What is a lead?

A lead is a unique wire that delivers energy from a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to the heart muscle.

What is a lead extraction?

A lead extraction is the removal of one or more leads from inside the heart. Leads that are placed outside the heart during open heart surgery cannot be removed during this procedure.

Why do I need a lead extraction?

Your physician has determined that your lead or leads need to be removed for one or more of the reasons below:

  • Damage to the inside or outside of the lead.
  • Large amounts of scar tissue at the tip of the lead. This causes the lead to need more energy to function than the device (pacemaker or ICD) is able to deliver.
  • An infection where the device and/or lead is.
  • Blockage of the vein by a clot or scar tissue.

How is a lead extraction procedure performed?

There are two techniques to performing a lead extraction procedure:

  • Subclavian Approach: The subclavian approach is the most frequently used technique. The leads are extracted through an incision in the upper chest over the subclavian vein.
  • Femoral Approach: The femoral approach is used when the subclavian technique isn’t possible. The leads are removed through a small puncture in the groin over the femoral vein.

If your physician has determined that one or more leads need to be removed, contact us to schedule your consultation with Heart Rhythm Consultants, laser lead extraction specialists serving the Sarasota & Venice area.