Things to keep in mind for ICD implantation

God forbids but if you have had certain symptoms like irregular and dangerously fast heart rhythm (sustained ventricular tachycardia) including fainting then your doctor may recommend implantation of Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD). An ICD, a small battery-powered device placed in the chest helps to detect and stop irregular heartbeats. It monitors irregular heartbeats and corrects them, instantaneously.

An ICD helps to restore a periodic heartbeat by monitoring the heartbeat continuously and at the same time giving electric shocks. However, an ICD differs from a pacemaker – a device that prevents dangerously slow heartbeats.


Advantages of placing Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD)

1.If you have a history of coronary artery disease that has weakened your heart

2.If you have an enlarged heart muscle

3.A genetic heart condition that has a chance of increasing the risk of fast heartbeats

4.Other conditions that may affect the heartbeat


Types of Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD) generally used

Normally, there are two types of ICD which are used by surgeons

1.Traditional ICD: In this implantation the ICD is placed in the chest though invasive surgery and the wires are connected to the heart.

2.Subcutaneous ICD or S-ICD: An S-ICD is bigger than a traditional ICD but it is not connected to the heart directly. It is placed at the side of the chest below the armpit and an electrode is attached with it which runs along the breastbone.


DOs and DON’Ts when you have an ICD implanted in your chest


1.Live a normal life. It is generally seen that household gadgets like microwave ovens, electric drill do not have affect your ICD. However, be careful with induction cooktops. Keep a safe distance of around 2 feet from your ICD because this type of cooktop may generate an electromagnetic field that may have an undesired effect on ICD.

2.You can take showers with ICD. Your ICD is completely well protected against water. So no need to worry.

3.Carry your device ID card.

4.While going through security scanners, tell the staff that an ICD is placed in your chest so they will set off the alarm. The detector should not be placed directly over ICD.



1.Don’t let headphone/earphone hang loose over your ICD. Keep it at a distance of app. 3cm.

2.You are not supposed to drive for at least first few months after implantation.

3.Stay away from magnets.

4.Never put mobile phone/cordless phone/MP3 player within a range of 6 inches of your ICD.

5.Wearing magnetic fasteners near ICD is not desirable.

6.Avoid jerky or violent movements of arms.


ICD can improve the quality of life and extend life. Living more confidently with an ICD is quite possible. It’s better to learn about the conditions that led to implantation and about the working of the device and what you can expect from it.



1.Follow the instructions strictly of your doctor with regard to medication.

2.Get to know that medications work with ICD and help your heart pump properly and regularly.

3.Keep records about the medications and consult with your doctor if you face any problem.

4.It’s better to understand about ICD device, so that you get a fair idea about its working.


Understanding & Maintaining your ICD

1.It’s always good to understand the functions of your ICD device and follow every instruction properly.

2.Be sure to check your ICD on a regular basis to find out whether it’s functioning rightly.

3.Also, be sure to get your ICD checked by your doctor. He is more experienced and trustworthy. If any problem crops up, consult your doctor immediately.

4.Always consult your doctor to check the life of ICD batteries. Generally, batteries last for 5 to 7 years.

5.If the battery of ICD needs to be replaced, visit a medical professional. The battery is replaced in a surgical procedure and a healthcare professional is the right person to carry out the replacement.

6.Tell other doctors, medical staff, and dentists that you have an ICD.


Follow the instructions very well

1.Follow the activity instructions strictly as prescribed by your doctor.

2.Be careful of not to cause any pressure on the area of the chest where your ICD is placed.

3.Car trips along with train and flight trips pose no threats.

4.Driving is not allowed for the first few months after your implantation. Driving after that is allowed, though you need permission from your doctor. Your doctor may ask you to wait for several months and check you before letting you drive.

5.There’s a chance of fainting after the implantation.

6.Be active. But don’t do heavy exercise. Take a short walk or move your arms and legs slowly and carefully to help blood circulation.

7.Don’t lift heavy objects or do any high impact activity. Always involve in light sports.

8.Always consult your doctors before taking any decision or doing strenuous activities.

9.Don’t overdo. Stop before you get tired. It’s important that you feel better and not worse.

It’s often seen that after ICD placing, your anxiety or depression may increase and you may not feel good. This is quite common amongst persons who have had ICD implantations, especially for the first few months. No get panic or embarrassed. Visit your doctor and consult him for the betterment. He is the right person to guide you and be able to alleviate your anxiety and depression. Your doctor will always take care of you and give you an effective medication, so don’t feel depressed.

Today, ICD implantation has become a successful and trusted way to improve the quality of life and checking your fast and irregular heartbeats.



Though all attempts are made to provide correct information on the subject, inadvertent & typographical errors arising out of manual intervention cannot be ruled out. It is requested to bring any such discrepancies to the notice of the blogger for correction.