An Implantable Cardiovascular Defibrillator is a battery-operated device placed in the chest to prevent sudden cardiac arrest. The device works by sending signals to the heart and regulating its rhythm. An ICD is used as a treatment for severely fast heartbeats. It differs from a pacemaker in several ways, but mainly in treating fast heartbeats. A pacemaker is suggested for slower heartbeats. ICDs are of two types
- a traditional ICD with wires attached to heart muscles
- a subcutaneous or S-ICD that does not touch the heart
The advantages of getting an ICD implanted include the prevention of a possible death by cardiac arrest. It is suggested for patients with arrhythmia/ who have suffered a heart attack and are at risk of another one due to weak heart muscles.