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Beebe Performs First Biventricular Pacemaker Procedure in Delaware


Does the rhythm of your heart feel off sometimes? We encourage you to talk to your primary care physician or cardiologist about any heart concerns you might have.

When a patient’s heart rhythm gets knocked off course, either from a cardiac event or from chronic disease, it is often an electrophysiology team that performs a procedure to get the rhythm back on track.

At Beebe Healthcare, the electrophysiology and interventional cardiology team is constantly advancing the care it provides to patients with abnormal heart rhythms. The team uses many technologies to correct rhythm issues, based on the patient’s health issues, type of abnormal rhythm, and best practices.

Recently, this team at Beebe completed the first biventricular His-bundle pacing procedure in Delaware.

The His bundle is an area in the heart that helps regulate the electrical system of the heart. This small bundle of nerve cells helps each person naturally allow for both halves of the heart to beat in unison, or synchronously. Studies dating back to the 1970s explored the importance of the His bundle and found that it could be stimulated to resynchronize hearts which are beating “out of sync.”

While the studies show benefit from using this approach, many physicians still do not do procedures utilizing the His bundle because they are technically challenging and not suitable for all patients. For some patients, including those who do not have open vein pathways to the heart, stimulating the His bundle via a pacemaker lead insertion is the best option to restore synchrony in the heart beats.


Regulating the Rhythm of the Heart

Determining what procedure to use to correct heart rhythm issues is a delicate balance. The electrophysiology team must look at many variables, including the patient’s overall health, whether there is access to the heart via the veins, and what type of heart rhythm disorder the patient has.

As we age, the heart may get tired due to disease. This aging of the heart can cause a slight change in the heart rhythm.

If the rhythm gets too out of sync, then the electrophysiology team may need to install a pacemaker to help stimulate the heart muscle back into a normal rhythm. Normal pacemaker procedures use two leads – or wires – to stimulate the left and right sides of the heart. This helps the heart regulate its rhythm from side to side.

In other cases, the heart rhythm might need help from left to right sides and from top to bottom. For these patients, in addition to a pacemaker, the team may also utilize a third lead – or wire – to help stimulate the His bundle. This is the biventricular procedure, which includes the two traditional leads used in a pacemaker patient, plus a third lead to the His bundle. The third lead allows the natural electrical system of the heart to help regulate the heart rhythm. The His bundle pacing lead provides another tool to help restore normal cardiac function to a diseased heart.