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SJUMC Physician Implants Smallest Defibrillator

St. Joseph’s University Medical Center’s cardiac electrophysiologist Satish Tiyyagura, MD, FACC, Director, Electrophysiology Laboratory, is among the first in New Jersey to implant the newly FDA-approved mini implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), an automated treatment of life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias. Ventricular arrhythmias, are a leading cause of sudden death in the United States, especially among elderly people. It can be treated with medication, but many times an ICD is needed to protect the heart and prolong life.

“This smaller device is particularly beneficial for thinner patients or patients with less fat and soft tissue in the upper chest, like older patients,” says Dr. Tiyyagura. “We’re committed to providing our patients with advanced technology that will help improve their quality of life; this is an example of that kind of technology.”

ICDs are used for people who have had an abnormal, fast heart rate that caused them to faint or caused their heart to stop pumping properly. The new device, manufactured by Boston Scientific Corporation, is 20 percent smaller by volume and up to 24 percent thinner than others on the market. The ICD is implanted beneath the skin, near the collarbone. Leads are placed inside the heart and are attached to the ICD.

June 24, 2014