Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) are used to detect dangerously fast heartbeats and give a lifesaving shock to correct the heart’s rhythm. A person with an ICD has the equivalent of a paramedic sitting on his shoulder, always watching and ready to give the heart “the paddles,” as seen on many hospital and emergency television shows.
ICDs are devices that are about the size of a business card and implanted below the collarbone in a pocket under the skin. Like pacemakers, ICDs contain a generator containing a computer, battery, and wires called “leads” that usually go through a vein into the heart. The leads stay in contact with the heart muscle on one end, while the other end is connected to the generator. The battery in the generator lasts 5-8 years and must be replaced when it runs out.
The ICD is pre-programmed to send signals to the heart. ICDs can be “talked to” with a device that gives doctors information about the person’s heart rhythms and the overall condition of the ICD. This follow up is very important to make sure the ICD is working for each patient.
Today, all ICDs also act as pacemakers and can prevent slow heart rhythms as well. Pacing signals from the ICD are not felt by the patient, but the shock signal delivered by an ICD has been described as a “kick in the chest.” Medication or other treatments may be given to try to reduce any pain from ICD shocks.
If the heart beats too quickly, the chambers, or ventricles, will not have enough time to fill with blood and pump blood to the rest of the body, which can cause death. For people at high risk for the deadliest forms of arrhythmias – called ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation – an internal “shocking” device may be the best protection against sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). ICDs are often recommended for people who have this problem even if they have not yet had an abnormal heart rhythm.
ICDs do not prevent heart attacks, which are caused by blockages in the heart’s arteries but do treat abnormal rhythms sometimes associated with heart attacks. ICDs do not keep people alive forever. People with ICDs can die of causes other than heart rhythm problems.
Many people with an implantable heart device resume their normal daily activities after full recovery from surgery. However, there may be certain situations that your doctor will ask you to avoid. Your doctor or nurse will provide guidance for your particular condition. Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators have demonstrated clear life-saving benefits, but concerns about patient acceptance and psychological adjustment to the ICD have been the focus of much research.
Researchers including those from the field of cardiac psychology have concluded that the quality of life of ICD patients is at least equal to, or better than, that of those taking anti-arrhythmic medications.
In cases of cardiomyopathy, maintaining a normal heartbeat is vital. Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) have proven to be effective in treating life-threatening heart rhythms by converting them back to a normal rhythm. Often inserted in conjunction with a pacemaker, ICDs are saving lives. KIMS, having one of the best cardiac specialists in Hyderabad, is highly experienced with ICDs.
Our best cardiologist in Hyderabad brings together the full range of services in one location, fostering seamless and coordinated care for all cardiovascular patients. Known to be the best cardiac hospital in Hyderabad, KIMS has maintained its standard and is working relentlessly to ensure that we use the latest technologies, including ICD, to prevent, monitor and rectify cardiac issues.
To reach more cardiac patients, KIMS has recently opened a new branch and in a short span of time has become one of the best cardiology specialist hospitals in Hi-Tech City.