The UNC Center for Heart & Vascular Care implants UNC’s first ‘under-the-skin’ cardiac defibrillator

The subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator minimizes risks during implantation and reduces the risk of infection.

Chapel Hill, N.C. – July 31, 2014 – A newly developed ‘under-the-skin’ cardiac defibrillator was recently implanted in a patient from Creedmoor, N.C., by UNC electrophysiologist Jennifer Schwartz, MD, assistant professor and clinician in the UNC Center for Heart & Vascular Care. It is the first time the procedure has been performed at UNC Health Care.

The subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator (S-ICD) from Boston Scientific® is designed to detect an abnormal heart rhythm with thin, insulated wires, known as ‘leads’, that are placed under the skin, not inside the heart chambers, as is found with traditional implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). The S-ICD mimics an external defibrillator by providing an electric shock when a dangerous heart rhythm is detected.

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