A defibrillator implant is used to monitor and regulate a patient’s heartbeats. This device is also referred to as a cardiac defibrillator or an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). It is only recommended for patients that suffer from abnormal heart rates.
A defibrillator implant is also a useful tool for people who have had a heart attack in the past, and for those who are at risk of another heart attack. These heart implants can also help people that have experienced ventricular tachycardia, heart arrhythmias, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and other heart diseases.
The device can be implanted in many ways including breastbone and collarbone incisions or during open heart surgery for other heart problems. Before undergoing a defibrillator implantation procedure, consider consulting a physician’s advice about the benefits and various side effects.
Medical studies show that implanting these devices saves lives and the benefits are great for those seeking a long term treatment. Many patients who have had defibrillator implants inserted report progressive changes in their health. They feel more relaxed leaving their homes and most people start to get back involved in the daily activities they used to partake in before they encountered heart problems. They can now travel with the assurance that the defibrillator implant will help their heart keep working properly.
Some people come across certain limitations in a few weeks or months after the implantation of the device before everything has a chance to heal. Patients working in power plants, near the alternators of cars, or using welding devices or other kinds of energy that are related to magnetism and electricity tend to have these slight problems. Athletes who use the device are limited to how much physical stress they are allowed to put on their body. When the device corrects an episode called “serious cardiac arrhythmia”, you could become dizzy, light headed, and even pass out. For that reason, some people are restricted from certain activities that require full attention and awareness, such as driving. You can still engage in most normal activites, but some may not be allowed according to your specific condition. Some people are restricted from activities like heavy weightlifting and excessive high-intensity cardiovascular exercise. This type of physical stress on the body can damage the device and can cause malfunction.
About one percent of the total patients that have received the device report major complications. Evident complications include infections at the incision site, mild chest pain, shortness of breath, and occasional fainting. Immediate medical attention is advisable for any re-occurrence of abnormal heartbeat symptoms after the defibrillator implant is placed in the patient. Some may not need a defibrillator implant because they are too well or too sick, meaning they fall out of the range of specific criteria that optimal patients who have received defibrillator implants and function well. Some medical studies have suggested the disturbing possibility that a defibrillator might be harmful to extremely ill heart patients if it happens to misread a rhythm and transmit an unneeded shock. Fortunately, this kind of malfunction is rare and advanced sensing technology is rectifying this potential problem.
Like other surgical procedures (especially cardiac medical devices), defibrillator implants come with advantages and disadvantages towards our health. Nevertheless, the physician is the best person to determine whether these implants are safe for a particular patient or not. If you suffer from heart diseases or have gone through a heart attack, discuss with your doctor whether the procedure is right for you. After examining and comparing the pros and cons, your doctor might advise you to folow through with the surgical procedure. Not everyone needs it and there are different forms of treatment that may be more effective for some. However, those who have a defibrillator device implanted in them find it very comforting and often times people will tell you that a defibrillator implant is what gave them their life back.