Millions of people worldwide have a pacemaker or an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) device that delivers energy to the heart through wires called leads. Sometimes, these leads need to be removed and replaced. This process is called lead extraction.
Our cardiovascular surgeons have completed more lead extractions than any other group in Wisconsin. Each year, we safely replace the leads for more than 100 pacemakers and defibrillators. We help people return to their family, work and other daily activities.
Our cardiovascular team uses the most advanced techniques to perform lead extraction. When you need the procedure, our surgeons care for you in an advanced surgical suite, equipped with the latest tools and technology.
Your lead extraction procedure at Aurora Health Care will include:
We can perform just about any lead extraction procedure at Aurora Health Care. Learn more about the specialty heart care we provide through our Cardiac Electrophysiology department.
Pacemaker and defibrillator technology has improved over the years. These advancements mean many people who rely on such devices live a long time, which is great news.
It also means that more people need to replace devices as they wear out. Devices often need to be replaced after 6 to 10 years.
Over time, the leads that connect to a pacemaker or defibrillator can stop working the way they should. Occasionally, the lead or the device becomes infected. In either case, the leads need to be removed and replaced.
Lead extraction is a delicate operation. It requires a surgeon to carefully remove the wires from a blood vessel leading to the heart.
Every person’s lead extraction is personalized. In general, the procedure involves certain steps:
Lead extraction usually is a quick procedure. As with any surgery, you’ll need to rest and follow your doctor’s instructions afterward.
In general, after the procedure: