Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) placement is surgery to put
an ICD in your chest. An ICD is a small, battery-powered device that fixes
life-threatening changes in your heartbeat. If the ICD detects a life-threatening rapid heart rhythm, it tries to slow the rhythm 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.
Your chest may be sore where the
doctor made the cut (incision) and put in the ICD. You also may have a bruise
and mild swelling. These symptoms usually get better in 1 to 2 weeks. You may
feel a hard ridge along the incision. This usually gets softer in the months
after surgery. You probably will be able to see and feel the outline of the ICD
under your skin.
You will probably be able to go back to work or
your usual routine 1 to 2 weeks after surgery. Your doctor will talk to you
about how often you will need to have the ICD checked.
have an ICD, it is important to avoid electrical devices that can stop your ICD
from working right. Check with your doctor about what you need to stay away
from, what you need to use with care, and what is okay to use. You will need to
stay away from things with strong magnetic and electrical fields such as MRI
machines, welding equipment, and power generators. You can use a cell phone,
but keep it at least 15 centimetres away from your ICD. You can
safely use most household and office electronics such as kitchen appliances,
electric power tools, and computers.
care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to
recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below
to get better as quickly as possible.
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 or nurse call line 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.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need
emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek
immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to
contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter K184 in the search box to learn more about "Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator Placement: What to Expect at Home."
Current as of:
November 21, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & John M. Miller, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
© 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.