Cardiac resynchronisation therapy (CRT)

If your heart fails to pump blood around your body efficiently, your consultant may recommend a CRT device

About CRT

CRT is a pacemaker or defibrillator with three leads. It improves the pumping efficiency of your heart. In some patients with heart failure the main pumping chambers beat out of time with each other. CRT has wires reaching both the right and left pumping chambers, enabling both to beat together. This is called resynchronisation.

Need to know

  • What happens during CRT? icon plus

    Having your CRT device implanted is a relatively straightforward procedure. It is usually carried out under local anaesthetic and sedation, meaning you'll be awake for the duration but very drowsy.

    Your consultant is likely to place the device under the skin near your collarbone on the left hand side of your chest. It is then attached to three wires that are guided through a blood vessel and into both the right and left ventricles (chambers) of your heart. The procedure usually takes between one and two hours. You will usually stay in hospital overnight.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your consultant will tell you how best to prepare for your procedure.
  • After your procedure icon plus

    You may be able to return home on the same day as your procedure, but most people will need to spend one night in hospital to recover. Your consultant will let you know what to expect. You should rest at home for a few days after the procedure to allow time for the area to heal.

    Your consultant will discuss this with you and let you know when you can get back to your usual routine, including work or exercise. They’ll also give you advice on any medication you may need to continue taking to manage your condition. At first you'll be able to feel the pacemaker beating in your chest. It may feel a little uncomfortable in certain positions.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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