Subcutaneous Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (S-ICD®) System
What is an S-ICD®?
The Subcutaneous Cardioverter Defibrillator (S-ICD®) System is a small battery-powered electrical pulse generator with an electrode that continuously monitors the heart’s rhythm to prevent sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), which occurs when the heart stops beating due to a heart rhythm disorder.
The S-ICD® pulse generator and electrode are implanted subcutaneously (under the skin), eliminating the need to run the electrode through a blood vessel (transvenously) to the heart.
Compared to transvenous ICDs, the life-saving S-ICD® more accurately and safely monitors the heart rhythm, rather than individual heartbeat, and corrects heart rhythm disorders without intruding into the heart or veins.
How it works
The S-ICD® System uses the latest technology to analyze and correct the following heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias) in the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles):
- Ventricular fi brillation (VF): a rapid, irregular heartbeat caused by abnormal electrical signals from the ventricles
- Ventricular tachycardia (VT): a fast, regular heartbeat that starts in the ventricles
If left untreated, both of these conditions cause abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias), which reduce the amount of oxygen to the heart. This can be life-threatening because the arrhythmia stops the heart from beating normally, leading to sudden cardiac arrest.
Advanced technology called the INSIGHT™ algorithm enables the S-ICD® System to identify and classify the heart rhythm using three signals— not just one—for the optimal detection of abnormal heart rhythms. In this way, S-ICD® can discriminate between VT, VF and other arrhythmias to avoid inappropriate therapy.
If VF or VT causes the heart to beat too quickly and/or erratically, the S-ICD delivers life-saving electrical signals to restore a normal, regular rhythm.
When the normal heart rhythm resumes, the device’s Smart Charge recognition technology allows it to turn off the electrical signals.
What are the advantages?
Implanting the S-ICD® device and electrode under the skin has the following benefits compared to ICD devices that require implanting wires through veins:
- Leaves the heart and vasculature untouched
- Reduces the potential for systemic infection and vascular injury
- Preserves venous access
- Reduces radiation exposure for the patient and doctor because it may be implanted using anatomical landmarks, rather than image-guided fluoroscopy
- Maintains the aesthetics of the chest without limiting the range of motion
- Reduces biomechanical stress
- Provides exceptional durability and strength
Is it right for you?
The S-ICD® System offers a new choice for patients at risk for sudden cardiac arrest. This new device is:
- Effective for a majority of primary and secondary ICD patients
- Ideal for patients with primary electrical or structural heart disease
- Appropriate for a broad range of body types
Talk with your doctor to see if this procedure is right for you.
Why choose Alta Bates Summit Medical Center?
Alta Bates Summit is pioneering this technology and is the first Sutter Health affiliate to employ the S-ICD® System. Our physicians and medical teams are experts at diagnosing and treating complex cardiac heart rhythm irregularities.
To find a heart specialist:
- Call our Physician Health Match Referral Service at 510-869-6777
- Find a heart doctor online