Pacemaker to Defib upgrade

Hello. I am a 44 year old male who has a Medtronic Dual Chamber pacemaker for complete heart block.  I have 12 months left of battery and have been told that I need to have it upgraded to a Defibrlator in the near future.

Can anyone who has also had this done give me any advice on the procedure and living with a Defib compared to a Pacemaker.  

Thanks in advance


Driving is usually the big issue

by crustyg - 2020-12-28 05:18:03

That, and unintended 'firing' of the defib.  If it's precautionary, most driver licensing authorities allow driving if the ICD hasn't fired for 6-12months, so after the usual pause following a box installation/replacement you're ok to drive.

Living with an ICD is exactly the same as living with a PM (or CRT-<x>) - until it fires - and hopefully saves your life.  Then you understand what folk mean when they talk about the 'j**** jolt'.

The box is bigger than your current PM (bigger battery and a large capacitor), but apart from that, it uses the same two leads as you have now. Installation takes much the same time as a PM box change - but they have to make the pocket larger and that hurts - and then a few sutures to close the pocket +/- skin sutures or sticky tape and you're free to go home.

You know you're wired when...

You can feel your fingers and toes again.

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Sometimes a device must be tuned a few times before it is right. My cardiologist said it is like fine tuning a car.