Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICD) is the insertion of a small electrical device in the chest or abdomen of the patient. The device monitors and controls irregular heartbeats that may be fatal. Irregular beats of the lower chambers or the ventricles can cause sudden heart attack and can be life threatening. The condition is called arrhythmias. An ICD uses electrical pulses to help control it. ICDS may be recommended for patients with coronary artery disease, an abnormal heart condition that causes the thickening or enlarging of muscles, congenital defects. It is also used for the treatment of rare conditions such as Brugada syndrome and arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia. The heart has an inbuilt electrical system that controls its rate. As the heart beats, an electrical signal spreads to all chambers of the heart. The signal for contraction and relaxation originate in the sinus node. The signal triggers rhythmic contraction and relaxation. The anterior chambers contract, first pumping blood to the ventricles. The ventricles contract to pump blood to the rest of the body. The combined of contraction of both the chambers constitutes a heartbeat. The device is inserted beneath your shoulder blades with wires extending to the heart. If the device detects an irregular rhythm in your ventricles, it will use low-energy electrical pulses to restore a normal rhythm. If this fails to restore the normal rhythm, the ICD will switch to high-energy pulses for defibrillation. The high-energy pulses last only a fraction of a second, but they can be painful.
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