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Surgery: What to Expect – Implanting a Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Device

A cardiac resynchronization therapy device is typically implanted in the upper chest.

Detail - A cardiac resynchronization therapy device is typically implanted in the upper chest.

Implanting a cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) heart device is not an open-heart procedure. Before surgery, medication is usually given to make you sleepy and comfortable. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia.

  1. A small incision, approximately 2 inches, will be made in the upper chest.
  2. Three leads (thin insulated wires) will be guided through a vein and into the heart.
  3. The doctor will then connect the lead wires to the implanted heart device, test the device, and program the settings.
  4. The device will be inserted beneath the skin and the chest incision will be closed.
  5. After the implant, there may be a slight bulge visible under the skin where the device is located. The leads are very thin and will not be visible.

You will usually stay in the hospital overnight and go home the next day with instructions on caring for your incision. For a short time after surgery, your doctor may want you to limit how much you move the arm closest to the implant site.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 22 Sep 2010

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