Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
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Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Automatic Cardioverter Defibrillator Implantation

Written by ColleenO, FoundHealth.

An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a device that can be implanted in your chest. ICD implantation is the surgical insertion of an ICD.

Effect of Automatic Cardioverter Defibrillator Implantation on Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

Patients with congestive heart failure are more prone to certain heart arrhythmias that put them at risk for sudden cardiac death. ICDs are implanted in those patients to prevent such arrhythmias from occurring. Most ICDs have both pacemaker and defibrillator functions. If the heart beats too slowly, the ICD can help the heart beat at a normal pace. If the heart begins to beat in a disorganized way, the device provides a shock to restore a normal rhythm.

Read more details about Automatic Cardioverter Defibrillator Implantation.

Possible Complications

If you are planning to have a defibrillator implanted, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Damage to the heart or lungs
  • Damage to blood vessels
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Inappropriate shocks or device malfunction

Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Obesity
  • History of smoking
  • History of excess alcohol consumption
  • Bleeding or blood-clotting problems
  • Use of some medicines

Call Your Doctor

After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • You feel a shock
  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the incision site
  • Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given
  • Cough or severe nausea or vomiting

These symptoms are medical emergencies. Call 911 if:

  • You have chest pain or shortness of breath
  • You feel lightheaded or dizzy and do not feel a shock
  • You are still feeling symptoms after a shock
  • You feel three or more shocks in a row

In case of an emergency, CALL 911.

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