Defibrillator After Angioplasty?
Current Postings (5):
Richard- I had a heart attack in 2003 (age 45) and had a pacemaker/defibrillator
installed in 2005. Two very detailed tests were performed by my cardiologist
and an electrical specialist before the decision was made to put it in. I didn't
like the idea but the alternative was not at all a good. I didn't like the thought
of it at first. As time has gone on I don't think about it or notice that it's
there. Eventually I will have to go back in for batteries and/or replacement.
If all goes well I will have to do that several mores times. I hope your doctors
are as good as mine have been.
Hi Richard - An ICD will not necessarily
increase the volume of blood your heart is pumping. That's not what
it's designed for. Implantation is recommended for people who have
an ejection fraction of 30% or less. Because the heart is not moving
blood properly there is greater risk of the heart itself, further
malfunctioning. So yes, it is a safety net. For myself, it was not
the right choice
as a matter of fact it wasn't a choice at all. For many people it
is the right choice though. Be aware there are some end of life ethical
questions you will need to address as to whether or not you want
shut off when end of life
is imminent. Good luck
For your heart with an ejection fraction of
20%, assuming it has been like that for 6 months, you definitely need
a defibrillator. A defibrillator
does have a built-in pacemaker capability. As far as increasing the strength,
in certain heart patients with a widened QRS duration, you may benefit from
a biventricular device (pacing both bottom chambers). This concept
is called Resynchronization
therapy, and the device is called a Biventricular ICD. The benefit you may
get is from resynchronizing your heart contraction. The defibrillator
part of the
device is to shock you in case you go into a potentially lethal heart rhythm.
With a weakened heart, you are at increased risk for sudden cardiac death due
to an abnormal heart rhythm such as ventricular fibrillation or ventricular
tachycardia leading to fibrillation. It is strongly recommended that
you listen to your cardiologist.
Richard -- angioplasty and stents are used
to open up blocked coronary arteries and restore blood flow, which
carries oxygen to the heart. If, as you have been diagnosed, the
rhythms of the heart are not in sync, a different type of therapy and/or
is called into play. That would be the defibrillator, or ICD, that
has been recommended. Tens of thousands of patients have these. Vice-President
Cheney has one. There also have been many recent stories about recalls
and problems discovered with certain models -- and any device carries
a risk, even if small. The decision to have a device implanted is
an important one for the patient and we urge each patient to discuss
options and concerns with their cardiologist. If you are not convinced,
a second opinion can be useful for your peace-of-mind and your informed
had a heart attack 10 years ago and have not had another one. After
the heart attack, I underwent an Arteriogram with
Angioplasty to clear the blockage. Since then, I have had 7 more
Arteriograms. 5 of these discovered blockages and were opened via the
procedure and a Stent was inserted. My Internal Medicine doctor tells
me that my heart is currently pumping 20% of the volume of blood
out with each beat compared to a healthy heart that would pump 60%
blood column with each beat. My lower chambers don't currently beat
at the same time due to the original heart attack. My Cardiologist
tells me I need a Pacemaker/Defibrillator implant. I am told that
the Defibrillator will be my safety net in case of a heart. The question
that I can't seem to get a straight answer on is this. Will the Pacemaker
increase the volume of blood that my heart is pumping out? Also,
are the negative aspects of having a Pacemaker/Defibrillator implant,
mental and physical? Will the implant shorten the life of my heart?
In other words, will the device make life better, but shorten it?
I need a quick answer!!!
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