An implantable defibrillator is needed for people prone to suffering dangerous cardiac arrhythmia, such as ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia. This mostly affects people with severe heart disease. Above all, pronounced cardiac insufficiency following a heart attack or heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy) are predisposed to such dangerous arrhythmia. After a successful resuscitation, a defibrillator is usually also needed to prevent or treat further life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia as required. Under certain conditions, it is beneficial in the recovery from cardiac insufficiency to implant a special defibrillator or pacemaker (cardiac resynchronization therapy, or CRT).
Whether or not you would benefit from having a defibrillator can be confirmed by your cardiologist. The defibrillator is – similar to a pacemaker – implanted beneath the skin of the chest while under local anesthetic. The electrodes are passed through veins into the heart and anchored in the different ventricles of the heart. This operation has been routinely carried out by Dr. Matula over the past 18 years during a short stay in the Nymphenburg Cardiac Catheterization Lab at the Dritter Orden Clinic.
Dr. Matula extensively studied defibrillator therapy at Vanderbilt University in the USA during the 1990s, making countless contributions to the further development of the then-new devices.