Treatments Offered At
- Heart & Vascular Care at Long Beach Memorial
- Heart & Vascular Care at Orange Coast Memorial
- Heart & Vascular Care at Saddleback Memorial - Laguna Hills
An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a small, battery-operated device. The ICD can be permanently placed inside you to monitor your heart rate and rhythm to detect any rapid and/or irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias). When the ICD detects a rapid heart rate, it delivers energy to your heart, converting it back to a regular rhythm. Implantable cardiac defibrillators are used for those at risk of sudden cardiac death, who have cardiomyopathy, or an abnormal heart rhythm called ventricular tachycardia.
How an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) Is Inserted
Inserting an implantable cardioverter defibrillator is usually performed during a minimally invasive surgical procedure in a cardiovascular catheterization laboratory. A local anesthesia is used to numb the treatment area. An IV (intravenous line) into your arm or hand will provide you with medication to make the procedure as comfortable as possible.
The ICD is inserted into the chest, through a small incision which forms a pocket to hold it in place. From a small incision under the collarbone, the leads are guided into a large vein that connects to the heart; this process is aided by viewing X-ray images on a fluoroscopy machine. One end of the lead is attached to the heart wall while the other end is attached to the implantable cardioverter defibrillator.
Some ICD inserts are performed as open-heart surgery under general anesthesia.
We also provide surgical services to extract ICDs and leads of infected or malfunctioning devices.
Patient Guides: Preparing for Cardiac and Peripheral Catheterization