Implantible Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)

What is an Implantible Cardioverter Defibrillator?

An Implantible Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) system is made up of a pulse generator and one or more leads (wires). The pulse generator houses the computer “brain” of the system, as well as the battery. The pulse generator monitors your heart’s electrical signals. If the generator detects abnormal signals, such as when your heart is beating too fast or too slow, the generator will give electrical shocks to restore the heart beat to a regular rhythm.

The leads (or wires) connect the generator to the heart muscle, convey the heart’s electrical signals to the generator, and (when necessary) deliver electrical shocks to the heart. The leads are placed in the heart through veins near the collarbone. Occasionally a “patch” is placed under the skin to help deliver therapy if the leads alone are not effective in converting a rapid heart rhythm.

What to Expect

The following information will help you to know what to expect when you receive your ICD:

Before Your ICD Implant

During Your ICD Implant

Care Following Your ICD Implant

Discharge Instructions for ICD Implant

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