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Questions and Answers – Getting a Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Device

Heart Failure

If your doctor has advised you that cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) may be the best course of treatment for your heart failure, you may have a variety of questions and concerns.

Here are some common topics of interest to individuals considering an implantable heart device:

What should I expect during CRT surgery?

Typically, the procedure to implant a heart device is done under local anaesthesia. It does not require open-heart surgery and many people go home within 24 hours. Your doctor will provide more detailed information, but most individuals can expect to gradually return to their everyday activities shortly after the procedure.

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What is it like to receive a shock?

Experiencing a shock from a CRT device that contains an implantable defibrillator can be a concern for many individuals.

You may feel fine afterward, or you may feel dizzy, sick, or disoriented after the shock occurs. It's important to talk to your doctor and have a plan in place so that you know exactly what to do when you experience a shock. Your doctor may want you to call in, transmit information using the CareLinkTM Network, or schedule an appointment after you've had a shock.

SmartShock™ Technology Explained
Shock Acceptance and Stress Management, with Dr. Sam Sears Jr.

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Will the device affect my appearance?

Sometimes individuals wonder if there will be a noticeable bulge where the heart device was implanted. In general, you may notice a slight bump under your skin where your device is located.

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Will I have to change my lifestyle?

An implantable heart device allows many individuals to return to the activities they enjoy. Your doctor will provide more information on activities you may need to avoid, but people typically resume their normal daily activities after full recovery from surgery.

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Where can I find additional resources?

There are many resources available for individuals living with heart failure. Talk to your doctor or health care professional if you have medical concerns or health symptoms. 

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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.