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Recovery & Support for Cardiac Device Management

If you receive a cardiac device for a heart rhythm disorder, our team of cardiac device management specialists provides follow-up care. At NYU Langone’s Heart Rhythm Center, our doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, and support staff monitor your device, as well as your physical and emotional wellbeing.

Safe MRI Scans

Many cardiac devices have not been formally tested for safety during MRI imaging, and are labeled as conditionally safe for MRI imaging by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The magnetic and radiofrequency fields generated during an MRI scan have the potential to cause problems with cardiac devices, such as triggering rapid pacing, heating the wires to the heart, or delivering unnecessary shocks.

Because some medical conditions, such as certain types of cancer and brain, joint, and heart conditions, require MRI scanning for accurate diagnosis and treatment, doctors sometimes surgically remove a cardiac device, perform the imaging test or tests, and then reimplant the device.

Cardiac electrophysiologists and radiologists at NYU Langone are trained in safe MRI scan protocols for people with cardiac devices. NYU Langone has the approval of the FDA to use special imaging techniques in conjunction with temporary program changes to the device and constant monitoring of heart rate and blood pressure during the scan. The device is then returned to its original settings.

NYU Langone doctors use these techniques only when other types of imaging, such as CT scans, cannot provide adequate information. Our specialists have performed thousands of MRI scans on people with cardiac devices and maintain a registry to study over time the safety and effectiveness of these scans.

Cardiac Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy

Sometimes, people with cardiac devices who have open heart surgery for severe heart conditions require rehabilitation. NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation offers both inpatient and outpatient cardiac rehabilitation services through the Joan and Joel Smilow Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation Center. Your doctor may recommend physical therapy to build strength and improve mobility.

Psychological Support

Relying on a cardiac device for the health of your heart can be emotionally taxing. Lifestyle changes and ongoing cardiac device monitoring require adjustments that can seem overwhelming. Your doctor can refer you to a social worker or a psychologist for one-on-one or group therapy to help you become accustomed to the device.

Nutritional Guidance

For a healthy heart, it’s important to maintain a healthy weight and eat nutritiously. Registered dietitians and nutritionists at NYU Langone can develop a diet plan to help improve and maintain your heart health.

If you need to lose weight, your doctor can refer you to NYU Langone’s Weight Management Program for assistance.

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