Tomorrow I get a CRT-D

I'm new to this group, and this is my first post.  Tomorrow I am scheduled for surgery to get a CRT-D.  I have a Left Bundle Branch Block, and an EF of around 32.  I am 50 years old.  I am really nervous about the procedure and the subsequent recovery, and honestly whether it will actually work and increase my EF.  My EP seems to think I could be a "super-responder".  So far, I haven't had any symptoms, such as swelling, fatigue, or shortness of breath.  My EP thinks I probably do have some symptoms, but I've just adapted.  Any tips, words of encouragement, or similar experiences would be appreciated.  I'm really really anxious.


4 Comments

Super Responder

by AgentX86 - 2019-09-04 11:26:09

Welcome to the group, CCAMOM.  From the little you've said, I tend to agree with your EP. The surgery itself is almost always a piece of cake. Unless it's your turn for lightning to hit, you'll shake it right off. With your LBB "fixed", you should have an immediate improvement, even if you hadn't noticed a problem.

For someone like you, I think it's all attitude. Your body will be fixed, let your mind accept that. Again, assuming no rare complications, any issues caused by the procedure or device will be inconsequential.

yeah yeah,

by ROBO Pop - 2019-09-04 13:14:03

I'm surprised, most insurer's in the US won't approve a defibrillator unless you are below 30% EF.

Contrary to some people's beliefs, there's no real way to determine whether your EF will improve with a CRT. Studies show that people with a LBBB QRS delay greater than 150ms do respond best, however there's no guarantee. In my case. My EF was 20,% and QRS 185. Have had a CRT-D for 3 years and I'm paced in both ventricles 100% and my EF is now 15. Feel and look like crap.

So what exactly is it they hope to accomplish, you have no symptoms, you're functioning well so what's the gain?

My opinion, you should get the device, as you are at increased risk of sudden cardiac arrest, but don't rely on too frequently overblown benefits...it just may not be a miracle cure for you.

LBBB

by RedRocksGirl - 2019-09-05 00:24:55

I developed heart failure 3 years ago (from some random virus) and was diagnosed with LBBB and had an EF of 35%. Got it up to 40% with meds, but a year later it was down to 31%. I got my ICD placed this past January and had another echo done in March, my EF was up to 37/38%. Unlike you, I did have symptoms of fatugue, shortness of breath at times, fluid in my lungs (but otherwise no swelling from retaining water) also had a chronic cough and could feel every singnle heartbeat. I felt better IMMEDIATLY. It was amazing to me. My cardiologist feels I may be able to get my EF back into the normal range.  I feel SO great now, really like a new person and am SO happy I had it done. I think initially it came on so gradual that I didnt realize that I wasn't feeling as good as "normal". 

I'm guessing your EP is right as far as you having adapted to symptoms.

My recovery wasn't too bad, although I'm a leg amputee amputee and walk with crutches so use my pec muslces with every step of the crutches. If that hadn't been the case and I hadn't had to deal with the crutch issue, I'd consider the recovery pretty easy.  :)

Best of luck to you!

“Super-responder “ here...

by Hoser - 2019-09-05 21:31:12

I too suffered from LBBB, QRS of 172, EF of 15% with symptoms of shortness of breath, swelling in lower extremities. Spent a few days in the hospital after going to ER after some physical exertion that left me feeling like I was a goner.

Immediately after my CRT-D was implanted, the LBBB was gone according to the EKG done. My EF improved to 55-60% in subsequent echoes.

I consider myself extremely lucky, and although we cannot predict how ths treatment will work for any individual, I hope you have an experience similar to mine. It allows me to live my life without being overly concerned about this device in my chest. 

Good luck!

You know you're wired when...

You have the perfect reason to show off your chest.

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