More than 2 million people in the United States rely on an implanted device such as a pacemaker or defibrillator to regulate their heart rate and rhythm. As more and more patients have cardiac devices implanted at younger ages, the need to replace devices and remove the leads that connect these devices has grown tremendously in recent years.
In many patients, the leads are simply left in place, and pose few risks. However, in patients where the leads must be removed, serious complications can develop when scar tissue has formed around sites along the surface of the lead.
To provide a safe and effective removal option for these patients, electrophysiologists at the Cooper Heart Institute are now performing laser-assisted lead extraction utilizing a system from Spectranetics®.
The technology uses low-temperature ultraviolet light to safely and effectively break down the scar tissue holding the leads in place, permitting the leads to be safely removed.
“Lead extraction is a delicate and complex procedure, and Cooper is one of only a handful of centers in the Delaware Valley with the expertise required,” said John A. Andriulli, DO, Director of the Arrhythmia Device Program at Cooper University Hospital.
“Cooper also is one of the few heart centers in the region that can perform this type of procedure because it requires on-site cardiac surgery specialists,” Dr. Andriulli said.
For more information about laser lead extraction or other programs and services of the Cooper Heart Institute, call 1.800.8.COOPER (1.800.826.6737).