Automatic Cardioverter Defibrillator Implantation

(Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators [ICD]; Automatic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator [AICD])

Definition

An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a small, battery-operated device that monitors the heart’s rhythm and provides appropriate treatment. Most ICDs have both pacemaker and defibrillator functions. If the heart beats too slowly, the ICD can help the heart beat at a normal pace. If the heart begins to beat in a disorganized way, the device provides a shock to restore a normal rhythm. ICD implantation is the surgical insertion of an ICD.
Implanted Cardioverter Defibrillator
Nucleus Image
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Reasons for Procedure

Certain heart rhythms are extremely dangerous and can lead to sudden cardiac death or cardiac arrest. Some irregular rhythms that may require an ICD implant include: ICDs are implanted in patients who:
  • Have had one or more episodes of serious irregular heart rhythms
  • Have had a heart attack and are at high risk for arrhythmias
  • Have a high risk of dangerous arrhythmias
  • Have a weakened heart muscle
  • Have a high likelihood of developing an arrhythmia
  • Have the condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is an enlarged heart muscle that does not function properly

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