Having founded the first course last year, it was a pleasure to direct the 2nd Advanced Surgical Techniques for Subcutaneous Implantable Defibrillator (ICD) implantation at the Vaselius Centre Bristol and in collaboration with Boston Scientific. We had Consultant Cardiologists from all around the UK attend and this was a real coming together of expertise as well as faculty made up of cardiac surgeons, plastic surgeons and cardiologists.
As well as the usual components of surgical skills, anatomy (including live dissection) and device implantation, for this course there was also the surprise presence of the US team who demonstrated the upcoming modular system. This will allow implantation of a new generation leadless transcatheter pacemaker that will remotely link and communicate with the subcutaneous ICD, allowing for pacing as well as defibrillation. This gives options to patients who may require upgrade of either modular component in the future.
It's clear from the direction of technology travel that leadless and subcutaneous devices will become increasingly popular. This parallels the local clinical expansion of our subcutaneous service between the Cardiology department at the Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Foundation Trust and in collaboration with the team at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon.
The next course is being planned for autumn this year. Implanting physicians who are interested can contact their local Boston Scientific representative.