Inappropriate Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator Therapy With the Use of an Underbody Electrosurgery Dispersive Electrode

J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2022 Jan;36(1):236-241. doi: 10.1053/j.jvca.2021.02.031. Epub 2021 Feb 13.


Perioperative management of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators is an important part of anesthetic care. Society recommendations and expert consensus statements exist to aid clinicians, and they have identified the umbilicus as an important landmark in decision-making. Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator antitachycardia therapy may not need to be deactivated for infraumbilical surgery because electromagnetic interference is unlikely to occur. The authors present two cases in which inappropriate antitachycardia therapy occurred intraoperatively with use of an underbody dispersive electrode, even though both surgeries were infraumbilical. The authors also present two cadaver models to demonstrate how monopolar electrosurgery below the umbilicus is sensed using both traditional and underbody dispersive electrosurgical return electrodes.

Keywords: ICD; Megadyne pad; antitachycardia therapy; bovie; implantable cardioverter-defibrillator; shock; underbody dispersive electrode pad.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Defibrillators, Implantable* / adverse effects
  • Electrosurgery
  • Humans