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Cath Lab Procedures

- Devices

CRT implant

These are procedures that take place in the catheter laboratory under local anaesthetic and sometimes with the addition of sedation administered into a vein. The procedure can be a day case procedure or sometimes requires an overnight stay. This procedure is performed if you have an issue with the electrical functioning of the heart.

The ablation procedure is slightly different depending on the underlying condition that is being treated.

Some examples of these procedures are described below.

CRT stands for cardiac resynchronization therapy. The words biventricular pacing (or 'bivent') are also sometimes used which mean the same thing.

This is a device that is similar to a pacemaker but works to improve the coordination of the heart in addition to providing an artificial heartbeat. In some patients where the heart pumping is reduced (heart failure), there can also be a lack of coordination between the left and the right sides of the heart or that one side of the heart beats before the other. This lack of coordination (or dysynchrony) makes the heart pump even less efficiently. Your Cardiology team can tell if you are affected by this by looking at your heart tracing (electrocardiogram, ECG).

If your Healthcare Professional feels that you would benefit from  a CRT device then this can be implanted in a similar way to a pacemaker (although the procedure usually takes a little longer – around 2 hours). The only difference is that rather than the traditional two leads that are inserted during a normal pacemaker procedure, a third lead is also implanted. These leads all ‘talk’ to one another to ensure that the electrical impulses to the heart all happen at the same time. By restoring the coordination, this makes the pumping function of the heart much more efficient. Cardiac resynchronisation devices have been shown to improve symptoms and quality of life in many (but not all) symptomatic patients with heart failure.

Cardiac resynchronisation therapy (CRT) devices can be implanted with a defibrillator/pacemaker function (known as CRT-D) or with a pacemaker only(known as a CRT-P).

Main points:

1. Is used as a treatment for heart failure or in people at risk of heart failure

2. There are two types - one without a defibrillator (called a CRT-pacemaker) and one with a defibrillator (a CRT-defibrillator)

You should always talk to your healthcare team about any procedure you're going to have and make sure it is right for you.


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