The implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a life-saving device that monitors and controls the rhythm of your heart, correcting an irregular heartbeat. The cardiovascular specialists at the Arizona Heart Rhythm Center specialize in treating abnormal heart rhythms and placing ICD devices when needed. To find out more about ICD and how it might benefit you, call the office in Phoenix, Peoria (Sun City), Gilbert, Prescott, or Yuma, Arizona, today or book an appointment online.
An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a battery-powered device that tracks your heart rate and rhythm, delivering an electric shock when your heart beats irregularly.
The device consists of a generator and leads. The generator is a small computer with a battery that goes under the skin of your chest. The leads are wires that connect to the generator and specific areas of your heart.
The leads monitor your heart and deliver the electric shock sent by the generator to re-establish normal heart rhythm.
The cardiovascular specialists at the Arizona Heart Rhythm Center determine who needs an ICD. They will recommend an ICD if you’re at risk of ventricular arrhythmia. The lower chamber of your heart — the ventricle — twitches instead of pumping, stopping, or limiting the supply of oxygen-rich blood to your body.
This can lead to a life-threatening event like a heart attack.
Not all ventricular arrhythmias are serious, and the specialists might just treat the abnormal heartbeat with medication. However, if you have a rapid or unstable heart rhythm because of ventricular arrhythmia, they’re more likely to recommend an ICD.
Your Arizona Heart Rhythm Center provider reviews the details of your ICD placement at your consultation so that you know what to expect. The procedure takes a few hours.
Your provider may give you a sedative (so that you’re calm but awake) or a general anesthetic (so that you’re asleep) before starting the procedure. They then inject a local anesthetic at the site of your ICD placement.
Your surgeon makes an incision near a blood vessel under the collarbone and inserts a sheath into the blood vessel, which they use to guide the lead wires to your heart. Once the leads are in place, your surgeon runs a test to verify the location.
Your surgeon makes one or two small incisions in the chest for the generator, attaches the lead to the generator, and closes the incisions.
You can expect to feel tired and sore after the placement of your ICD. Most patients go home right after the procedure, but others need to spend the night in the hospital.
Your cardiovascular specialist at the Arizona Heart Rhythm Center programs your ICD to deliver a low-energy or high-energy shock, depending on how severe your arrhythmia is. You might need one or more shocks during a 24-hour period to reset your normal heart rhythm.
Your provider schedules regular follow-ups after placing your ICD to monitor your heart condition and adjust the intensity of the shocks.
Call the Arizona Heart Rhythm Center today or schedule your ICD appointment online.