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Overview: A Pacemaker or Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator consists of the device placed under the skin and one or more leads connecting it to the heart. A lead is a device that measures the passage of electrical signals. Leads are used in electrocardiograms to record the electrical activity of the heart. Leads are also used with pacemakers or Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator devices (ICDs) to detect abnormal beating of the heart, and to deliver electrical impulses to the heart, in order to correct the abnormal heartbeat, or rhythm. The most common reason why a pacemaker or defibrillator leads needs to be removed is bacterial infection, either on the lead itself or around the pacemaker or defibrillator. The infection may be also associated with erosion of the pacemaker or defibrillator through the skin.Learn More
Scar tissue grows around the lead within the veins and the heart. This holds the lead in place and can make difficult to remove. The procedure is usually performed under general anaesthesia so the patient is asleep. An incision is made through the old pacemaker implant scar and the pacemaker is removed. A sheath is inserted over the lead and pushed along its length. The sheath breaks up the scar tissue and allows the lead to be removed. Special sheaths can be connected to a laser, which is very effective in breaking up the scar tissue. Sometimes a tube is inserted into a vein in the neck or leg so that the lead can be snared and pulled out. In some circumstances the only way to remove the leads is by open heart surgery.
Stroke: A sudden change in the blood supply to a part of the brain, sometimes causing a loss of the ability to move particular parts of the body:Learn Less
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