Why is Cardiac resynchronization therapy done?
The doctor will suggest Cardiac resynchronization therapy for the following reasons:
- If you have moderate to severe heart failure symptoms.
- If the pumping chambers of the heart are not working together.
- The test will show how weak is your heart.
- If medications and lifestyle changes are not working well enough for controlling heart failure.
Risks of Cardiac resynchronization therapy
Multiple medical procedures come with few risks. Some specific risks of Cardiac resynchronization therapy depend on the type of implant and on the overall health. This includes:
- Reaction to the anaesthesia
- Swelling or bruising in the upper chest area, where CRT device is placed
- Heart rhythm problems
- Movement of the device or device wires
- Injury to a blood vessel
Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) Procedures
Before the CRT Procedure
The patient should first discuss all the risks and benefits of the procedure with the doctor. The doctor will ask you not to eat or drink anything before the surgery. If you are taking any kind of medicine, talk with your doctor about whether to take them or not.
The doctor may ask you to stop the medicines which thin your blood. Talk with your doctor about:
- Any prescribed or non-prescribed medicines that you are taking.
- Any Over-the-counter medicines or supplements you are taking.
- Any allergies you have.
- Any symptoms of colds or infections.
- Any problems related to anesthesia.
During the CRT procedure
- The procedure can take 3 to 5 hours.
- The doctor will put an intravenous (IV) line in your hand or arm. Through this line, your healthcare team will give you fluids, antibiotics, and pain medication.
- The doctor team will control the pulse, blood pressure and level of oxygen.
- The patient will be given medicines to relax. Later on, the doctor will give anesthesia to numb the area where the device is being placed. Mainly, under the left collar bone.
- The doctor will put intravenous lines in the large vein which feeds the heart. CRT wires will be inserted into the vein and fed into the heart. X-rays would be taken to make sure if the CRT wires are in the right place.
- The doctor will test the CRT wires with an electric pulse.
- If the CRT wires are at the right place and working properly then they will be attached to the CRT pacemaker. The doctor will put the pacemaker through the incision and under the skin.
- Then the doctor will close the incision with sutures or staples
After the CRT procedure
The patient will be moved to a recovery area. He may be asked to stay at the hospital for a day or two while the doctor will check and adjust the settings on the CRT device.
After leaving the hospital it’s very important to follow the doctor’s instructions for avoiding any serious conditions.
Steps to be followed at home:
- Follow a normal diet
- Limit some of the activities like lifting, straining, and stretching at least for 6 weeks.
- Keep the dressing clean and dry until the doctor tells you to.
- Check the incision area frequently for any signs and infections.
- Visit your doctor regularly at least every 6 months