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Services & Treatments

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)

Overview

This device, which we call an "ICD," is put inside your chest or abdomen. It's used to treat arrhythmia. That's an irregular heart rhythm. An ICD monitors your heart and keeps it beating properly.

The device

Your ICD has two parts. The first is the electrical impulse generator. It's powered with a battery. The second is a set of wires, called "leads," that travel from the ICD to your heart.

How it works

The ICD monitors your heart through the leads. When it detects certain kinds of arrhythmias, it sends mild electrical shocks to your heart. These shocks disrupt the abnormal rhythm, and get your heart beating normally again.

Defibrillation

But mild shocks don't work for all types of arrhythmia. If your ICD detects an arrhythmia that won't respond to mild shocks, it sends much stronger shocks. We call this "defibrillation." Defibrillation may be painful, but it can save your life.

Conclusion

Talk to your healthcare provider to find out if an ICD may be right for you.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.