An implantable cardiac defibrillator is a device that treats life-threatening fast cardiac arrhythmias (tachyarrythmias) with pacing and shocks.

An implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) is a device placed under the skin with leads that go into the heart that treats life-threatening fast cardiac arrhythmias (tachyarrythmias) with pacing and shocks.
Why

When the muscle of the heart has been damaged, fast dangerous arrhythmias can occur. These arrhythmias can result in blackouts or even sudden death. Depending on your situation, your doctor may recommend an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) to prevent these fast heart rhythms.

Preparation

Fast for 6 hours. Your doctor may alter some of your medications prior to the test. Bring your list of medications on the day of the test. You will be asked to sign a consent form after having the risks and benefits of the implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) procedure explained.

How is it done

An implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) is inserted in a hospital and requires an overnight stay. Under local anaesthesia and/or a sedative, an incision is made just below the collarbone and the implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) generator is inserted under the skin. The wires are then carefully fixed in place inside the heart and attached to the implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) generator. After, the implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) is then checked and optimised. You’ll be able leave the hospital often the next day.

The dressing will be removed usually after 7 days. In order to allow the leads to fix inside the heart, you will be asked not to move your arm above your shoulders on the implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) side for 2 weeks. Your cardiologist will arrange a ICD review to check the settings of your ICD and to adjust any medications as required.

Duration

1 hour.