About Our Service
Implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICDs) offer new options in the treatment of potentially deadly arrhythmias. A small electrical pulse generator is implanted in a pouch under the skin, typically just below the collarbone, with electrical wires called leads running to positions on or within the heart. When the ICD detects a deadly irregular heart rhythm, it delivers an electrical pulse to return it to a normal rhythm.
Patients who receive an implanted device, such as an ICD, pacemaker or loop recorder, to monitor heart function and rhythm are referred to a Spectrum Health Cardiac Device Clinic for ongoing care. Our specially trained nurses help patients manage their care plan after the procedure. They will also help the cardiologist monitor the implanted device and make any adjustments needed to make sure it is functioning properly.
In February 2011, Frederik Meijer Heart & Vascular Institute electrophysiologists began implanting the Revo MRITM SureScan® pacing system, the first MRI-safe pacemaker. The device allows patients with a pacemaker to undergo safe magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.
Prior to this system, MRI procedures for patients with implanted pacemakers were not recommended because they might cause serious complications, such as interference with pacemaker operation, damage to system components and wire or pacemaker dislodgement.
Research indicates that there is a 50-75 percent probability that cardiac device patients will need an MRI over the lifetime of their device. Additionally, more than 200,000 patients annually in the U.S. have to forego an MRI scan because they have a pacemaker. The new pacing system at Meijer Heart Center helps address this patient need.
What to Expect
We will help you understand your device and make any necessary lifestyle adjustments. Your follow-up program with our clinic will include a combination of:
- Clinic visits. Initially, you will see us in the clinic to help you adjust to your new device and help us confirm your care plan.
- Clinic device checks. A specialized computer is used to retrieve information stored in your device and information about your heart's electrical function. Your cardiologist can access information from your device check, and your device may be altered as needed.
- Remote device checks. Periodically, your pacemaker or defibrillator will be monitored over the phone using a special transmitter unit. The transmitter allows our staff to analyze the function of your device while you relax in the comfort of your home. The results are reviewed by your cardiologist. If a problem is identified over the phone, you may need to come in to the clinic so we can take a closer look.