Recovering From Your ICD or S-ICD Procedure
Full recovery from an ICD or S-ICD procedure can take a few days to a few months. You can find some general recovery tips below, but be sure to talk to follow your doctor's post-operative instructions and talk to him or her about resuming normal activities based on your specific situation.
Important to Know
- Avoid activities that involve heavy lifting or rough contact that could result in blows to your implant site and to allow your incision time to heal.
- Call your doctor if you have any swelling, redness or discharge around your incision, notice anything unusual or unexpected, or you develop a fever that does not go away in two or three days.
- Call your doctor if you hear any beeping sounds from your device as this indicates your device needs to be checked immediately.
- Carry your Medical Device ID Card with you at all times.
As you recover from ICD or S-ICD implant procedure, it’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions, including:
- Walk, exercise, and bathe according to your doctor’s instructions.
- Don’t wear tight clothing that could irritate the skin over your device.
- Avoid rubbing your device or the surrounding chest area.
- Tell your other doctors, dentists, and emergency personnel that you have an implanted device and show them your Medical Device ID Card.
- Ask your doctor any questions you may have about your device, heart rhythm, or medication.
Activities and Exercise
Your doctor will help you decide what level of activity is best for you. Some general guidelines include:
- Avoid strenuous activity, especially lifting and other activities that use your upper body. This will give the incision where the device was implanted time to heal. And for transvenous ICD patients, this gives the lead(s) time to firmly attach to your heart tissue.
- Avoid rough contact that could result in blows to your implant site.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects until instructed by your doctor.
- Limit arm movements that could affect your lead system (if you’re a transvenous ICD patient) as directed by your doctor.
Medical Device ID Card
Whether you’re going away for the weekend or running a quick errand, it’s important to carry your Medical Device Identification Card with you at all times. In an emergency, the card will alert medical and security personnel that you have an implanted device. You will be given a temporary Medical Device ID Card when you receive your ICD or S-ICD and we’ll mail you a permanent card about six to eight weeks after your implant.
Your Medical Device ID Card contains your name, your doctor’s name and phone number, and the model numbers of your device and leads.
Moving or Selecting a New Doctor
If you move or select a new doctor, use our online patient portal or call us at 1-800-728-3282 to update your record and we will send you a new ID card reflecting the change.
Regular Follow-Up Visits
Follow-up visits will help your doctor check your ICD or S-ICD device and overall health on a regular basis. So it’s important to go to all follow-up visits, even if you’re feeling well.
A typical follow-up visit takes about 20 minutes. During your visit, your doctor or nurse will use a programmer to interrogate, or check, your device. They will review your device’s memory to evaluate its performance since your last visit and check for any arrhythmia episodes you may have had. If necessary, they will adjust your device’s programmed settings. They will also check the battery to see how much energy is left.
When to Call Your Doctor
Your doctor will provide guidelines for when you should contact him or her. In general, call your doctor if you:
- Notice anything unusual or unexpected, such as new symptoms or symptoms like the ones you experienced before you received your device.
- Have any redness, swelling, or drainage from your incisions.
- Develop a fever that does not go away in two or three days.
- Receive any arrhythmia therapy from your device and have been instructed to call.
- Have symptoms of an abnormal heart rhythm and have been instructed to call.
- Hear any beeping sounds from your device. This indicates that your device needs to be checked immediately.
- Have questions about your device, heart rhythm, or medications.
- Plan to travel or move so you can work with your doctor to develop a follow-up plan while you are away.
Resources and Support
We're Here to Help
Our patient services team is happy to help answer all your questions about living with your device.
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