Interesting Day having ICD fitted - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Interesting Day having ICD fitted


As scheduled I went to Liverpool Heart and Chest hospital on Monday 19th August to have my ICD implantation. Arrived at 7.50 and booked in. Had blood pressure taken, ECG, height weight etc and had a cannula put into right arm. Then given the fetching blue trousers and top to wear. Taken to theatre at 10.45 when the consultant I spoke to in April and explained everything to me was waiting with her team. Quite an intimidating surroundings, but the medical team were very friendly and did their best to make me feel comfortable. Anaesthetic applied to area of chest where device was going to be placed and sedation given via cannula.

I was awake the whole time, and apart from a bit of tugging and pulling when they were creating the pocket for the device didn’t feel any pain or discomfort. In fact it was very fascinating lying there while they did their stuff. The whole thing took just under an hour and then put on a bed and moved to Recovery where I was checked over and observed. Once they were happy moved back to Holly Suite on a chair, and then given a sandwich, pot of yogurt and a coffee for lunch.

2pm down to x-ray – at the far side of the hospital to check on leads then off to the tech people to calibrate the device then wheeled back to Holly Suite, BP taken very 30 mins, more ECG and finally doctor who did the stitching came to have a look at the wound and said once the discharge paperwork was sorted I could leave. Change back into my own clothes, cannula removed (the most painful episode of the day!) and discharged at 5pm.

The device I’ve had fitted is a Boston Scientific Resonate EL ICD DR model number D433, which accordingly to their website has a battery life of up to 16 years -

Attached is a picture of the x-ray (I said I'd get one!) showing my own little paramedic

Now just got to take in easy for another 4 weeks prior to going back to hospital for them to check everything over, already have appointment for Cardio rehab assessment for 23/9/2019 so will hopefully be back in the gym in St Caths in October

For anyone considering having an ICD who is worried about the process, believe me a hospital is not a place I want to spend the day in, but I can honestly say that it was a fascinating day. I didn’t have any pain, well apart from them pulling sticky tape off my arm, the staff were helpful friendly and cheerful throughout. It’s almost 2 weeks since discharge and the wound has been no problem, the first evening the site was a little sore and hot, not really surprised at that, but apart from that, no pain at all, swelling going down and wound steadily healing up. If progress continues like this I’ve be very pleased.

29 Replies

I had a pacemaker fitted whilst recovering from my AVR as I developed complete heart block following the surgery. The incision was okay, but as the surgeon started poking into my chest to create the pocket it was really painful, bit more anaesthetic and I was fine. As I was recovering from the heart surgery, once I was given the all clear I was moved back to the cardiac ward to continue my recovery. Felt a bit odd being able to feel the device under my skin, but so used to it now that I don’t think about it. Had it tweaked at my three month check up cos they’d set the maximum too low so was getting breathless on any exertion, but now fine. Feels a bit weird sometimes to think that little box is keeping my heart going, just hope it keeps going 🤪


Hi Wendy

I was surprised how painless the procedure was, and how painless it has been in the 2 weeks since. I still feel a bit odd having a machine in my chest, the swelling is yet to go down completely and the incision is still quite prominent, but I've positive that I'll get used to it.



Hi 16 years my s icd only lasts 5 yrs that's Boston scientific

Yes I'm a bit surprised with that claim on their website, mostly I've read "up to 7 years"

Thanks for posting. Very interesting and reassuring account !

Hey, so glad it's been done and you're doing so well and that you also got your trophy picture. Such a positive post. I don't know anything bout the Boston make as husband has a medtronic but it must be amazing to watch it being fitted. Did I mention the ICD-crtd group on Facebook that are fantastic for advice, help, info etc might be worthwhile looking them up. Best wishes for your continued recovery, keep us in touch with how you're getting on & enjoy the re-hab.

Hi Lezzers

Yep all done. I was really quite bothered about having this done, but knew that if LHCH were suggesting this procedure then it was something I needed to do. Don't know why I was so bothered, the wonderful staff there were so friendly and cheerful that I soon felt relaxed.

Yes I did spot you mentioned the ICD-crtd Facebook group a while ago and I have joined them - posted a pic of my paramedic on there today! I was determined to get a picture, the man in x-ray probably thought I was barking mad when I asked could I have a picture!

Just got to chill for the next 4 weeks now


Billiant, will the pic take pride of place on the mantlepiece? (showing my age there, do people still have mantlepieces??) enjoy your chill time

I'm glad it all went well.What amazing devices they are! Thank you for sharing with us.

I had a Boston Scientific CRT-P fitted approximately 4 months ago (under GA as it happens - long story). The device is quite obvious in-situ but that doesn’t concern me.

I was initially concerned that the incision and closure wasn’t tidy and a loose stitch was rectified using several butterfly stitches by a nurse - I thought that she had fitted them too tight as the skin had rolled-up at the incision. However, the scar is now barely visible (unlike the bump 😳). Once the scab had come off I massaged bio oil in twice a day. I like to think that this is responsible for the good outcome.

I wish I’d remembered to ask for an X-Ray. ☹️

What a fascinating account of having an ICD fitted! 😀 Hope your recovery is trouble free. Please update as time goes on 💐

I was wondering how you had got on, Spirit, glad it all went well & that it was done on the date you were given at Liverpool Heart. I had my bypass there on the date I was given when we met the surgeon as well.

Hope all goes well in the coming weeks & then back at St.Caths. Are you starting again or carrying on where you left off?


Hi Jean

Yes all done.

I'm going back to be assessed in St Caths on 23rd September. I finished my original 12 weeks in June, so don't know if they'll suggest that I do another 12 weeks or something less than that. Then after that I've finally get down to the Concourse for the Cardio Fit.


Cardio fit at the Concourse is on a Monday am or pm. It does get very busy though with normal members & it can be a struggle to get on machines especially the treadmill. I went on the afternoon list, it depends what vacancies there are at the time. It was for 12 weeks. A few then enrolled in the gym when they’d finished the cardio fit. I went back to the gym in Upton. Good luck.


Thanks for your well written and informative input. I myself am off to Broad Green on 24th Sept for a Pre Op Assessment, and hopefully having my ICD pretty soon🤞.The more info I can get, the better.

I don't know how having it will change things for me but an electric shock now and again will be better than my present problems.

Thanks again.

thetidders in reply to Grayjay

Hi, I went to Broad Green for a triple bypass in April last year. At my first appointment with the surgeon there he gave me my operation date & it never changed. The care I received from all the staff was second to none.

If you live in the Merseyside area Cardiac Rehab is also very good. Both Spirit & myself live on the Wirral which follows the rehab programme agreed with Broad Green.

Hope everything goes well for you, in this area you are going to the best place.


Grayjay in reply to thetidders

Thanks for your reply tiddlers. I'm no stranger to Broad Green as I had a triple bypass in 2000 and stents fitted to my grafts in 2009, and now in 2019 an ICD . I agree with you about the staff and care that they give you are second to none. Going by my track record they've kept me going for 19 years and hopefully for a bit longer.

God Bless.

Hello Grayjay

I had the pre op assessment one week prior to the procedure. Only took about 45 mins. The specialist nurse does you height, weight, BP, ECG, listens to you breathing. Then explains the process on the day. They go through you medicines with you ( by the way, the letter says take all you medicines with you in their original boxes, I did and the nurse said she didn't now why the letter asked for this) I had a list of meds which was all she needed. She gave me a list of medicines I needed to stop at various days in the following 7 days and some booklets on ICDs. Then she answered any questions I had.

Any questions please feel free to ask me

Good luck with your procedure.

Thanks very much.

Morning,read your post with interest.I had an emergency PC fitted about 10 years ago and I was horrified to learn it was by local anaesthetic and I could watch it on screen.I`m very squeamish about blood and incisions but staff were very supportive and gave me extra sedation and guess what...I watched it all cos it was in black and white.No one told me to take it easy so I went to the pub to celebrate next day.Was young and foolish then.Am now old and foolish! All the best for the future.You can relax now xx

I think that these days if it's possible they always use local rather than general anaesthetic as there could be problems with how we react to general, and the recovery time is extended.

Love your comment about went the the pub to celebrate next day 😊😊

Thank you, good luck with your clinic next Saturday

Thanks for your post great information but still hoping meds can keep me pacing OK.

thanks again so positive.

Hi SOTF I had mine fitted in 2012 and seem to remember the experience was very similar to yours. I've had 2 episodes of the unit firing and despite the obvious discomfort I am pleased to report I am still alive and enjoying life. Intrigued by your call name are you like me a Pink Floyd fanatic or is this a new Gin I've not heard of yet. Regards Teflongt.

Hi Taylog

Good to hear that you're doing well.

It was certainly an interesting day out, amazing what they can do these days!

You're right with the first one - Pink Floyd, first saw them in the Marquee Club in London in the 1966 when Syd was a member.


Great stuff, guess I started following them in 1970. I have been going to the Aussie Pink Floyd shows and Britfloyd not quite the same but a bloody good night out. Hope you continue to recover well and you are right about what they can do these days. Amazing really.


Hi there, sounds good, you didn’t say how you are feeling now with the device?

I'm OK with it.

The hospital suggested an ICD in April. I had a meeting with the consultant who carried out the procedure at the end of April and was booked in for 19th August at that time.

At the time it was explained that they thought I was in danger of having an arrhythmia at some point in the future which would probably lead to a cardiac arrest - an ICD would prevent this and keep me alive, without an ICD a cardiac arrest might well mean curtains - no brainer really.

So I've had nearly 4 months the research it all a bit further and fully accept the upsides and the downsides of an ICD - of which the Ups I feel definitely outweigh the Downs.

Like I said on a different post yesterday, I had a heart attack out of the blue, before having it I never went around wandering if I've have a heart attack, I'm going to adopt the same strategy as regards having a shock, if it happens, it happens, I'm not going to worry about it.

The wound is healing well and the swelling going down day by day. My main problem at the moment is learning to chill out for the next 4 weeks, even had to employ a gardener to keep control of my garden! It's not my style sitting here watching daytime TV! 😒

Thank you for taking the time to reply.

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