ICD Combo Devices

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Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillators (ICDs) is a small pager-like device that prevents a patient from dying due to a heart attack. This device is implanted in the patient's chest and helps in detecting irregular heart rate. Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillators (ICDs) assists in decreasing the risk of cardiac arrest by detecting the abnormal functioning of the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles). Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillators (ICDs) is very important for patients with ventricular tachycardia i.e. very fast heart rate, arrhythmia i.e. irregular heart rate or improper supply of oxygen and blood from the heart to the rest of the body (ventricular fibrillation).

The main function of the Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillators (ICDs) is to diagnose and stop the abnormality or irregularity in the heart rhythms (arrhythmia). When needed, this device monitors the heartbeat continuously and delivers extra heartbeats or sometimes electrical shocks to maintain the normal heart rhythm again. Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillators (ICDs) is different from a pacemaker. A pacemaker helps in detecting and treating less harmful situations of irregular heart rhythms, which occur in the atria or upper heart chambers.

ICDS are usually advised to the people with the following problems:

  • Weakened heart muscles
  • Personal or family history of coronary artery disease.
  • Cardiomyopathy i.e. abnormally enlarged heart.
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy i.e. thickening of the heart muscles.
  • Tachycardia or ventricular arrhythmia.
  • Congenital heart disorder.
  • Long QT syndrome which causes ventricular fibrillation and then death, without showing any signs or symptoms.
  • Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia
  • Brugada syndrome
  • One or more episodes of abnormal heart rate.
  • The inefficiency of the heart to pump oxygen and blood to the rest of the body.

The doctor discusses the details of the procedure, including the risks and the benefits, with the patient. The doctor may advise some of the following tests to the patient before the surgery:

  • ECG or Electrocardiography
  • Echocardiography
  • Event recorder
  • Holter monitoring
  • Electrophysiology study

How long do the pacemaker and heart devices last?

  • Treating a very slow heart rate: This condition is known as bradycardia. ICD helps in sensing the slow heartbeat and start functioning like a pacemaker. This stimulates the heart to pump and beat normally.
  • Treating a very fast heartbeat: This condition is known as tachycardia. ICD helps in sensing a fast heartbeat and start functioning like a pacemaker. This stimulates the heart to pump and beat normally. This prevents the need for defibrillation and cardioversion.
  • Recording heart activity: An ICD helps in recording the heart rate and electrical activity, which assists the doctor in detecting abnormal heartbeats
  • Biventricular pacing: There is a special ICD combined with a biventricular pacemaker, which helps in normal pumping of the blood from both the lower chambers of the heart. This is advised for the patients with heart failure wherein, the electrical system of the heart does not function normally.