A novel retrograde laser extraction technique using a transatrial approach an alternative for complex lead extractions

Yasser Rodriguez, Juan D. Garisto, Roger G. Carrillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)501-505
Number of pages5
JournalCirculation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • Defibrillators implantable
  • Lasers
  • Pacemakers
  • Thoracoscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Medicine(all)


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