DEBORAH Heart and Lung Center Among First Hospitals in Region to Implant New S-ICD® System Implantable Defibrillator

First Defibrillator Without Lead Wires for Patients at Risk of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

DEBORAH Heart and Lung Center announced its first implantation of Boston Scientific’s S-ICD® defibrillator. This is the first commercially-available, FDA-approved subcutaneous (below the skin) defibrillator that does not have lead wires to the heart.

The subcutaneous implantable defibrillator (S-ICD) is used in the treatment of patients for risk of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), which is an abrupt loss of heart function. Most episodes are caused by  rapid and/or chaotic activity of the heart known as ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. Recent estimates show that approximately 850,000 people in the United States are at risk of SCA and indicated for an ICD device, but remain unprotected.

The S-ICD System is designed to provide the same protection from SCA as traditional transvenous implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). However, the entirety of the S-ICD System sits just below the skin without the need for thin, insulated wires – known as leads – to be placed into the heart itself. This leaves the heart and blood vessels untouched, providing a new exciting solution for both physicians and patients.

Raffaele Corbisiero, MD, Chair, Electrophysiology Department at DEBORAH Heart and Lung Center praised the new device. “This is truly a remarkable new breakthrough for patients who require a device that might have to deliver a shock if necessary to regulate the rhythms of the heart. This new device will eliminate having patients come back in to have leads replaced due to malfunction or infection, eliminates the potential for vascular infection, and reduces complications associated with lead implantation or extraction. Additionally, the incision is smaller and located in areas that are more cosmetically pleasing, hidden out of the way—an ideal product for slender body types. We are truly excited to have this new product available for our patients.”

The S-ICD System has two main components: the pulse generator (which powers the system, monitors heart activity, and delivers a shock if needed) and the electrode (which enables the device to sense the cardiac rhythm and serves as a pathway for shock delivery when necessary). Both components are implanted just under the skin – the generator at the side of the chest, and the electrode beside the breastbone. Implantation with the S-ICD is straightforward and can be done using anatomical landmarks, which removes the need for fluoroscopy.