St. Vincent’s is first in Fairfield County to offer new heart device

A cardiac patient at St. Vincent’s Medical Center has received Fairfield County’s first implantation of the subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator (S-ICD), a new life-saving device for irregular heart rhythms that is the first defibrillator anywhere to operate without touching the heart.

Dr. Joseph Tiano, a cardiac electrophysiologist with Cardiology Physicians of Fairfield County, successfully implanted the new S-ICD device at St. Vincent’s on March 19. Tiano is the third physician in the state of Connecticut to perform this operation and the first in Fairfield County.

New hope to many

The S-ICD System gives new hope to many living with life-threatening forms of ventrical fibrillation, or V-Fib. It is the world’s first and only implantable device that provides defibrillation therapy without touching the heart.

It detects very fast and disorganized heart rhythms, known as ventricular tachyarrhythmias, and provides electrical therapy to restore the heart’s normal rhythm, preventing possible sudden cardiac arrest.

The S-ICD device itself, about the size of a cell phone battery, is placed under the skin along the left side of the breast bone, and delivers its jolt through a wire (called a lead) running just below the skin.

Because the device does not require leads into a patient’s heart, unlike earlier versions, this less invasive procedure eliminates the risk of vascular injury and significantly lowers the risk of system-wide infection.

St. Vincent’s Health Services

Founded by the Daughters of Charity in 1903, St. Vincent’s Health Services (SVHS) is a member of Ascension Health, the nation’s largest Catholic and largest nonprofit healthcare system.

The Bridgeport-based SVHS includes St. Vincent’s Medical Center, St. Vincent’s College, St. Vincent’s Special Needs Services and St. Vincent’s Medical Center Foundation.