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Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD)

Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD)

Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD) services offered in Zephyrhills, Lakeland, Plant City and Riverview, FL

An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) continuously monitors your heart and delivers a shock if the rhythm gets out of sync or your heart stops. The compassionate team at Florida Heart, Vein and Vascular Institute offers their expertise in diagnosing the cause of your heart symptoms and determining if an ICD is the life-saving solution you need. Call the office in Zephyrhills, Lakeland, Plant City, Wesley Chapel or Riverview, Florida, to explore your treatment choices and learn the best solutions for your health care needs.

Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD) Q&A

When would I need an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD)?

You’re probably familiar with external defibrillators — the devices placed against your chest to restart your heart after it stops beating. An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, or ICD, is similar, but it’s a small battery-powered device implanted under your skin. 

The ICD continuously monitors your heartbeat. If you develop an irregular heartbeat or your heart stops, the device sends an electrical signal to restore a normal rhythm or restart your heart. Some ICDs also contain a pacemaker, a device that restores slow heartbeats.

ICDs primarily treat heart arrhythmias that put you at risk for sudden cardiac arrest, including the following conditions:

  • Ventricular fibrillation
  • Ventricular tachycardia
  • Long QT syndrome
  • A conduction disorder
  • Arrhythmia caused by a heart attack
  • Congenital conditions known to cause sudden cardiac arrest
  • Heart damage due to a neuromuscular disorder

Ventricular fibrillation is one of the top reasons for getting an ICD. This condition makes the lower heart chambers quiver instead of contracting to pump blood.

What symptoms indicate I need an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator? 

The conditions listed above typically cause one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of consciousness

You may also tire quickly and get out of breath when you’re active.

These symptoms may warrant having an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator. 

What happens when getting an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator?

Your provider implants the implantable cardioverter-defibrillator’s generator under the skin below your collarbone. They guide lead wires through the nearby blood vessels, placing one end in your heart and connecting the other end to your generator. 

Your ICD may have one, two, or three wires, depending on the device. Each wire is placed in a different part of your heart. After verifying the wires are monitoring your heart and the device is working, your provider closes the incision.

What is recovery like after getting an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator?

You’ll probably wear a sling for a few days but may only need to wear it at night. Most people resume their usual routine in a few days. However, you may need to limit arm movement for a few weeks. 

Your Florida Heart, Vein and Vascular Institute provider explains your personal recovery guidelines before you leave the hospital.

Call the nearest Florida Heart, Vein and Vascular Institute office or book online today to get exceptional cardiology care and learn more about ICDs.