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LiveVest defibrillator vs ICD surgery?
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selfcaregiver posted:
Due to Lumbar spine problems I have been considering the use of a LifeVest defibrillator instead of a ICD. I have non ischemic Dilated cardiomyopathy and a EF of 30-35%.
Tnx.
Richard
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cardiostarusa1 responded:
Hi Richard:

"I have been considering the use of a......"

Of course, the decision is ultimately up to you. Study up on the LifeVest and the ICD and discuss further with your doctor(s).

Medscape

LifeVest: A Precarious and Unproven Bridge . . . to Somewhere

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/808931

.

It is often said that an implantable cardiodefibrillator (ICD) is like having a rescue squad inside your chest. As demonstrated in clinical studies (patients meeting the current criteria), in some cases, those with a low (moderate) or very low (severe) left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), an ICD can improve the outcome (especially if the heart's electrical system goes haywire).

The % factor - Heart function

Some individuals who have a low (moderate) or a really low (severe) LVEF feel fine and function well, while others do not. LVEF is the single-most important clinical indicator of heart function, how well the heart is pumping.

Understanding Your Ejection Fraction

http://my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/disorders/heartfailure/ejectionfraction.aspx


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To get a decent estimate of LVEF, a MUGA scan is reported as being the most accurate of the non-invasive imaging.

Pertinent excerpt from an About.com article by cardiologist Richard N. Fogoros, M.D.

When is the MUGA scan more useful than other heart tests?

The advantages of the MUGA scan over other techniques (such as the echocardiogram) for measuring the LVEF are twofold
. First, the MUGA ejection fraction is highly accurate, probably more accurate than that obtained by any other technique. Second, The MUGA ejection fraction is highly reproducible. That is, if the LVEF measurement is repeated several times, nearly the same answer is always obtained. (With other tests, variations in the measured LVEF are much greater.)

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Additionally here, as applicable to the patient, in some cases, along with a doctor recommended/authorized exercise regimen (unless contraindicated), LVEF can be increased, sometimes substantially, by customizing/tweaking experimental and established prescription drug-therapy (e.g., Coreg, which showed, back in its clinical trial days, that it could boost LVEF in some individuals) and supplemental (complimentary or integrative medicine) therapy, as deemed applicable.

Just one example of complimentary medicine is the use of the supplement Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10 or ubiquinone, a vitamin-like substance) for heart failure (though currently not scientifically proven, some doctors may advise the patient to give it a try) which may/can (i.e., along with doctor directed prescription drug-therapy, and with the doctor knowing about any supplements being taken) help to improve LVEF in some, with other supplements sometimes added to the mix.

Best of luck down the road of life.

Take care,

CardioStar*

WebMD member (since 8/99)



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Patient resources

The Cardiomyopathy Association (CMA)

http://www.cardiomyopathy.org


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WebMD DOES NOT endorse any specific product, service or treatment.
 
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billh99 responded:
You might ask your doctor to see if a "leadless" or a subcutaneous ICD (s-ICD) would be appropriate for you.


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