News | May 09, 2014

Cardiac Lead Extraction Celebrates 25-Year Anniversary

Pacemaker Lead Extraction Cook Medical

May 9, 2014 — A quarter century ago, doctors treating patients with implanted cardiac pacemakers had a big problem. Their patients were outliving the complex electrical devices that gave them an acceptable quality of life.

Pacemaker lead wires that deliver electricity to the heart broke, effectively stopping the pacemaker from functioning. Old leads could harbor sometimes-fatal infections that were difficult to treat if the lead was left in place. And because these were such sick patients to begin with, no one had anticipated the need to extract faulty leads years or even decades later. After only a year or two, leads can become trapped in place by scar tissue and increasing amounts of calcium build-up, making extraction challenging.

Medicine had no standard tools or techniques for the procedure then. One pioneer in the field says removing a bad lead back then was “a dark art.”

But by the mid-1980s, physicians, in cooperation with industry, began developing specialized mechanical lead extraction tools such as the locking stylet and the telescoping sheath to improve the procedure. They honed in on standardized extraction techniques. Working with Cook Medical, they pioneered a new medical procedure — cardiac lead extraction. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the first commercially available mechanical lead extraction devices.

As more pacemakers and defibrillators are implanted each year, the need for lead removal continues to grow. Currently, there are more than seven million cardiac devices implanted in patents worldwide. Each year another one million patients receive a pacemaker or defibrillator. Patients are receiving implants at younger ages, increasing the length of time these devices are implanted. In the next year alone, 10-15,000 cardiac leads will require extraction.

Drs. Charles Byrd, Charles Love, Ray Schaerf and Bruce Wilkoff and Cook Medical’s Lou Goode were among the first to see the need.

“This was a time when a band of physicians was working to fix a very serious medical problem, and they came to us for help,” said Goode, now global leader of Cook Medical’s Lead Extraction clinical division. “And by working together, we created a standardized set of tools to extract leads more safely, and the clinical procedure to use those devices.”

“We have such better tools now,” said Wilkoff. “In the beginning, before standardized devices or techniques, every procedure was an adventure.”

To help educate physicians and patients on the history of this medical innovation, Cook has created an educational website commemorating the anniversary.

“Pacemaker technology will continue to change and so will the procedure. In the future, more and more devices will be implanted. Someone will need to figure out how to retrieve these devices, and we’re up to the challenge,” said Goode.

For more information: www.cookmedical.com

Related Content

A view of the EPD Solutions catheter ablation system image guidance. It displays the catheter within a pre-acquired 3D segmented CT image. The D700 system provides a real-time lesion assessment tool that predicts transmurality and permanency of lesions, pre- and immediately post-ablation.

A view of the EPD Solutions catheter ablation system image guidance. It displays the catheter within a pre-acquired 3D segmented CT image. The D700 system provides a real-time lesion assessment tool that predicts transmurality and permanency of lesions, pre- and immediately post-ablation.

News | EP Lab | June 05, 2018
June 5, 2018 — Philips Healthcare has signed an agreement to acquire EPD Solutions, a provider of image-guidance in c
A recent study shows the Baylis NRG radiofrequency (RF) Transseptal puncture catheter has a lower incidence of embolism in EP cases.
News | EP Lab | May 21, 2018
May 21, 2018 — A recent study published in Heart and Vessels has found that the use of the Baylis Medical NR
Myocarditis is an Under-recognized Etiology of Symptomatic Premature Ventricular Arrhythmia (PVCs). #HRS #HRS2018
News | EP Lab | May 18, 2018
May 18, 2018 — A significant number of patients with symptomatic premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) have under
Novel Antibiotics Can Help Lower EP Device Infection Rates. Pictured here is an ICD. Implantation of pacemakers, ICDs and the related cardiac leads opens patients to infection risk.

Implantation of pacemakers, ICDs and the related cardiac leads opens patients to infection risk.

News | EP Lab | May 17, 2018
May 10, 2018 – A new study is the first to test the clinical effectiveness of incremental peri-operative antibiotics
The Apple Watch Series 2, Samsung Galaxy Gear S3 and the Fitbit Charge 2 were all able to properly diagnose the very rapid heart beats involved in  paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT). #HRS2018

The Apple Watch Series 2, Samsung Galaxy Gear S3 and the Fitbit Charge 2 were all able to properly diagnose the very rapid heart beats involved in  paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT).  

News | EP Lab | May 16, 2018
May 16, 2018 — A new study is the first to validate the accuracy of wrist-worn wearable devices in measuring induced
LivaNova Completes Sale of Cardiac Rhythm Management (CRM - electrophysiology) Business to MicroPort Scientific
News | EP Lab | April 30, 2018
April 30, 2018 — LivaNova announced it completed the sale of its cardiac rhythm management (CRM) business to MicroPor
LivaNova Enters Binding Letter of Intent to Sell Cardiac Rhythm Management Business
News | EP Lab | January 26, 2018
January 26, 2018 — LivaNova PLC and MicroPort Scientific Corp.
Societies Detail Treatment for Patients With Ventricular Arrhythmias
News | EP Lab | October 30, 2017
The American College of Cardiology, along with the American Heart Association and the Heart Rhythm Society, published...
Baylis Medical and Siemens Co-Sponsor Transseptal Access Training Course
News | EP Lab | October 18, 2017
Baylis Medical Co. Inc. and Siemens Healthineers are co-sponsoring a first-of-its kind training program aimed at...
Spectranetics Initiates Class I Recall for Bridge Occlusion Balloon Catheter
News | EP Lab | September 27, 2017
Spectranetics is recalling its Bridge Occlusion Balloon Catheter due to the possibility of a blocked guidewire lumen in...
Overlay Init