Icd : Hi and good morning, the day is... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Hi and good morning, the day is now approaching for my appointment with the cardiologist to discuss getting an icd fitted, I have much trepidation about the whole thing although I know it must be necessary or they wouldn't be suggesting it. I am pretty hopeless when I see doctors regarding questions I should ask, it's always when I have been home for a few hours I think of something! So I was wondering if anyone could help me make up a list of what I should be asking, before I do the same again, I always have to go to appointments myself so I think I just panic about what they are saying and just keep quiet and say no questions!!, thanks chaz xx

12 Replies
rogerctyler profile image

I had an ICD fitted in 2014 & every time I go back for a check up I always want to know if the parameters they have set are still correct & also if the battery still has plenty of life left in it. Don’t worry about having it fitted as it’s only a very small operation & they keep a good eye on you remotely via WiFi in between your appointments. I hope this helps & reassures you. Good luck !

laura_dropstitch profile image
laura_dropstitchHeart Star

It really depends what your own concerns are, I think. I asked quite a lot of questions about getting a shock - how it would feel, under what circumstances it might happen, whether I might be shocked during exercise or if I got a fright. (Answers: will feel like being kicked by a horse, you'll only be shocked if you'd die otherwise so always preferable, your heart will not reach shockable rate through exertion/fright.) I also asked about things I might not be able to do with device - use microwaves, phones etc. (Answer: all this is fine.) I was mostly assessed via MRI before having my device fitted and that's not possible now, so I asked how they'd monitor my heart going forwards. I wanted to know about the procedure of fitting it (how they do it, how long it would take etc) and about recovery time. My ICD also has a pacemaker and resynchroniser (to make two sides of my heart work together) and I wanted to know whether I'd be able to feel those working.

Ultimately, the device doesn't have any real negatives. I don't ever want to be shocked, but it will only do that if the alternative is death, so then I'd choose shock every time. I'm fairly certain that's the sort of conclusion you'll come to as well, so all you need to know is what will set your mind at ease.

Did you say it was Dr Gardner you're seeing? He was happy for me to contact him after the appointment if I had any more questions and we spoke on the phone in the week running up to the procedure.

Best of luck! x

laura_dropstitch profile image
laura_dropstitchHeart Star in reply to laura_dropstitch

PS My husband asked about sex. I was mortified and Dr Gardner was most amused! "I don't know what you're planning to do in the bedroom, but you definitely won't cause heart rates to rise THAT much." Poor old hubby... ;)

in reply to laura_dropstitch

Lol, my other half hasn't mentioned it yet!! Mabe he waiting till nearer the time hehe x

in reply to laura_dropstitch

Hi Laura, these are great questions to ask, I hadn't thought of any of them, I am so hopeless! I will make a list for him, it is Dr gardner and again it's reassuring to know that he is willing to answer them and be contacted at a later date, I will let you know what type he is going to use, oh the thought, but like yourself I know it could save my life xx

skid112 profile image
skid112Heart Star

Lol you too have me in stitches, hope the appointment goes well Chaz, nice to know the doctor will respond post appointment too.

Wodney1966 profile image

Just go with the flow lol I had my icd fitted in Jan 6 weeks off chilling than back to work neva looked back feeling gd gd luck 👍👍👍👍👍👍☘☘☘☘☘

in reply to Wodney1966

Hi thanks once again it's reassuring to know that there seems to be no problems with it once fitted, always a worry it might just go off, for no reason!! 😱 x

dickielex profile image

All good advice- I have had my ICD since April, 2013. Apart from some difficulties over the long-distance monitoring (I download ICD data to the cardiac unit on-line which saves me a 100 mile round trip for check-ups), it's just there. It was a painless procedure and it's not uncomfortable although it's more visible than I had expected. It's an amazing bit of technology and to have it fitted free is another blessing from the NHS. In the USA the procedure and the gizmo cost well over $100,000!

in reply to dickielex

Hi and thanks for your reply, I am lucky that I am only 20mins drive from my specialist hospital although it is a bit of a trek on public transport, I dread not being able to take the car, but after reading how far some of you are from there hospitals I def shouldn't be moaning, I did ask one of the cardiologists if you would be able to see it, he just laughed and replied, on you! Yes, ah well a small price to pay, and as you say with the cost being picked up by the NHS I have a lot to be grateful for. X

Freebird4ever profile image

Hi, I had one fitted in August, went in for 8am back on ward by 10am, no pain, I was very nervous before, back to ward and cup of tea they will give you paracetamol if you need them, they check the device next morning and then I was off home.

Hope all goes well

in reply to Freebird4ever

Thanks, I am glad to hear it all went well, it's just the thought, I think that's worse than actually getting things done, like going to the dentist lol x

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