FAQ

FAQ » ICD

How will an ICD impact my life?

Many people with an ICD or CRT-D resume their normal daily activities after full recovery from surgery. However, there may be certain situations that your doctor will ask you to avoid. Your doctor or nurse will provide guidance for your particular condition.

What are the risks of NOT getting a heart device, like an ICD or CRT-D?

Patients who are indicated for a ICD are at higher risk for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). The ICD is implanted to help protect the patient from sudden cardiac arrest.

Can I wear a hearing aid?

Yes. A hearing aid can be worn in the ear if you have an ICD. If the hearing aid has any wireless accessories, such as a Bluetooth streamer worn around the neck, keep the accessory at least 6 inches away from the device.

What happens when they shut one of the three leads off? Does the device still work?

ICDs connect to different chambers of the heart with 1 to 3 leads. The device and each lead are programmed individually based on your needs. Talk to your doctor if a lead needs to be turned off and how that may impact ICD therapy.

How are the leads attached to my heart?

When your heart device is implanted, your doctor threads one end of the lead through a vein into your heart, attaching the lead tip to the heart wall. Your doctor then connects the other end of the lead to your heart device.

My friend has a defibrillator on one side and a pacemaker on the other. Why do I have just a defibrillator?

Most ICDs today have both pacing therapies as well as defibrillation capabilities, so only one device is needed.

Can I get an ID bracelet?

Medtronic provides an ID card when you receive your ICD implant. Try a web search (perhaps one that rhymes with oogle), or check with your local pharmacy if you prefer to wear medical jewelry along with carrying your ID card in your wallet.

Are any of my leads recalled?

It is unlikely that you will receive recalled leads. But check with the lead manufacturer or your doctor if you have concerns.

How many leads will I have with my ICD?

ICDs connect to the different chambers of your heart using 1 to 3 leads. Your doctor will determine the number of leads implanted based on your individual needs.

Will I need new leads?

You will probably not need new leads. However, your doctor will test your existing leads before, during and after your surgery. If tests indicate that it’s time for new leads, they will be replaced along with your ICD.

What about the leads? Are they replaced too?

Typically, the leads are reused with the new heart device. If the existing leads cannot be reused, they will stay in the body and new leads will be implanted. In certain situations, the doctor may recommend a lead be removed and replaced with a new lead.  The lead removal procedure is usually performed by a doctor who specializes in lead extractions.