Did you know that 697,000 people died from heart disease in 2020 in the United States. That’s 1 in every 5 deaths!
As you can imagine, death from a heart attack is dealt with emotionally and financially. While making lifestyle changes and lowering cholesterol are recommended, some procedures are quicker, more reliable, and far less burdensome. One of these is an ICD implant. But what is it?
Interested in learning more? Then read on! Below, we’ll detail what an ICD is, how it helps heart patients, and whether you might need one.
What is an ICD Implant?
An Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) is a small device implanted inside the body to help regulate the heart rate. It provides electrical shocks to the heart in certain situations such as when abnormal heart rhythms are detected. It works by constantly monitoring the heart rate.
And when an abnormal rhythm is detected, it sends a small electric shock to restore the normal heartbeat. ICDs can also deliver life-saving treatments like anti-tachycardia pacing, cardioversion, and defibrillation.
Benefits and Risks of an ICD Implant
The primary benefit of an ICD implant is decreased arrhythmic death, improved quality of life, and improved longevity. Yet, there are several ICD risks associated with the procedure. This includes infection, bleeding and/or hematoma formation, or other device malfunctions.
Besides, some people may experience adverse reactions to the medications used before the implantation or have difficulty adjusting to the implant. It is important to discuss potential risks and benefits with your physician and make an informed decision about whether an ICD is right for you.
Different Types of ICD Implants
Single chamber ICDs are the most common type of device and are implanted directly into the heart. Dual chamber ICDs are more complex and are implanted into two chambers of the heart.
Biventricular ICDs involve the implantation of three ICDs into the heart. It is used for people who have debilitating heart failure. Lastly, subcutaneous ICDs are implanted under the skin. These are only recommended for people who cannot have a traditional ICD implant.
Recovery After an ICD Implant Procedure
An ICD implant procedure takes approximately 6 weeks for a full recovery, although some individuals may feel some discomfort for a few weeks longer. During this time, it is important to attend all follow-up medical appointments and follow the doctor’s instructions closely.
It is also important to get adequate rest and avoid strenuous activity or lifting anything weighing more than 10 pounds. Additionally, if chest pain or dizziness is experienced, it is important to notify a doctor right away. To promote healing, individuals should also eat meals high in fiber and stay well-hydrated.
In terms of driving, the patient may be able to drive the day after the procedure if the doctor approves. The patient should also keep the vehicle adapted for emergency activities, in case of emergency cardiac activity. They should check with their doctor for any other driving restrictions after ICD implant.
Real-World Effectiveness of ICD Implant
An ICD implant is a powerful device that can save the lives of those living with heart conditions. It is important to be aware of the risks and benefits of ICDs and to discuss them with the doctor.
Also, patients should make sure that they follow their doctor’s instructions to ensure the proper functioning and safe care of their ICDs.
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