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An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a small, battery-operated device that monitors the heart’s rhythm and provides appropriate treatment. Most ICDs have both pacemaker and defibrillator functions. If the heart beats too slowly, the ICD can help the heart beat at a normal pace. If the heart begins to beat in a disorganized way, the device provides a shock to restore a normal rhythm. ICD implantation is the surgical insertion of an ICD.
A sedative will be given by IV to help you relax. The area where the ICD is to be implanted will be washed with antiseptic. Local anesthesia will be injected to numb the area. A small incision will be made below the collarbone on the left or right side.
A wire, called a lead, will be threaded through a vein in the upper chest to the heart. An x-ray monitor will be used to watch the lead move through the vein to the heart. The signals between the heart and the ICD will be carried on this lead.
A pocket will be created under the skin at the incision site. The ICD will be implanted into the pocket.
When the ICD is in place, the sedation will be increased. The ICD will be tested to make sure that it shocks the heart appropriately. Every precaution will be taken to ensure that this is a safe process. When it is determined the ICD is working properly and in the right place, the incision will be closed with stitches.
You may feel some pushing and tugging on the skin during the procedure. The anesthesia should minimize any pain. After the procedure, you may experience some pain or stiffness at the incision site. Pain medication may be prescribed.
Heat therapy, which is often used in physical therapy
High-voltage or radar machinery, such as electric arc welders, high-tension wires, radar installations, or smelting furnaces
Contact with radio or television transmitters
Prolonged contact with household appliances, such as microwave ovens
Do not carry a cell phone in a pocket directly over the device. Keep your phone on the side away from the device. Also, headphones worn with MP3 players may cause interference.
Turn off car or boat motors when working on them. They may temporarily confuse your device.
Tell your doctor or dentist that you have a device before a surgical procedure.
Check with your doctor about the safety of going through airport security detectors with your particular device. Do not linger in security devices.
Be sure to follow your doctor’s
You will get an ID card that contains important information about your ICD. It is important that you show this card to any doctor, nurse, dentist, or other healthcare professional at the beginning of an office visit or hospital admission.
If your heart requires a shock from your ICD, you may be able to feel it. You may feel lightheaded before the shock. This is from the heart rhythm. The shock administered by the ICD may feel like a light thump or a strong kick in the chest. If you feel a shock, try to stay calm and sit or lie down. If someone is with you, ask him or her to stay. If you feel okay after the shock, contact your doctor’s office to let them know. This is not an emergency. Your doctor may want you to come in for a check-up, particularly if this is the first shock you have received. If you receive multiple shocks in a row or multiple shocks in a day, you should go to the emergency room.
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Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). Cleveland Clinic Heart Center website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Accessed June 25, 2013.
Implantable cardioverter defibrillator. Heart Rhythm Society website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Accessed June 25, 2013.
Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). Stanford University School of Medicine Medical Center website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Accessed June 25, 2013.
Pacemakers and defibrillators: Frequently asked questions. University of Iowa Virtual Hospital website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated February 2011. Accessed June 25, 2013.
Reiffel JA, Dizon, J. The implantable cardioverter-defibrillator: patient perspective.
Winters SL, et al. Consensus statement on indications, guidelines for use, and recommendations for follow-up of implantable cardioverter defibrillators.
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11/19/2008 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance
https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Lee S, Ransford B, Fu K, Tadyoshi K, Maisel W. Abstract 662: electromagnetic interference (EMI) of implanted cardiac devices by MP3 player headphones.
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