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The ICD will be programmed at this time and tested to make sure that it is working properly. Because the testing will involve electrical shocks, you will be given some medicine to make you sleep during this time.

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									                                 Patient Information

                                    Q: What is an ICD?
›WHAT DOES AN ICD DO?                           such as an enlarged heart (dilated       ›WHAT IS INVOLVED?
An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator        cardiomyopathy) or a thickened           Implanting your ICD will probably
(ICD) is an electronic device that con-         heart muscle (hypertrophic cardio-       take 1 to 3 hours. You will be given
stantly monitors the rate and rhythm of         myopathy)                                medication to make you numb and a
your heartbeat. It can help if your heart     • A person who has a heart defect that     sedative that will put you in a relaxed
beats too fast. If the rhythm of your           makes the heart beat abnormally.         state. You will be aware of what is hap-
heartbeats is very irregular and your                                                    pening, but you should not feel pain.
heart cannot supply enough blood to           ›WHAT PROBLEMS DOES AN                     The ICD will be programmed at this
the rest of your body, an ICD can help        ICD ADDRESS?                               time and tested to make sure that it
you. By recognizing and stopping life-        An ICD can correct several problems:       is working properly. Because the test-
threatening problems with your heart-         • When your heart beats too slowly,        ing will involve electrical shocks, you
beat, an ICD can save your life.                the ICD sends out small amounts of       will be given some medicine to make
                                                energy to make your heart beat at a      you sleep during this time. You will
›HOW DOES AN ICD WORK?                          normal pace. In this way, it acts just   probably stay in the hospital for 1 to 2
An ICD is really an amazing computer.           like a pacemaker.                        days after surgery, and the device will
It is small (about the size of a pager) and   • When your heart beats too fast, the      probably be evaluated one more time
can be easily put into your chest. The          ICD sends out small amounts of           before you leave the hospital. You will
device works by sensing when your               energy to make it beat at a normal       not have to be asleep for this or any
heart is beating abnormally—too fast, too       pace and with a normal rhythm.           other checks done later.
slow, or too irregularly. If this happens,    • If your heart is beating in a seri-          After the procedure, you may have
the ICD will send out electrical shocks         ously abnormal rhythm, the ICD           some pain for a few days or possibly
to make the heart beat normally. You            can deliver more energy to return        weeks. You will be given some pain
may have seen heart paddles being used          your heart rhythm to normal.             medication when you leave the hospi-
on TV to shock an unconscious person          • If your heart is beating dangerously     tal. After that, nonaspirin pain reliev-
who has no heartbeat.
								
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