaker technologies at the University of Pennsylvania include Permanent His-Bundle Pacing (leads that utilize the heart’s natural conduction system) as well as leadless pacing (a self-contained “pellet” placed from the leg directly into the heart obviating the need for leads).

Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)

ICDs monitor your heart rhythm and can deliver a shock if a dangerous arrhythmia is detected. Since some arrhythmias, such as atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia, are associated with sudden cardiac death, this device may be recommended for certain patients. ICDs also have the ability to function as a pacemaker and can regulate heart rhythm.

Device lead extraction

The EP program at HUP is among the few in the country experienced in permanent pacemaker and implantable defibrillator lead extraction. Lead extraction volume has increased yearly with the team now performing more than 100 lead management procedures per year. While infection represents the most common reason for lead extraction, fractured, redundant or malfunctioning leads are also common indications. The extraction team at Penn consists of EPs and cardiothoracic surgeons working together to improve the safety and efficacy of this complex procedure.

Lead Extractions at HUP CY 2004 - CY 2011, N = 267
Years Lead Extractions
2004 6
2005 15
2006 23
2007 32
2008 40
2009 45
2010 55
2011 51

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