Reasons for Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator

When your doctor informs you that you need the Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator procedure performed it can be scary. Learn exactly what the procedure involves, the reasons it needs to be performed and what the next steps could be.

Why Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator is Performed

Alternate Names for Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator:
Automatic cardioverter/defibrillator implantation

Reasons for Procedure

The ventricles are the larger, lower chambers of the heart. Irregular rhythms can keep the heart from pumping blood to the rest of the body. The brain and vital organs are at special risk. It can also cause sudden cardiac death (SCD) or a cardiac arrest . Some irregular rhythms that may require an ICD implant include:

  • Bradycardia -heart beating too slowly
  • Ventricular tachycardia -heart beating too rapidly
  • Ventricular fibrillation -heart muscle not pumping, but just quivering

ICDs are implanted in patients who:

  • Have survived one or more episodes of serious irregular heart rhythms
  • Are heart attack survivors at high risk for future arrhythmias
  • Have a weakened heart muscle (dilated cardiomyopathy), which places them at risk for dangerous arrhythmias
  • Have the condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (an enlarged heart muscle that does not function properly)
  • Have a high likelihood of developing an irregular heart rhythm


Learn what Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator is
What Is
Learn what the procedure is. Find out how it is performed.
Reasons For Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator
Reasons For
Find out why and when this procedure should be done.
Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Complications
Learn about possible complications and what might increase the risk of them.
Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Details
What to Expect
Find out how long it will take, what they will be doing and what to expect afterwards.
Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Results
What are the next steps and other possible tests needed after you have received the results.
When to Contact Doctor about Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator
Call Your Doctor
What to look out for and when to call your doctor after a procedure has been done.

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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. Copyright ©2014 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved. Source: EBSCO