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Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)


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Your heart pumps oxygenated blood throughout your body.

Rhythmic electrical impulses inside your heart cause its muscular walls to contract, ensuring your heart beats steadily.

If problems occur with your heart’s electrical system, you may develop an abnormal, potentially life-threatening heartbeat, called arrhythmia.

Your doctor may want you to have an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, or ICD, to restore the heart’s normal rhythm and prevent sudden cardiac death.

During the procedure, your doctor will thread a small wire through a vein until it reaches your right ventricle. The wires continuously monitor the heart’s rhythm.

After verifying the wire is in the correct location and works properly, your doctor will attach the wire to the ICD generator.

Then, your doctor will insert the ICD device under the skin of your chest below the collarbone.

The battery-powered ICD constantly monitors your heartbeat using a computer.

If a life threatening arrhythmia occurs, the ICD delivers an electrical shock to your heart resetting your heartbeat back to normal.

The ICD can also be programmed to “pace” the heart and restore its natural rhythm.