Many people have surgically implanted cardiac devices, such as pacemakers or implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs). Both types deliver electrical signals through wires called leads that are directly attached to the inside of the heart. A lead is meant to be permanent, but sometimes problems arise that require it to be removed or replaced. This procedure is called lead extraction.

Part of UCSF's nationally renowned heart care service, our lead extraction program is led by Dr. Byron Lee, who has been doing lead extractions since 2000. Patients are attended by a team that includes an electrophysiologist, an anesthesiologist and a heart surgeon, and these specialists use state-of-the-art equipment. Our goal is to minimize risks and help our patients get back to living their lives as quickly as possible.