Sonny Colbrelli has been discharged from hospital after undergoing surgery to implant a subcutaneous defibrillator (ICD) following his collapse at Volta a Catalunya.
The Bahrain Victorious rider was admitted to the Cardiology Clinic of the University of Padua on Saturday March 26, five days after needing emergency medical treatment for cardiac arrhythmia at the finish of stage 1 in Sant Feliu de Guíxols, which included chest compressions and defibrillation.
In the days immediately following the incident, initial tests at the Girona hospital where he was recovering suggested there was not too much cause for concern, but the reason for his collapse was not was still unclear.
Since his return to Italy, Colbrelli has been under the care of Professor Domenico Corrado, director of the Genetic Cardiomyopathy and Sports Cardiology Unit in Padua, a center of excellence for the diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmogenic diseases of the heart muscle. After further cardiovascular evaluation, the 31-year-old had an ICD implanted on Thursday, March 31.
“In Padua, the athlete underwent a comprehensive clinical, genetic and imaging evaluation to identify the cause of the arrhythmia that led to the cardiac arrest and the most appropriate therapy,” Professor Corrado said. “The decision to implant a lifesaving device was shared by Colbrelli who received a subcutaneous ICD. The device works to correct heart rhythm if needed in extreme cases.
What is a subcutaneous defibrillator or ICD?
An ICD is an electronic unit that sits under the skin, with wires leading to the heart, which constantly monitors heart rhythm. In the event of a rapid and/or abnormal rhythm, it delivers a pulse of electrical energy to the heart through the leads, returning the heart to a normal, healthy rhythm.