Subcutaneous ICD implantation under ultrasound-guided serratus anterior plane block: Single-center experience in the Netherlands

J. Elders*, H. AlHashimi, M. Gomes, I. Panhuizen, S. van Kuijk, K. Vernooy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction: To avoid general anesthesia (GA) and improve postoperative pain management for subcutaneous implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (S-ICD) implantation there is a growing interest for alternative methods. We describe the first experience in the Netherlands of S-ICD implantation under Ultrasound-guided Serratus Anterior Plane Block (US-SAPB).Methods: US-SAPB was performed 1 hour before S-ICD implantation. The two-incision technique was used and a pocket beneath the latissimus dorsi muscle was surgically created. Lidocaine was used to provide anesthesia of the skin. Sedation during defibrillation testing (DFT) was induced by intravenous Propofol. Periprocedural pain experience was monitored using the Numerical Rating Scale for Pain (NRS-Pain). The results were compared with a control group of patients undergoing S-ICD implantation under GA.Results: Forty consecutive patients (29 Male/11 Female, median age 59 years (range 34-84 years), median body mass index 26 (range 17-41) underwent S-ICD implantation; Twenty patients under US-SAPB and twenty under GA. Median procedure time was 42 min. (range 28-60 min.) with no differences between both groups. In both groups implantations went successful and defibrillation was accomplished using 65 J. US-SAPB was successful in 19 of the 20 patients and GA was successful in all cases. Median NRS-Pain in the US-SAPB group was 2 (range 2-6) and in the GA group 4 (range 2-6). In the US-SAPB group 5 patients required additional opioids post-operatively compared to 10 patients in the GA group.Conclusions: S-ICD implantation under US-SAPB is feasible, safe and reduces the need for postoperative opioids significantly. S-ICD implantation under US-SAPB seems a good alternative for GA.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100949
Number of pages5
JournalIJC Heart and Vasculature
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022


  • Serratus anterior plane block
  • Subcutaneous implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
  • Primary prevention
  • Implantation technique

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