Device Therapy for Adult Congenital Heart Disease

NYU Langone doctors may recommend a cardiac device to help monitor or improve heart function in people with heart failure or arrhythmias caused by certain types of congenital heart defects. Your doctor collaborates with specialists at NYU Langone’s Heart Failure Advanced Care Center or the Heart Rhythm Center to provide the care that best suits your needs.

NYU Langone specialists are experts at managing cardiac devices after they are implanted.

Implanted Cardiac Devices

If you have an arrhythmia, or heart rhythm disorder, your doctor may use an implanted cardiac device to restore a normal heart rhythm. These small, battery-operated devices are implanted in the chest to detect and correct arrhythmias.

Artificial pacemakers send electrical signals to the heart to correct a slow heart rate, called bradycardia.

Implantable cardioverter defibrillators deliver electrical impulses or small shocks to correct a fast heart rate called tachycardia.

Your NYU Langone heart specialist implants either type of cardiac device in the muscle of the chest wall below the collarbone and connects wires called leads to the heart. These leads deliver the electrical pulses that correct an irregular heart rhythm.

Surgery to implant these devices typically takes one hour and requires an overnight hospital stay. Your doctor may restrict your activity, including lifting anything heavier than 10 pounds, for up to 2 weeks after the procedure.

Cardiac Device Management

One week after a cardiac device is implanted, you visit your NYU Langone doctor so that he or she can retrieve and analyze the information stored on the device. Your doctor determines how well it is controlling the heart’s rhythm and makes adjustments, as needed. Using a special monitor, the information on some devices can be transmitted via telephone lines, cellular networks, or the internet to your doctor.

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