Living with heart problems is a struggle every day, but there are devices that can help. Most people have heard of pacemakers because they are relatively commonplace. However, Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICD) are sometimes less understood. If you suffer from heart problems and wonder what an ICD is and if it could help you, read on for more information.
What Are Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICD)?
An ICD is a small device that is battery powered and placed within the chest. It monitors the heart rhythm so that is can detect irregular heartbeats. Not only can an ICD monitor the heart, but it can deliver an electric shock to fix an abnormal rhythm. These electric shocks will use wires that connect to the heart. Because these devices are continually monitoring and will automatically correct an abnormal rhythm, they can help with cardiac arrest. An ICD will be surgically fitted under the skin, usually just below the left collarbone.
Do I Need An Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)?
Cardiologists commonly use ICD with patients who have a dangerously fast heartbeat or a chaotic heartbeat. This is because these conditions can prevent the heart from supplying enough blood to the body. Your doctor might recommend an ICD if you have ever had a cardiac arrest or heart attack. Because they can restart the heart automatically, they have the potential to save lives as soon as heart rhythm becomes abnormal.
ICD surgery is often significant, and so it requires some recovery time afterwards. Once fitted, people living with ICDs often need to take precautions in their daily lives. Heavy lifting and contact sports should be avoided, and you should keep your distance from magnetic fields.
If you want to know more about Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICD) and how they could help you, then get in touch with Dr David Begley. As an expert in Cardiology, he can answer any questions you may have.