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Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) Therapy

Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) therapy is a medical treatment used to manage life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias, specifically ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation. These arrhythmias can cause the heart to beat too fast or irregularly, leading to a sudden loss of blood flow and potentially resulting in cardiac arrest or sudden cardiac death.


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How does an ICD work?

An ICD continuously monitors the heart's electrical activity. When it detects an abnormal and potentially life-threatening rhythm, it delivers electrical shocks or pacing to restore a normal heart rhythm. The shocks, known as defibrillation, help to terminate dangerous arrhythmias, while the pacing feature can provide therapy for slower heart rhythms.

How is an ICD implanted?

ICD implantation is typically performed in a cardiac catheterization laboratory or operating room. A small incision is made near the collarbone, and one or more leads (thin wires) are inserted into the veins and guided to the heart. The leads are then connected to the ICD generator, which is placed under the skin. Once the leads are in position, they are tested to ensure proper function.


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