Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), also called biventricular pacing, uses a biventricular pacemaker that is designed to help the ventricles contract more normally. It keeps the right and left ventricles pumping together by sending small electrical impulses through the leads.
Why may a biventricular pacemaker be needed?
Biventricular pacemakers improve the symptoms of heart failure in approximately 50% of people that have been treated with medications but still have severe or moderately severe heart failure symptoms. Your doctor can use ECG testing to determine whether your heart rhythm problems could be helped with a biventricular pacemaker.
How is the biventricular pacemaker implant procedure performed?
The pacemaker is usually implanted inside the heart, which is known as the endocardial, transvenous approach. A lead is placed into a vein, typically under your collarbone, and then guided to your heart. The tip of the lead attaches to your heart muscle. The other end of the lead is attached to the pulse generator, which is placed under the skin in your upper chest. This technique is done under local anesthesia (you will not be asleep). The pacemaker implant procedure lasts about two to five hours.
After the pacemaker implant, you will be admitted to the hospital overnight. The nurses will monitor your heart rate and rhythm overnight, and your pacemaker will be tested the following morning.