News & Events

Northern Light Cardiology now offering lead extraction procedure to heart device patients

Date: 04/12/2021

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is pleased to announce that our expert heart team is offering lead replacement procedures to patients who have been fitted with a heart device, such as a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). Previously, patients in Eastern, Central, Northern, and Downeast Maine would have had to travel to Southern Maine or farther to have this procedure performed.
ICD devices are fitted with special wires, known as leads, that are used to deliver energy from the implanted device to the patient’s heart, helping to control irregular heartbeat or heart rhythm disorders. Occasionally, these leads fail for a variety of reasons. The lead itself could become damaged or work less effectively over time due to stress from scar tissue or other bodily constraints. Other times, the device and leads become infected, triggering illness that may require full device extraction as a cure. In any of these instances, it is important for the leads to be extracted and replaced to keep patients safe and restore a normal heartbeat.
“Patients with infected or failing leads are typically faced with the option of either abandoning the malfunctioning system, if appropriate, or traveling to a larger city to have their device extracted, because we did not previously offer the service,” says Spyridon Akrivakis, MD, FACC, FHRS, electrophysiologist, Northern Light Cardiology. “Now, we can safely care for these patients here in Bangor, saving them valuable travel time and ensuring they’re receiving the care they need, as conveniently as possible.”
The procedure requires a multidisciplinary approach, with an electrophysiologist performing the extraction, and a heart surgeon standing by to assist as needed.
The team at Northern Light Cardiology is ready to help patients with this procedure with a referral by their primary care provider. To learn more and to reach Northern Light Cardiology, call 207.275.3800.