What is CRT?
Cardiac Resynchronisation Therapy CRT is a common procedure to improve the heart’s ability to pump blood normally. It is of benefit to people with symptoms of heart failure (such as breathlessness with daily activities and ankle swelling), and evidence of cardiac dyssynchronisation indicated by electrical delay in the heart.
The key to CRT is implanting a device in your chest known as a biventricular pacemaker. It may be a pacemaker only or a defibrillator and a pacemaker depending on your requirements. In about two thirds of cases, CRT improves heart function but it is not possible to predict beforehand who will benefit the most.
Depending your diagnosis, CRT treatment can take one of two forms:
- CRT with a pacemaker
- CRT with a pacemaker and an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD)
The decision to implant these devices will be made by your cardiologist in consultation with you.
What’s involved in CRT?
Your GenesisCare team is focused on giving you the best experience possible through your treatment and beyond. We bring together the right people to understand your needs, so they can find the right answers and give you the best care.
However, here’s a summary of what you can broadly expect.
- It’s important not to eat or drink anything for 6 hours prior to the operation.
- We recommend you talk to your cardiologist about withholding any medicines that you take.
- A small incision is made below the collarbone and the pacemaker or defibrillator is fitted just under the skin.
- The wires are then carefully fixed in place inside the heart.
- After the procedure and when everything is checked and working properly, you’ll be able leave the hospital. This is often as quick as the next day.
Your cardiologist will arrange a regular review to check the settings of your pacemaker and to adjust any medications as required.