Defibrillator (ICD) Implantation

What is Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)?

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) is an implantable device used for treatment of abnormal heart rhythm arising from ventricle (ventricular arrhythmia). It is essentially an implantable cardiac pacemaker which consists of a battery-powered generator and leads which connect the generator to the patient’s heart. But the lead placed in the right heart has defibrillation function. As soon as a ventricular arrhythmia is detected, the ICD will automatically try to correct it by its internal algorithm or defibrillation.

Why is Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) required?

Heart rhythm is mainly controlled by the conduction system of the heart. Any abnormality in the conduction system may result in abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia). Life-threatening arrhythmias such as ventricular tachycardia (VT) and ventricular fibrillation (VF) cause not only palpitations, dizziness and syncope but also sudden death. There is evidence from various clinical trials to support the implantation of an ICD in prolonging survival among patients with a high risk of sudden cardiac death due to VT or VF. Similar to pacemaker implantation, this is a procedure performed by the cardiologist under local anaesthesia in the cardiac catheterization laboratory.

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