New to the Club

I am scheduled to have my ICD implanted on 15 October. All of this is very new to me and overwhelming. The closer I get to my surgery date, I'm getting more anxious. I have a great medical team who determined this is the best treatment for me given my medical history.  What are some of the common and uncommon things I can expect during my 6 week recovery?


First offf, before you ask...

by donr - 2018-09-25 00:36:03

...questions, Why don't you tell us WHY you are getting a PM.  That would help us a lot in crafting answers.

The first thing that struck m,e was the long wait before you get the device.  Doesn't sound very seriious to me - read about all the folks who go to the hosp for one thing & come out w/ an unexpected PM - there are several of those active right now..


The most common?

by AgentX86 - 2018-09-25 01:05:23

You'll be completely underwhelmed. The surgery is a big nothing and recovery is much the same.

The most unexpected thing for me was how freaked everyone else was and how little it really affected me, other than to make my life so much better. My EP even released me at my last appointment.  He said that unless I had a problem,  there was no further need to see him. After all the Afib/flutter problems I've had, I NEVER expected to hear that as long as I lived.

Re: New to the Club

by DukeFan - 2018-09-25 14:05:10

Thanks so much AgentX86 and DonR. My ICD is needed due to genetic heart issues which will progress to CHF and eventually result in me needing  a heart transplant. I am currently in Sotalol 160 mg twice daily that has managed my arrhythmia. However, I am now on the highest dosage and have been experiencing new symptoms (dizziness, short of breath, tiredness, increase PVCs, etc) which has prompted the need for the ICD.

Sotalol sucks

by AgentX86 - 2018-09-25 22:53:09

Do you know what sort of pacemaker you're getting?  Are they going to implant a CRT pacemaker.  I'd think with your prognosis of CHF they would but it's something I'd ask about now. 

Sotalol is what forced me to go for a pacemaker.  Like you, it kept pushing my heart rate down until it pushed it to zero at times.  That's how it goes with antiarrhythmics.

To do

by Jimmy Dinfla - 2018-09-25 22:58:27

Your EP should give you a list of things to do and not to do.  After some initial pain, use your affected arm within the limits that your doc prescribes.  I had pain that extra strength acetaminophen didn't solve.  Ice packs and heat packs helped for the first few days.  It took me about a month to get over the worst of the pain.  Throughout, I tried to maintain an exercise program - lots of walks with my dog and going to the Y. 

Make sure you set up your home monitor and do your arrhythmia clinic's follow up visit.  Verify that they are actually getting your monitor's downloads.

I had to get padding covers because the car seatbelt irritates the ICD site.  And I learned a new discipline to close the kitchen cabinet doors because it hurts a lot to hit the implant site.

Yeah, there is a transition but you will get through it and have a much safer future.  Best of luck!


ICD won't solve the symptoms....

by BOBTHOM - 2018-09-26 16:17:35

If your expecting the shortness of breath and pvc's to go away once the ICD is in then you have been misled.  If it's a basic ICD (not a CRT) then it will just monitor and if your heart goes into a bad rythm or stops it will kick you in the chest to start/restart it in a normal rythm.  It does nothing to improve your heart function.  You will still need the nasty meds.  Not trying to be Mr. Negative, just trying to give you an honest answer.  You should still get it because it's what will help keep you alive until you can get the next step (transplant, lvad, whatever). The procedure to put it in sounds scarier than it is.  For me it was simple, just some shoulder pain that I still can't explain. But the incision and all healed well and fairly quickly.  Just follow directions about not stretching or lifting for the first couple weeks.   Good luck!

You know you're wired when...

Your old device becomes a paper weight for your desk.

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