Sometimes, pacemaker and ICD leads stop working properly due to damage
or scar tissue accumulation. Infections can also develop at the site of
a lead. In these cases the lead needs to be removed and/or replaced.
Typically, leads are extracted through an incision in the chest. When
this is not possible, electrophysiologists use a catheter that is fed
through the femoral artery in the groin to the heart. Once in position,
they administer laser energy – or use a mechanical tool – to reduce any
scar tissue and extract the lead. The Lankenau Heart Institute has one
of the most experienced pacemaker/ICD lead management teams in the
For more information, call 1.866.CALL.MLH.