An Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD) is a life-saving device that plays a crucial role in monitoring and regulating heart rhythms. It is particularly vital for individuals at risk of dangerous irregular heartbeats, such as ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. It consists of a pulse generator and leads implanted in the heart. The procedure involves making a small incision, inserting the leads, and connecting them to the generator.

This device continuously monitors the heart’s rhythm and delivers electric shocks when irregular heartbeats are detected. There are two primary types of Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator surgery:

  1. Traditional ICD: This type is placed in the chest, with wires (leads) connecting to the heart.
  2. Subcutaneous ICD (S-ICD): Positioned under the skin beside the chest below the armpit, the S-ICD does not touch the heart directly.


Procedure of ICD implantation

The ICD implantation procedure involves surgically placing an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) into a patient’s body. This device monitors and treats serious heart rhythm disorders. During the procedure:

  1. The patient is prepared and given anesthesia.
  2. A small incision is made, usually near the collarbone.
  3. Thin wires called leads are inserted and guided into the heart.
  4. The pulse generator, containing the device’s components, is implanted under the skin.
  5. Testing ensures proper device function.
  6. The incision is closed, and the patient recovers with follow-up appointments to monitor the ICD’s performance and overall heart health.

While generally safe and effective, there are potential risks and complications to consider. Patients should discuss these with the healthcare provider before the procedure.


Benefits of ICD implantation

The primary benefits of ICD implantation include:

– Immediate response to irregular heart rhythms.

– Prevention of sudden cardiac death.

– Increased survival rates for those at high risk of ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation.

– Customizable programming to match individual heart rhythm needs.


Why ICD implantation done?

Implantable cardioverter defibrillator uses include  monitoring and regulating heart rhythm in individuals at high risk of sudden cardiac death due to specific heart conditions and are programmable to suit each patient’s needs.

These situations may include:

– Surviving cardiac arrest.

– Having a history of coronary artery disease and a weakened heart.

– Enlarged heart muscles.

– Genetic heart conditions that increase the risk of fast heart rhythms.

The ICD constantly monitors heart activity and provides immediate intervention, significantly reducing the risk of sudden death from cardiac arrest compared to medication alone.


What are the Risks Involved in ICD implantation?

While ICD implantation is a life-saving procedure, it carries certain risks, including:

– Infection at the implant site.

– Swelling, bleeding, or bruising.

– Blood vessel damage from ICD wires.

– Bleeding around the heart (potentially life-threatening).

– Movement of the device or leads, causing heart muscle damage (rare).

– Collapsed lung.


What is ICD Implantation Expense in India?

The Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator cost in India can vary widely based on factors such as brand, model, and features. The cost ranges from approximately 3.5 to 7.5 lakhs of rupees, including Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator price, implantation procedure, hospital fees, and medical professional charges. Health insurance coverage and individual circumstances can affect out-of-pocket expenses.

Types of ICD Implantation Surgery

There are several types of ICD implantation surgeries based on the procedure and device used:

Transvenous ICD Placement

This is the most common type of ICD implantation. It involves making an incision near the collarbone, inserting leads (wires) through veins into the heart, and connecting them to the ICD device, which is placed under the skin.

Subcutaneous ICD Placement

S-ICD placement involves positioning the device under the skin without placing leads inside the heart. The leads are instead placed along the chest wall, providing defibrillation without entering the heart.

Biventricular ICD Placement

or patients with heart failure and specific types of arrhythmias, a CRT-D device might be recommended. This involves placing leads in both ventricles of the heart to synchronize heartbeats and improve pumping efficiency, in addition to providing defibrillation.

What Happens After the ICD implantation?

Following ICD implantation, patients can expect the following:

– The area around the ICD site may be swollen and tender for a few days or weeks.

– Pain management may be necessary.

– Limitations on arm movements for about eight weeks to prevent wire movement.

– Avoidance of certain activities, such as heavy lifting and energetic sports.

– Regular check-ups to monitor ICD function and battery status.

Implantable cardioverter defibrillators are remarkable devices that offer a lifeline to individuals at risk of life-threatening heart arrhythmias. While they come with potential risks, the benefits in terms of life-saving capabilities far outweigh these concerns. Close collaboration between patients and healthcare providers ensures the best possible outcome when considering and living with an ICD.

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An electrocardiogram (ECG) is one of the only and speediest tests utilized to survey the heart. Anodes (small, plastic patches that stick to the skin) are set at certain spots on the chest, arms, and legs.

2D Echo

A two-dimensional Echocardiogram or 2D Echo test is a demonstrative test that employs ultrasound waves to evaluate the working of the heart.

Holter Monitoring

Holter monitoring measures your heart activity over an extended period, usually between 24 and 48 hours. Basically, a Holter Monitoring is a portable device which records the heart’s electrical signals.

BP Monitoring

Each time your heart beats, it pumps blood into your arteries. A blood pressure measurement may be a test that measures the force (pressure) in your arteries as your heart pumps.

Coronary Angiography

Coronary angiography diagnoses and evaluates coronary artery blockages. Contrast dye is injected into arteries, enabling X-ray imaging to visualize blood flow and identify narrowing or blockages.

Coronary Angioplasty

Coronary angioplasty is a minimally invasive technique of abdominal artery angioplasty, which is used to treat coronary arteries that are obstructed or constricted and it is the most appropriate technique used by doctors for the treatment.

Electrophysiology Study

An Electrophysiology Study (EP study) is a test utilized to assess the heart’s electrical framework and check for abnormal heart rhythms. The natural electrical impulses coordinate the contractions of different parts of the heart.

Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive medical procedure that uses high-frequency electrical currents to generate heat, effectively destroying abnormal tissue or cells.

Pacemaker Implantation

Pacemakers are medical devices designed to support and regulate the electrical system of the heart, ensuring it functions properly. This medical procedure entails the insertion of a small device into the chest region.

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CRT_P & CRT-D Implantation

CRT implantation is a process in which technological instruments known as CRT-P and CRT-D where p stands for pacemaker and d stands for defibrillator.


A balloon mitral valvuloplasty is a process to extend a restricted heart valve and improve blood flow. The heart valves handle how blood drives through the heart.

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FAQ's for ICD Implantation Surgery in Nagpur

There isn’t a specific age limit for ICD implantation. The decision is based on individual health and risk factors. Older adults may still be candidates for ICDs if their overall health and potential benefits outweigh the risks.

ICDs are typically intended to be permanent. However, their batteries need replacement every 5 to 7 years through a minor outpatient procedure.

While ICDs are designed to prevent dangerous heart rhythms, there is a slight risk of complications during implantation, such as lead dislodgement or perforation. However, when appropriately placed and monitored, ICDs significantly reduce the risk of cardiac arrest.

ICDs and pacemakers serve different purposes. ICDs monitor and correct irregular heart rhythms, while pacemakers address slow heart rhythms. The choice depends on the patient’s specific heart condition.

If an ICD fails or malfunctions, it may not deliver necessary shocks or pacing. Regular check-ups are essential to ensure the device’s proper function.

ICDs can be removed, but this is generally done only if necessary due to complications or when the device is at the end of its battery life.

Travelling with an ICD is usually safe. However, it’s essential to inform airport security and avoid lingering near certain electronic devices or machinery that may interfere with the ICD’s function.