When you’re experiencing heart failure symptoms (whether mild or advanced) or when the chambers of your heart fail to beat in sync with each other, your heart may not be pumping out as much blood as your body needs.
Fortunately, the electrophysiology team at Northwest Regional Heart & Vascular has a solution: biventricular pacemaker implantation.
This common procedure, also known as cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), works to restore the normal pacing pattern of your heart’s chambers (also called ventricles) with the help of a unique pacemaker that targets both lower chambers to allow them to beat in unison again.
Our team of board-certified physicians is highly experienced at implanting these pacemakers, and in many cases, the procedure can be done without general anesthesia.
What causes this irregular ventricle pattern?
Typically, the two lower chambers of the heart, also called the left ventricle (LV) and right ventricle (RV), contract and pump simultaneously. However, some patients develop a condition called ventricular dyssynchrony. This simply means that the regular timing and pacing of activation and contraction gets out of step.
If left untreated, this condition can lead to:
- Less efficient blood flow.
- More progressive heart failure.
- Decreased quality of life.
The benefits of biventricular pacemaker implantation (CRT)
Biventricular pacemaker implantation is often referred to as cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) because it literally “resynchronizes” the opening and closing of the two ventricles and allows them to work together effectively again.
CRT has a high success rate. Medical research has shown the procedure to be highly effective at improving blood flow and preventing future hospitalizations.
How is the pacemaker implantation procedure performed?
The cardiology team performing begins the procedure with sedation to make the patient more comfortable. Then they will insert pacemaker leads (flexible, insulated wires) through a vein near the shoulder. Then the pacemaker will be implanted into either the left or right side of the chest near the heart.
The pacemaker is like a small electronic pocket watch that gets implanted in either the left or right ventricle. Once it has been implanted, the pacemaker will sense the natural rhythms of the heart. When necessary, it will provide needed stimulation to ensure that those pulses are synchronized.
Am I a candidate for biventricular pacemaker implantation?
Many patients with heart failure symptoms or cardiac rhythm problems (arrhythmia) can benefit from this procedure, but only you and your providers can determine if CRT is right for you. Our experienced cardiology team can answer all your questions and help you make the right decision with confidence.
Our electrophysiology locations
If you’re struggling with heart failure or arrhythmia, our electrophysiology program may be able to help. Call the location nearest you to schedule a consultation: