New Defibrillator at Methodist Dallas Protects Patients at Risk for Sudden Cardiac Arrest; Leaves Heart Untouched

Methodist Dallas Medical Center offers the world's first and only commercially available subcutaneous implantable defibrillator (S-ICD) for the treatment of patients at risk for sudden cardiac arrest. Boston Scientific’s S-ICD® System sits entirely just below the skin without the need for thin, insulated wires – known as electrodes or ‘leads’ – to be placed into the heart itself. This leaves the heart and blood vessels untouched. The S-ICD System offers physicians and patients an alternative treatment to traditional transvenous implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). It is also designed to provide the same protection from sudden cardiac arrest. Methodist Dallas is one of the first hospitals in the region to offer this innovative therapy.

The S-ICD System has two main components: (1) the pulse generator, which powers the system, monitors heart activity, and delivers a shock if needed, and (2) the electrode, which enables the device to sense the cardiac rhythm and deliver shocks when necessary. Both components are implanted just under the skin—the generator at the side of the chest, and the electrode beside the breastbone. Unlike ICDs, no wires are placed in the heart and blood vessels.

“The new S-ICD System provides implanting physicians with a new breakthrough treatment option for patients at risk of sudden cardiac arrest,” says cardiologist Amit B Guttigoli, MD., who performed the first S-ICD procedure at Methodist Dallas. “The system’s innovative design is an important new alternative that provides patients with a new minimally invasive treatment option that eliminates the need for transvenous leads.”

Sudden cardiac arrest is an abrupt loss of heart function. Most episodes are caused by the rapid and/or chaotic activity of the heart known as ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. Recent estimates show that approximately 850,000 people in the United States are at risk of SCA and indicated for an ICD device, but remain unprotected.

About Methodist Health System
Guided by the founding principles of life, learning, and compassion, Methodist Health System (Methodist) provides quality, integrated care to improve and save the lives of individuals and families throughout North Texas. Methodist Dallas Medical Center, Methodist Charlton Medical Center, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, Methodist Richardson Medical Center, and Methodist Family Health Centers are part of the nonprofit Methodist Health System, which is affiliated by covenant with the North Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church. Additional information is available at Connect with them through Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Texas law prohibits hospitals from practicing medicine. The physicians on the Methodist Health System medical staff are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Methodist Health System.

Robin Daniels