Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT): Biventricular Pacemaker | MedStar Health

Treating heart failure with a biventricular pacemaker

Cardiac resynchronization therapy, or CRT, is a treatment for heart failure. When the heart’s two lower chambers, the ventricles, don’t pump at the same time, the heart’s pumping power is decreased. In CRT, we use a device called a biventricular pacemaker to keep the chambers pumping together.

Our Electrophysiology Program is staffed by world-renowned experts in providing CRT and is the leading referral program in the region. The doctors are internationally recognized for their research and are involved with clinical trials that test the next generation of treatments.

How cardiac resynchronization therapy works


Image of cardiologists in an operating room

Your doctor will implant the biventricular pacemaker into your chest with a minor surgical procedure. You’ll receive medication to numb the area and help you relax, but you won’t be asleep.

Your doctor will make an incision near your collarbone and insert special wires called leads, which will be threaded to your heart. These leads will be connected to a pulse generator, which is a type of battery placed under the skin of your chest. The leads will detect if your heart isn’t beating correctly, and the pulse generator will shock the heart back into a normal rhythm.

After the procedure, you’ll be admitted to the hospital and will stay overnight. We’ll test your device to make sure it’s working properly before you go home. You’ll be able to return to your normal activities in a few days.

Conditions

Heart Failure

Heart failure occurs when your heart doesn’t fill with enough blood or doesn’t pump enough blood throughout your body.

Ischemic Cardiomyopathy

Ischemic cardiomyopathy is an enlargement and weakening of the heart’s left ventricle. This decreases the heart’s ability to pump blood throughout the body.

Tests

Chest X-ray

Chest X-rays use a small dose of radiation to create pictures of the structures inside the chest, including the lungs, heart, and chest wall.

Echocardiogram

An echocardiogram uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of your heart.

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

An electrocardiogram, also known as an ECG, measures the heart’s electrical activity.

Our locations

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MedStar Montgomery Medical Center

18101 Prince Philip Dr.
Olney, MD 20832

MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center

7503 Surratts Rd.
Clinton, MD 20735

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

201 E. University Pkwy.
Baltimore, MD 21218

MedStar Washington Hospital Center

110 Irving St. NW
Washington, D.C., 20010

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

3800 Reservoir Rd. NW
Washington, DC, 20007

Read our Cardiovascular Performance & Outcomes Booklet

Ask MHVI

Have questions for our heart and vascular program? Email us at AskMHVI@medstar.net.