The long-term impact of implantable device-related complications on the patient outcome has not been thoroughly evaluated. The aims of this retrospective, bi-centre study were to analyse the rate and nature of device-related complications requiring surgical revision in a large series of patients undergoing device implantation, elective generator replacement and pacing system upgrade and to systematically assess the impact of such complications on patient outcome and healthcare utilization.Methods and results
Data from 2671 consecutive procedures (1511 device implantations, 1034 elective generator replacements, and 126 pacing system upgrades) performed between January 2006 and March 2011 were retrospectively analysed. The outcome measures recorded were complication-related mortality, number of re-operations, need for complex surgical procedures, number of re-hospitalizations, and additional hospital treatment days. Over a median follow-up of 27 months, the overall rate of complications was 2.8% per procedure-year [9.5% in cardiac resynchronisation therapy (CRT) device implantation, 6.1% in pacing system upgrade, 3.5% in implantable cardioverter defibrillator implantation, 1.7% in pacemaker implantation, and 1.7% in generator replacement). The procedure with the highest risk of complications was CRT device implantation (odds ratio: 6.6; P < 0.001); these complications primarily involved coronary sinus lead dislodgement and device infection. Patients with complications had a significantly higher number of device-related hospitalizations (2.3 ± 0.6 vs. 1.0 ± 0.1; P < 0.001) and hospital treatment days (15.7 ± 25.1 vs. 3.6 ± 1.1; P < 0.001) than those without complications. Device infection was the complication with the greatest negative impact on patient outcome.Conclusion
Cardiac resynchronisation therapy implantation was the procedure with the highest risk of complications requiring surgical revision. Complications were associated with substantial clinical consequences and a significant increase in the number and length of hospitalizations.