The Department of Cardiac Sciences at Vimhans Nayati Super Speciality Hospital is a centre of excellence dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment and management of a wide gamut of heart diseases and ailments in both adults as well as children. The various cutting-edge procedures offered by us include ICD implantation.
ICD or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator is a small, electronic device that is surgically implanted in the chest cavity, just like a pacemaker, so as to monitor and regulate the heartbeats for the management of arrhythmia, especially life-threatening conditions like ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. In case, the person's heart stops beating, the device produces a shock that helps it to beat again.
Working of the ICD
Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator has 3 components - the electrodes, the pulse generator and the leads. When the electrodes detect any abnormality in the heartbeats, the transmit signals to the generator, which in turn generates electronic pulses to regulate the heartbeat. In the majority of the cases, a single shock is sufficient, however, in some cases, 2 to 3 shocks may be generated within a single day. The device is tuned to address the specific needs of the patient.
Low energy pacing is used to address mild abnormalities and the patient may experience a slight fluttering or nothing at all. High energy shock is generated in case of severe arrhythmia and it can cause slight discomfort.
Major indications of ICD Implantation
The major indications of ICD implantation include:
- History of ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation.
- History of cardiac arrest or arrhythmia that has triggered unconsciousness.
Preparing for ICD Implantation
- Prior to ICD implantation, you may be required to go for certain screenings and tests to determine if you are the right candidate as well as to assess the possibility of any complication.
- It is important to inform your doctor about any medication that you are presently taking as you may need to stop taking these.
How is the device implanted?
ICD implantation does not require any major surgery and the whole procedure is carried out under the influence of local anaesthesia. The doctors will then make a small incision on the patient's chest to introduce the lead/leads fixed with the electrode on one of the ends. The pulse generator is then placed in the chest cavity and connected to the other end of the lead. Once the device is set up, it is tested and programmed as per the patient's requirement.
What to expect after the procedure?
The patients usually take about 3 to 4 days to return to their normal lifestyle. Your doctor will recommend a set of guidelines and some healthy lifestyle modifications that are to be followed.
You should avoid indulging in rigorous physical activities or lifting heavy objects as these may put a strain on your heart. If you are planning to go for any treatment procedure, it is pertinent to inform your doctor about your ICD.
Stay away from electronic devices like transformers and welding machines. Even while talking on the phone, try to maintain a distance of at least 6 inches from the screen.
Since the whole setup works on battery, this may get exhausted with time. The batteries may need to be replaced usually after 8 to 10 yrs.