cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) is a small, battery-powered device. It fixes
life-threatening changes in your heartbeat. If the ICD detects a life-threatening heart rhythm, it tries to get it back to normal. If the dangerous rhythm does not stop, the ICD sends an electric shock to the heart to restore a normal rhythm. The device then goes back to its watchful mode.
The doctor puts an ICD in your
chest and attaches it to thin wires, called leads. The leads carry the shocks
from the ICD to the heart.
Before the procedure, you will get
medicine to help you relax. The doctor will make an incision (cut) in the skin
just below your collarbone. The cut may be on either side of your chest.
The doctor will put the ICD leads through the cut. The leads go into a large blood
vessel in the upper chest. Then the doctor will guide the leads through the
blood vessel into the heart. The doctor will place the ICD under the skin of
your chest. He or she will attach the leads to the ICD. Then the cut will be closed with stitches.
The procedure usually takes about an hour.
You may stay in the hospital for 1 or 2 days.
You can likely
return to many of your normal activities after you get an ICD. But to stay safe, you may need
to make some changes to your normal routine. You will need to be
careful with certain types of electronic equipment. And you'll need to take extra care with medical and dental
tests and procedures. You will be given specific instructions after getting your
You may feel anxious or worried about having an ICD. This is common. You might feel better if you use techniques to help you relax. Make a plan for what to do if the ICD shocks you. And think about how the ICD will help you. Talk to your doctor about ways to help ease anxiety.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be
sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having
problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of
the medicines you take.
Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you
can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter W470 in the search box to learn more about "Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator Placement: Before Your Procedure."
Current as of:
January 27, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
© 2006-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.