Cardiology located in Sunnyvale, TX
A defibrillator, or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), can save your life if you have a heart condition. At Sunnyvale Cardiology in Sunnyvale, Texas, cardiologists Prasad Maddukuri, MD, FACC, MRCP, and Larry Moore, MD, FACC, use ICDs to monitor and treat heart problems associated with life-threatening heart arrhythmias. For more information, call Sunnyvale Cardiology or request an appointment online today.
Defibrillator Q & A
What is a defibrillator?
A defibrillator, or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), prevents sudden death from cardiac arrest if you’re at risk of life-threatening arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats). Your cardiologist surgically implants the device into your chest, where it monitors heart rhythms and delivers life-saving shocks to your heart if it’s beating abnormally.
Do I need a defibrillator?
Your cardiologist lets you know if you’re a good candidate for a defibrillator after reviewing your medical history, discussing your symptoms, and completing special heart function tests. A defibrillator might be right for you if you have:
- Sustained irregular heartbeats
- Had a heart attack
- Survived a sudden cardiac arrest
- Fainted from heartbeat irregularities
- Coronary artery disease
- A congenital heart condition
Your doctor reviews the risks and benefits of ICDs and other heart arrhythmia treatments to find one that best matches your needs.
What should I expect during ICD placement?
Follow your cardiologist’s instructions before your scheduled implantable cardioverter defibrillator procedure. You’re given medications to help you relax, and your doctor numbs the area where the device will be. You might take antibiotics to prevent infection.
Your cardiologist surgically places the ICD near your ribs or under your breastbone. He might thread sensor wires through blood vessels as well. Your doctor then tests the ICD device to make sure it’s working properly and sews up your incision. He completes the surgery in a hospital setting, and it typically lasts several hours.
What happens after surgery?
After your procedure, you might be able to leave the hospital when your medications wear off. Follow your cardiologist’s instructions for at-home care and recovery, which might include:
- Keeping your incision clean and dry
- Calling your doctor if bleeding or swelling occurs or if you have a fever
- Using over-the-counter or prescription pain medication as needed
- Not driving for about a week
- Avoiding heavy lifting and other high-impact activities for several weeks
It’s important to attend regularly scheduled follow-up visits with your cardiologist so he can monitor the effectiveness of your ICD. Schedule an appointment with Sunnyvale Cardiology at the first signs of a heart problem, or book an appointment online today.
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