Lead Extraction Program
Hackensack University Medical Center has had an active cardiac lead extraction program using the latest extraction techniques including the use of fiber optic laser sheaths.
Cardiac leads are thin wires coated with insulation which connects a pacemaker or implantable cardiac defibrillator to the heart muscle. (See pacemaker or ICD section) While cardiac leads are very reliable there are circumstances where it is necessary to remove or replace them. These include:
Pacemaker or ICD infections: It is often necessary to remove the generator and leads to cure an infection.
Lead failure: While cardiac leads are very reliable there are times when a lead can fracture or malfunction and it is necessary to remove and replace it.
A manufacturer advisory on your lead: If an advisory has been issued for your lead because of a higher risk of failure then normal it may, after consultation with your physician, be recommended that it be removed.
Venous obstruction: There are rare instances when leads can interfere with the flow of blood back to the heart. Leads may need to be removed to clear the path for adequate blood flow back to the heart.