Single incision technique for implantation of subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillators

Yousef H. Darrat, Francis Benn, Mohsin Salih, Jignesh Shah, Kevin Parrott, Gustavo X. Morales, John C. Gurley, Claude Samy Elayi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillators (S-ICDs) have gained increasing popularity because of certain advantages over transvenous ICDs. However, while conventional ICDs require a single surgical incision to implant, S-ICDS need two or three incisions, making them less appealing. Objective: This study sought out to investigate the feasibility of using a single-incision technique to implant S-ICDs. Methods: Patients qualifying for S-ICDs were considered for a single incision. A single incision is performed by making a left inframammary incision and then the subcutaneous tissue is dissected medially toward the lower sternum. Two sutures are placed in the fascia in the xiphoid area to anchor the lead and a tunneling tool is used to dissect the tissue to place the lead parallel to the sternum. Then subcutaneous tissues are dissected down the lateral chest wall over the muscle fascia to create the pulse generator pocket in the vicinity of the fifth and sixth intercostal spaces and near the mid-axillary line. Results: Eleven patients (six males and five females) successfully underwent S-ICD implantation with a single incision without acute complications (64% for primary prevention). The mean age is 47.4 ± 15.8 years. There were no lead dislodgements, inappropriate shocks, or any other issues during a median follow-up of 10 months (interquartile range 5–17). One patient had a successful appropriate shock for ventricular fibrillation about one year after device implant. Conclusions: A single incision for subcutaneous ICDs is feasible and safe in our early experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1543-1548
Number of pages6
JournalPACE - Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • defibrillation-ICD
  • subcutaneous ICD
  • sudden cardiac death
  • ventricular fibrillation
  • ventricular tachycardia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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