ICD implant

Hi, I've recently received an ICD implant with defibrillator (11/1/2021)   still healing...was wondering those that have had their pacemaker a while, how long did it take to completely heal. Doctor says after 6 weeks the swelling will go down.  I'm approaching week 5 and I feel like I still have a huge lump.  I told the doctor I was worried that the defibrillator would zap me when I'm driving and I could cause an accident.  He said I would feel different before that happened and would know. Has this happened to anyone?  Still learning how to live as my kids tell me, a bionic woman. Thanks for listening and your thoughts 😊



by islandgirl - 2021-12-02 18:05:56

I don't remember how long it took to heal.  I've always had a sore spot where my ICD is located.  Seatbelts and bra straps don't bother it as my EP knew I was active and used backpack.  

Driving...my EP told me to drive on the right hand lane or a place where I would be able to pull off.  I avoid expressways if plausible.  I have a Medtronic ICD and the EP was going to turn on an alert that would give an audible warning to warn of a possible upcoming shock, the alert  long enough to pull over.  Unfortunately that feature had been discontinued.  He was disappointed as he said it would be perfect for my active lifestyle and that would give me a chance to sit down or pull off the road.  I'm sure the alert of a pending shock would be quite disconcerting.  

Your EP will be able to interrogate your device and see if you are having any ventricular arrhythmias and make adjustments to the ICD and your meds  The ICD also has a method of 'pacing out' the ventricular arrhythmias before you actually have a shock.  

Eventually you will not dwell on the ICD and live your life to its fullest.  Good luck.


You won't get much warning....

by BOBTHOM - 2021-12-02 18:54:47

You'll feel it when it starts spinning up but at that point you have less than 10 seconds  I had mine fully discharge once while driving and fortunately I was pulling up to a stop sign.  It also paced me out of an event another time while driving and I was on a back road and had enough time to pull over.  I also had it fire on me whlle walking across the room and I managed to get my hand down and caught myself before my butt could hit the floor.  Other times that it's discharged I was sitting or lying down.  I felt it spin up each time and reminded myself that instead of tensing up I needed to relax.  Not to scare you but in case you didn't know, when it discharges, it feels like getting kicked in the chest by a mule.Some people black out from it (or just before), we're all a little different.  On the brighter side, well, some would say "it did what it was supposed to do and it saved my life"..  Personally, I'm not convinced but it sure does make the doctors feel better.  Just like life, good with the bad.  Good luck with your device and this new journey!

ICD implant

by JEBugs - 2021-12-02 20:17:19

Thank you for your comments.   I really appreciate it.   Great information.   I know I'll eventually feel better and it's great to be able to walk again without being out of breath.😊


by Old male - 2021-12-02 21:25:50

First shock about 15 months after implant and while driving. No symptoms to early warn, just suddenly felt myself passing out and shocked about 2 seconds later.  No time to react but did not pass out. Second shock doing lawn work with a trimmer. Had been experiencing slight nausea prior and the shock instantly ended the nausea feeling. Getting shocked was surprising and over before I had time to realize what happened.. Not really painful..

Took me 2-3 weeks

by seenu302 - 2021-12-11 22:14:26

47 year old Male in Dallas TX. Had PM for a while back but the EP upgraded it to ICD due to sustained VTAC episodes (asymptomatic). It was relatively pain free and  I was back to work after 5 days and able to walk 2-3 miles in a week.It healed up pretty quick and not much different than having a PM except this one is little bulky.

Zapped while driving

by Tony Stark - 2021-12-15 14:23:49

I was driving when suddenly I felt faint and as it intensified,  I turned to my wife & said : "I feel like I am going to ...................... I fainted!  Passed out at the wheel while moving forward. The car swerved towards the center line of the road at the very second a motorcycle with a passenger was speeding down our side of the road and they crashed into my SUV head on. My son scrambled from the back seat to get control of the car, he steered the car to safety and pulled on the emergency brake to stop the car, he took it out of gear and saved our lives. I was passed out as my St. Juse pacer/Defribrillator fired and after 20 seconds, and to my wife screams & cries for me to "stay with me", I regained consciousness. So I did get zapped while driving, but only after my heart went into afib. So I suggest you fear not of getting zapped while driver, but fear passing out at the wheel. The attending cop had to be convinced not to charge me with reckless endangerment because I was "driving with a heart condition". I died that day, thats what I believe, and was brought back due to my device. BTW.... during the 20 seconds I was gone: No lights, no river, no relatives..... it was Lights out!

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