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South Nassau Among First to Implant World’s Smallest, Thinnest ICD to Treat Heart Failure, Prevent Sudden Cardiac Death

South Nassau Communities Hospital’s Center for Cardiovascular Health is among the first in the U.S. and the first hospital on Long Island to treat patients with a recently FDA approved implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to treat heart failure and prevent sudden cardiac death. The device is recognized as the world’s smallest and thinnest.

“The new device allows me to choose multiple therapeutic options to match the specific patient needs,” said Lawrence Kanner, MD, FACC, director of Electrophysiology and Arrhythmia Services at South Nassau. “It is also a high-energy device that offers advanced battery technology with excellent longevity, and is backed by the longest warranty in the industry, up to 10 years.”

This next-generation device includes options to promote appropriate therapy, reduce right ventricular pacing, and improve patient management. Additionally, the device streamlines the implant procedure with the new standard defibrillation connection system. The connector system is designed to reduce the time and number of steps required for the implant procedure, combining three separate lead terminals into one integrated connector and reducing the number of connections and setscrews needed in the device header. This keeps the device smaller and minimizes unnecessary bulk in the surgical pocket.

ICDs and Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Defibrillators (CRT-D) have been proven in clinical studies to save and extend lives by preventing sudden cardiac death (SCD) and treating heart failure. Each year, SCD claims the lives of up to 460,000 people in the U.S. alone, and more people die from SCD than from lung cancer, breast cancer and AIDS combined.

Nearly 22 million people worldwide currently suffer from heart failure, a debilitating condition in which the heart weakens and gradually loses the ability to pump blood effectively. Approximately one million new cases of heart failure are diagnosed annually worldwide, making it the most rapidly growing cardiovascular disorder.

In addition to ICDs, Dr. Kanner and electrophysiologists at South Nassau use an array of advanced technologies to provide timely, accurate diagnoses and therapies to treat the range of cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms) and defibrillator maintenance. Services include diagnostic studies, implantation and testing of pacemakers, and radiofrequency catheter ablation for the treatment of potentially fatal irregular heartbeats.

The Center for Cardiovascular Health also performs a wide range of coronary and peripheral interventional procedures, including balloon angioplasty, stenting, and thrombolytic therapy. When providing balloon angioplasty in an emergency, the center averages a door-to-balloon-time of approximately 68 minutes, which is 22 minutes faster than the medically recommended door-to-balloon time benchmark of 90 minutes. Imaging specialists at the center are well-versed in nuclear cardiology (which generates images of the heart at work, during exercise, and at rest), echocardiogram via the trans-thoracic method (a non-invasive, highly accurate and quick assessment of the overall health of the heart in which a probe is placed on the chest wall of the patient to produce images of the heart), and transesophageal echocardiogram (which uses a specialized probe containing an ultrasound transducer at its tip that is passed into the esophagus and is used to provide clear views of areas of the heart that would be difficult to view transthoracically). The center’s cardiac imaging services also include stress echocardiogram (which involves exercising on a treadmill or stationary bicycle while the patient is monitored by technology using high-frequency sound waves that produces a graphic outline of the heart's movement, valves, and chambers) and diagnostic peripheral vascular ultrasound (noninvasive diagnostic technique used to evaluate the health of blood vessels) for patients with peripheral arterial disease.

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