ICD implant

I saw the arrythmia nurse yesterday and queried the use of an ICD implant for AF. She said that my EP had decided on this because of the rapid heart rate that showed up on the echocardiogram. She said that the implant will not help with preventing AF episodes and I will still have to stay on anti arrythmia medications, so, basically, nothing changes! I could experience shocks from the device when I get an AF episode, depending how the device is programmed. I'm not happy about this at all and depending on my EP's answers on the day of the op, I may refuse to have it done. Even if I go ahead, he says I would also need an ablation as a follow-up. That being so, I would go for that. It may mean a 360 mile round trip to London to get it done quicker, as Bristol has a long waiting period. Has anyone here experienced this treatment pattern for AF?

7 Replies

  • I think it's possible you need more information as there must be some reason for his suggestion

    Look into it carefully rather than just refusing

  • Hi,

    I had pacemaker put in last November for exactly the same thing after three failed ablations, then in February this year had a final AV node ablation, I am much better

    and do not need anymore arrhythmia medications but do need blood thinners and something to help the blood flow easier which is a lot better than going into fast AF

    every other day.

    I honestly thought my life was being taken over with this horrible thing but I am feeling so much better, I am still aware of occasional fluttering but do not have the horrible side effects.

    I had mine done in Newcastle and grateful to them for making me feel better after so many years.

    Go with it if it has been advised it works, Let me know how you get on.

    Good luck,


  • This is not a pacemaker that I'm having, its an ICD device, which is normally used for ventricle fibrillation, it wont do anything to relieve the AF, as it works on the lower chamber of the heart...not the atria. The arrythmia nurse advised me that I will still get AF episodes and I still have to stay on anti arrythmic meds....so it all seems pretty pointless to me, unless there's another reason he wants to use an ICD that I dont know about. I intend to find out....and I still have to have an ablation to follow.

  • This sounds an unusual course of action to me so if I were you I would seek more info and guidance.


  • I agree, Bob...and I am most certainly going into this with my EP, although I wont see him now until the day of the operation. If I'm not happy with the explanation, I wont sign the consent form. I dont fancy having a shock delivered when I get an episode!

  • Hi margar17,

    Sounds like he may be trying to use it to do an internal cardioversion, hopefully terminating the AF as soon as it starts. That's my guess, BUT you've really got to ask to find out exactly what the reason for it is.

    You could try phoning his secretary to see if it is possible to speak to him prior to your next appointment.

    Hope you get a satisfactory resolution to it since the ICD being triggered has lots of implications if you are a driver. My "pacemaker EP" told me last Wednesday that you are not allowed to drive for one month after having one fitted. Also if it triggers whilst driving you could face a driving ban of between 6 and 12 months.

    All the best and hope you get it sorted out.


  • If you can't get hold of him through his secretary try the arrhythmia nurse at the hospital (they will have access to computer system, etc) and if they can't help then they can speak to consultant.

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