Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) is a procedure that improves the rhythm of the heartbeat with a pacemaker. Anita Banerjee, MD, FACC, and Ashok Talreja, MD, FACC, FHRS, are skilled cardiologists at Premier Cardiac and Vascular in Fredericksburg, Virginia, who provide CRT to improve heart function and overall health. To learn more about cardiac resynchronization therapy, call the office or book an appointment online today.
Cardiac resynchronization therapy, or CRT, is a long-term treatment for arrhythmias that aims to keep your heart in normal rhythm. Treatment involves placement of a pacemaker, a small round device, in your chest.
The pacemaker monitors your heartbeat. When the heartbeat is irregular, the pacemaker sends tiny electric pulses to the heart to restore normal rhythm, resynchronizing the heart.
The team at Premier Cardiac and Vascular may recommend CRT for people with moderate to severe heart failure. With heart failure, your heart isn’t strong enough to pump blood through your heart or the rest of your body, causing fluid to build up in the lungs and legs.
Medication and lifestyle changes are the initial treatment for heart failure. However, if these interventions fail to improve your symptoms, the team may recommend CRT.
The team discusses the plan for placing your CRT pacemaker at your pre-surgical consultation. Procedure details depend on your overall health. Some people go home the same day, while others require a hospital stay.
During the procedure, the team administers fluids, antibiotics, and pain medication through an intravenous (IV) line in your arm. They may also give you medication that helps you relax or sleep during the surgery.
They inject a local anesthetic at the site where they plan on placing the pacemaker, usually on your chest under the collarbone. Then, they make a small incision in the skin, creating a pocket for the pacemaker.
Using catheters and X-ray guided imaging, the team inserts the leads for CRT into a vein that leads to your heart. They test the leads, attach them to the pacemaker, and close the incision.
After recovery from the procedure, you follow up with the team at Premier Cardiac and Vascular at least every six months so they can monitor heart health and the function of your device.
They also monitor the battery in your pacemaker, which usually lasts 4-8 years. When necessary, the team replaces the battery in your pacemaker during a simple, outpatient procedure.
Many people experience significant improvements in their heart failure symptoms after starting CRT.
To find out if cardiac resynchronization therapy is right for you, call Premier Cardiac and Vascular or book an appointment online today.