Background-The use of percutaneous lead extraction techniques in a patient with extracardiac or protruding atrial leads could have disastrous consequences. Traditionally, the management of these patients has included a median sternotomy. We describe a minimally invasive technique that involves a transatrial, retrograde laser lead extraction using a video-assisted thoracoscopic approach. Methods and Results-Between January 2004 and June 2009, 14 patients with severed leads at the clavicle and extracardiac leads or lead-caused erosions of the atrial wall were identified through chest radiograph and CT scan. There were 9 men and 5 women aged 19 to 91 years (mean age, 69.71±20.67 years). Ten devices were pacemakers, and 4 were defibrillators. Indications for extraction were 12 infections and 2 malfunctions. Mean ejection fraction was 42±17.67% (range, 10% to 65%). Time of implanted leads was 93.69±51.88 months (range, 33 to 213 months). Laser sheaths size were 12 F (7.1%), 14 F (85.7%), and 16 F (7.1%). A right-side thoracoscopy was performed under general anesthesia. A retrograde laser sheath maneuver was performed, freeing the lead from any adhesions. The lead was removed and the incision closed. One patient experienced a pleural effusion. There was no mortality, and all patients were alive and well at 1-month follow-up. Conclusions-Transatrial, retrograde laser lead extraction is a safe and effective procedure. This procedure may provide an excellent alternative to open sternotomy.
- Defibrillators implantable
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)