ICD: Hi everyone I'm new here feeling a... - British Heart Fou...

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Debz1970 profile image
12 Replies

Hi everyone I'm new here feeling a little scared. Been told I need an ICD fitted just a little worried about the procedure, and how I will be afterwards. Will I be able to work, drive, etc.

12 Replies
rogerctyler profile image

Hi I had an ICD fitted back in 2014. You need to check with the DVLA regards driving. You will be abale to work providing your employers agree to it. Otherwise you just get on with life like normal. You hardly know it’s in place. You will have to go back to the hospital for checkups but they will inform you when your check up is due. I hope this helps.

Debz1970 profile image
Debz1970 in reply to rogerctyler

Yes thank you

AlaninSpain profile image

I had one fitted a year ago, the procedure was vert simple in fact i watched on the monitor screen the surgeon putting the wires into my heart. was told that I could drive for 6 months but was driving after one. As I drive a left hand drive car (I live in Spain) the seat belt was a bit uncomfortable for a while.

I have had to make some life changes, I was a keen cyclist and walker but that has all had to be revised as it is excessive exercise that causes my arrhythmia. I still walk virtually every day but have had to revise the routes that I do. In fact I run a walking group and have recently introduced a new group called 'Walking for Wellness' and is aimed at the 'less fit'. We walk between 5 & 7 km in the beautiful Andalucian countryside every Wednesday.

I know that the implant is always there and that there is always the threat of another episode, but I just get on with life and it's better than the alternative.

skid112 profile image
skid112Heart Star in reply to AlaninSpain

Grewt to hear that Alan, love walking in Spain such a different landscape. Aiming to walk up mulhacen next year

Kimmykib profile image

Hi hun

I have only had my ICD fitted for 2 week and i know how u feel it was a little nerve racking at first but its not as scary as u think honest 😊😊

For the procedure u go in the talk you through it do your obs and in my case i had a canula put in and they like to have it on the left side but i have very awkward veins so it hard to go on my right lmao

I went into the surgical room laid flat they are reassuring and looking after u the whole time i had sedation and pain relief through as i have chronic back pain so was chilled. You cant see what there doing but you can feel it its a bit of pulling and pressure but it doesnt hurt and it takes about an hour.

With me i dont know about everyone else but they put me too sleep to test fire the device but u dont feel a thing and then took to recovery. I am not gunna lie its really sore and painful the first couple of days but it gets better quite quickly and you cant make large movements with your arm or lift it above you head. And you can be out of hospital the next day so thats a bonus 😁😁

And i was told to have a few days rest and dont know bout driving apart from you have to inform them you have the device

Quick tip get yourself a soft wide strapped bra that is lose cos you will need support for your device as boobs moving can hurt lol

Hope this helps

Debz1970 profile image
Debz1970 in reply to Kimmykib

Thank you that has helped a lot. Haven't got an appointment for the op yet just waiting. My dad has to have the same op done too so you never no we might have it done together lol x

Kimmykib profile image
Kimmykib in reply to Debz1970

Lol well at least you could be nervous together and keep each other company 😁😁😁

And glad i could help xx

Kimmykib profile image
Kimmykib in reply to Debz1970

Ooooooo and forgot to say good luck hun u and your dad will be fine let us all know when you get your date and after the procedure so we know your safe and sound and i will keep u in my prayers x

Debz1970 profile image
Debz1970 in reply to Kimmykib

Thank you x

Heartlady1 profile image

Hi Debr1970.... welcome to the forum. You are with lots of like minded people who have been through... or are going through similar to yourself.

I have had a CRTD device fitted 6 weeks ago. And I too was worried about the op and life afterwards.

I must say that for me the waiting for the op was the worst part. The op itself was much better than I had thought... I was in overnight and then allowed home the next day.

What I found really useful was the pre op meeting.... when I met with the ICD nurse who talked me through the op... what to expect.. .. And how I would feel after. She also told me how long I would not be allowed to drive for and gave me the technical name so that I could report to the DVLA. Once reported tge DVLA then send you a letter to say how long you are unable to drive.

I wrote a list of questions which she was able to talk me through. The only question no one would commit to is how long did I need to be off work. They just said to go back when you feel up to it ... And go back part time... staged return. I was feeling good after 2 weeks but a word of caution. When I went back to work and was doing things... I felt pretty sore. Other people here then told me they took 6 weeks before going back. So please be kind to your body and remember it's great feeling well bit take it easy for a few weeks before going back to work.

The great think for me post op is not constantly worrying about my heart anymore and now getting life back to Normal again.

Good luck with your op.... And remember to write down lots of questions to ask at your pre op meeting x

Debz1970 profile image
Debz1970 in reply to Heartlady1

Thank you x

laura_dropstitch profile image
laura_dropstitchHeart Star

Hi. I've had my ICD (a CRT-D) for over four years. Not much to add to all the good advice above, but figured it couldn't do you any harm to hear from someone else who tells you it'll all be fine! :)

I had planned to go back to work within a couple of weeks but ended up taking about six weeks off. I was a bit more uncomfortable than I'd expected and wasn't sleeping too well, plus I was looking after an 18-month-old at the time, so wasn't getting much of a chance to rest! Also it took me that long to feel confident about going out and about on my own without worrying I was about to be shocked. If your work are supportive (mine were, which was a big help) then I would probably plan for something like six weeks to recover and take the time to be really kind to yourself, make sure you are happy and comfortable. Within a few months, I wasn't really aware of the device at all, was back to being able to wear any sort of bra, sleep in any sort of position and get on with life. I still haven't been shocked (other than the initial test, but I was so heavily sedated I don't really remember it) but I feel reassured by the defibrillator's presence and am glad to have it.

There have been quite a few threads about this before if you want to read any more about it.




And the BHF page about ICDs here: bhf.org.uk/heart-health/tre...

Good luck and feel free to message me directly if you ever want to chat. I'm always happy to answer questions, however awkward! :)

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