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A new hope for cardiac patients

Staff Reporter

ICD implantation through "an unusual route'' The testing of the device has shown successful functioning

NEW DELHI: Cardiac electro-physiologists at the Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre here on Tuesday performed a rare Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) implantation through "an unusual route".

According to the hospital authorities, there have been only two previous recorded cases of use of this technique in medical history across the world and both were from America. This then was the first case performed in India and offers patients a new hope, especially those who need ICD devices in which access through the upper limb vein is not available.

Cardiac Cath Lab director T. S. Kler and his team in this new technique made an opening in the abdomen and implanted the device below the skin in a region below the rib cage. The testing of the device after the implementation showed successful functioning. Speaking about the technique, Dr. Kler said: "Our hospital got one such patient suffering from a disease of the right lower chamber who had multiple prior procedures of this kind from both the left and right sides of the heart. His ICD device had to be surgically removed because of infection that occurred in the past. The repeated procedures had led to total blockage of his large vein going to the heart that receives both the upper limb veins.

Hence ICD implantation was not possible in this patient from the usual route. The patient was having repeated episodes of life-threatening ventricular tachycardia with clinical deterioration requiring hospitalisation each time. The drugs available to prevent and treat these fast rhythms were not effective and were producing intolerable side-effects, including damage to liver, thyroid and the heart itself. It is for these people that this new technique is most handy.''

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