(Sioux Falls, SD) - Sanford Heart Hospital cardiologist, Scott Pham, MD, FACC, performed the first laser lead extraction procedure in the state of South Dakota in March. In order to perform this procedure, Dr. Pham used a new state-of-the-art technology that uses a laser to remove one or more cardiac leads from inside the heart. A lead is a special wire or wires that deliver energy to the heart muscle. When leads are not working properly, it can cause the pacemaker/defibrillator to malfunction. The leads may need to be removed because of infection.
During the procedure, a circle of fibers that emit pulses of energy travels over the lead. A “cool” ultraviolet laser light is used to safely, effectively and efficiently dissolve scar tissue that binds the lead to the body. Once the scar tissue is dissolved, the lead can be safely removed.
“Laser lead extraction offers patients with implanted cardiac devices a more sophisticated and minimally invasive way to manage or replace cardiac leads,” said Scott Pham, MD, FACC, cardiologist and electrophysiologist with Sanford Heart Hospital. “Quicker recovery, high success rates and reduced risks of complications make this option a better alternative than traditional surgical methods.
” This technology has been used in the U.S. and Europe in more than 45,000 successful procedures and is an important tool to manage lead-related issues that may arise in patients.
About Sanford Heart Hospital
For more than 30 years, the Sanford heart program has lead the way in patient care and state-of-the-art technology. Sanford has brought to this region such procedures as open-heart surgery, catheterization and mobile cardiovascular services. In October of 2009, Sanford broke ground on a new Heart Hospital. Attached directly to Sanford USD Medical Center, the 205,000-square-foot Sanford Heart Hospital will include 58 inpatient beds, cardiovascular operating rooms, catheterization (cath) labs and clinic and outpatient services. The Sanford Heart Hospital is expected to open in 2011. For more information, visit www.BeHeartSmart.org.