A new treatment for people with heart failure that was tested in Iowa combines two previous types of treatment. The new device combines a pacemaker to keep the heart in rhythm, along with a defibrillator to shock the heart back to life if it stops. Dr. Steven Bailin practices at the Iowa Heart Center in Des Moines, one of the clinical test sites for the new device. Bailin says the device provides additional stimulation for the heart as needed.It involves adding a wire into the left side of the heart to go with the normal pacemaker lead on the right side. He says that synchronizes the beating of the sick heart to act more normally.He says patients find they have more freedom, without the fear of heart failure.He says patients feel better and can do more activities with less medication. He says there’s also evidence they have to spend less time in the hospital. Bailin says the only drawback is a more complicated surgery.The device is installed like a pacemaker and provides the doctor with the challenge of finding the right vein on the left side of the heart. Bailin says he sees three to four people a week who’re good candidates to have the new device installed.
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