- What Is
- Side Effects
What is an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD)?
An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) is an electronic device that tracks the heart rate and restores a normal rhythm if required. It is the first-line treatment for patients who are at risk of sudden cardiac death. ICD is useful in reducing the death rate amongst patients suffering from:
Why do I need an ICD?
ICD is recommended if you had the following conditions:
How does an ICD work?
It detects and corrects the abnormal rhythm of the heart. It works 24 hours a day. ICD works in the following ways:
- For slow heartbeats, it works as a pacemaker (to help control abnormal heart rhythms) and sends small signals to the heart.
- For faster heartbeats, it sends one or more large shocks (defibrillation) to correct the abnormal rhythm.
- New devices of ICD offer sophisticated functions and better control of heartbeats.
How long can you live with an implanted defibrillator?
You need to live with an ICD for the rest of your life. Hence, it is important to have regular check-ups and monitoring every three months to ensure the proper functioning of an ICD. You can resume a near-normal lifestyle.
You have to be aware of machines or activities that can affect your ICD (e.g., airport security machines or TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machines. Machines with strong magnetic fields can disturb an ICD.
Ask your physician regarding the dos and don’ts after an ICD implantation.
What are the side effects of a defibrillator?
The side effects of placing an ICD are:
- Arteriovenous fistula (an abnormal connection between the artery and the vein)
- Blood clots in the arteries or veins
- Injury to the lung, a collapsed lung, or bleeding in the lung cavities
- Developing a hole in the blood vessels
- Infection of the system
- Bleeding from the pocket
- High defibrillation shock or failure to defibrillate
- Rejection phenomena
- Oversensing or undersensing the heartbeats can lead to shocks or failure in treatment respectively
- Surgical complications at the incision site such as bleeding, infection, inflammation, and blood clots
- Obstruction of the major vein (superior vena cava) of the heart
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top How Long Can You Live With Implanted Defibrillator Related Articles
Congenital Heart DefectsCongenital heart defects are heart problems that are present at birth. Genetics may play a role in some heart defects. Symptoms can range from nonexistent to severe and life-threatening. Fatigue, rapid breathing, and decreased blood circulation are a few possible symptoms of congenital heart defects. Many cases do not require any treatment. Procedures using catheters and surgery may be used to repair severe heart defects.
Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)Congestive heart failure (CHF) refers to a condition in which the heart loses the ability to function properly. Heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, myocarditis, and cardiomyopathies are just a few potential causes of congestive heart failure. Signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure may include fatigue, breathlessness, palpitations, angina, and edema. Physical examination, patient history, blood tests, and imaging tests are used to diagnose congestive heart failure. Treatment of heart failure consists of lifestyle modification and taking medications to decrease fluid in the body and ease the strain on the heart. The prognosis of a patient with congestive heart failure depends on the stage of the heart failure and the overall condition of the individual.
Coronary Heart Disease Screening Tests (CAD)
Coronary heart disease or coronary heart disease (CAD) screening tests can be used to potentially prevent a heart attack or cardiac event in a person without heart disease symptoms, and can assist in diagnosing heart disease in individuals with heart disease symptoms. Examples of coronary heart disease tests include:
- electrocardiogram (ECC, EKG),
- exercise stress test,
- radionuclide stress test,
- stress echocardiography,
- pharmacologic stress test,
- CT coronary angiogram, and
- coronary angiogram.
Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction)A heart attack happens when a blood clot completely obstructs a coronary artery supplying blood to the heart muscle. A heart attack can cause chest pain, heart failure, and electrical instability of the heart.
Heart Attack PreventionHeart disease and heart attacks can be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle with diet, exercise, and stress management. Symptoms of heart attack in men and women include chest discomfort and pain in the shoulder, neck, jaw, stomach, or back.
Heart Attack Pathology: Photo EssayA heart attack is a layperson's term for a sudden blockage of a coronary artery. This photo essay includes graphics, pictures, and illustrations of diseased heart tissue and the mechanisms that lead to coronary artery disease, and possible heart attack. A coronary artery occlusion may be fatal, but most patients survive it. Death can occur when the occlusion leads to an abnormal heartbeat (severe arrhythmia) or death of heart muscle (extensive myocardial infarction).
Heart Attack Symptoms and Early Warning Signs
Recognizing heart attack symptoms and signs can help save your life or that of someone you love. Some heart attack symptoms, including left arm pain and chest pain, are well known but other, more nonspecific symptoms may be associated with a heart attack. Nausea, vomiting, malaise, indigestion, sweating, shortness of breath, and fatigue may signal a heart attack. Heart attack symptoms and signs in women may differ from those in men.
Cardiac Arrest: What You Should KnowCardiac arrest is a serious medical emergency that requires immediate medical care. Use this WebMD slideshow to know whether you are at risk for cardiac arrest and what you can do if it happens to a loved one.
Heart Disease SlideshowHeart disease prevention includes controlling risk factors like diet, exercise, and stress. Heart disease symptoms in women may differ from men. Use a heart disease risk calculator to determine your heart attack risk.
Heart failure (congestive) is caused by many conditions including coronary artery disease, heart attack, cardiomyopathy, and conditions that overwork the heart. Symptoms of heart failure include
- congested lungs,
- fluid and water retention,
- fatigue and weakness, and
- rapid or irregular heartbeats.
There are two types of congestive heart failure, systolic or left-sided heart failure; and diastolic or right-sided heart failure. Treatment, prognosis, and life-expectancy for a person with congestive heart failure depends upon the stage of the disease.
Heart Failure QuizWhat is heart failure? Learn about this dangerous condition, as well as who is at risk, and what to do about it.
Am I Having a Heart Attack? Symptoms of Heart DiseaseHeart attacks symptoms vary greatly for men and women, from anxiety and fatigue to nausea and sweating. Learn the warning signs of a heart attack and know the symptoms that may require an immediate trip to the hospital.
Stress and Heart DiseaseThe connection between stress and heart disease is not clear. Stress itself may be a risk factor, or high levels of stress may make risk factors for heart disease worse. The warning signs of stress can be physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral. Reducing stressors in an individuals life not only can lead to a more productive life, but may also decrease the risk for heart disease and causes of heart disease.
Cardiac Arrest QuizTake the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Quiz. Learning about this potentially deadly condition may save a life.
Sudden Cardiac ArrestSudden cardiac arrest is an unexpected, sudden death caused by sudden cardiac arrest (loss of heart function). Causes and risk factors of sudden cardiac arrest include (not inclusive) abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias), previous heart attack, coronary artery disease, smoking, high cholesterol,Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation after a heart attack, congenital heart defects, history of fainting, heart failure, obesity, diabetes, and drug abuse. Treatment of sudden cardiac arrest is an emergency, and action must be taken immediately.