Tachycardia (Fast Heartbeat)
If your doctor has advised you that an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is the best course of treatment, you may have a variety of questions and concerns.
Here are some common topics of interest to individuals considering an implantable heart device:
Most ICD's are not considered safe in the MRI environment because the MRI could change the settings, temporarily affect the operation of, or potentially damage the device. However, Medtronic has ICD systems that are FDA approved for use in the MRI environment. The ICD system has a unique design, developed so that under specific conditions, patients may safely undergo MRI scans.
Talk to your doctor about the ICD options available to you, including a device that may allow you access to an MRI in the future.
The procedure to implant a heart device is usually quick, and typically done under local anesthesia. It does not require open-heart surgery, and most people go home within 24 hours.
Your doctor will provide more detailed information, but most individuals can expect to gradually return to their everyday activities after full recovery from surgery.
Experiencing a shock from an ICD can be a concern for many individuals.
You may feel fine afterward, or you may feel dizzy, sick, or disoriented after the shock occurs. It's important to talk to your doctor and have a plan in place so that you know exactly what to do when you experience a shock. Your doctor may want you to call in, transmit your information using the CareLink™ Network, or schedule an appointment after you've had a shock.
Sometimes individuals wonder if there will be a noticeable bulge where the heart device was implanted. In general, you may notice a slight bump under your skin where your implantable defibrillator is located.
An implantable heart device allows many individuals to return to the activities they enjoy. Your doctor will provide more information on activities you may need to avoid, but people typically resume their normal daily activities after full recovery from surgery.
Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.