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Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a small device placed under the skin to keep track of the heartbeat. A defibrillator implant is useful in preventing sudden death and abrupt cardiac arrest in patients who may not have suffered a heart attack, but are at its risk.

Who needs a defibrillator implant?

A heart fibrillator surgery can be required in adults, teens and in unfortunate cases, children too. Any cardiologist can recommend defibrillator procedure if an individual suffers from arrhythmia. An ICD pacemaker is very good at treating life-threatening problems, such as ventricular arrhythmias.

Some forms of arrhythmias make the ventricles either quiver frequently or beat too fast. People who have earlier suffered from a ventricular arrhythmia before or had a heart attack that previously damaged the electrical system of the heart are at a higher risk of ventricular arrhythmias in the future.

People who have fortunately survived a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) are often recommended an ICD pacemaker surgery. Even for those who have specific heart conditions that put them at higher risk for SCA can also be recommended defibrillator procedure. Some of the common causes of arrhythmias include the following:

  • A previous history of heart attack
  • Formation of scar tissue in the heart
  • Changes in the structure of heart due to cardiomyopathy
  • Blocked arteries or coronary artery disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism
  • Smoking addiction
  • Too much alcohol or caffeine consumption
  • Stress or drug abuse
  • Overuse of certain medications and supplements, including over-the-counter cold and allergy medications
  • Diabetes
  • Sleep apnea or hereditary problems

Symptoms

Some of the noticeable symptoms of arrhythmia include the following:

  • A fluttering sensation in the chest
  • Tachycardia (fast heartbeat) or bradycardia (slow heartbeat)
  • Pain in the chest and shortness of breath felt at even at a little exertion
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Profuse sweating
  • Fainting or almost getting fainted

An ICD pacemaker device monitors the heartbeat at every moment and if required, it delivers an extra beat or gives an electrical shock to restore a normal heart rhythm. Another implantable device may be combined with it to control abnormal heart rhythms.

The defibrillator procedure can be performed on an outpatient or inpatient basis. Depending on the experience and preference of the doctor, the procedure can slightly vary.

After removal of jewelry and accessories and change into the hospital gown, the patient is required to empty their bladder. An IV line is started in the hand or arm before the procedure so that medicines and fluids can be injected later.

  • Usually, during the heart defibrillator surgery, the patient is placed on their back on the procedural table. An ECG or EKG is connected to monitor and it records all the electrical activities related to the heart. Vital signs such as breathing rate, blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen levels in the blood are constantly monitored. In areas where electrode patches are supposed to be placed are cleaned and at times the hair may be shaved or clipped off in some cases. Large electrode pads are placed on both front and back of the chest.
  • A sedative is administered in the IV to help the patient relax. But the patient will most likely be in his or her senses during the defibrillator procedure. The insertion site is then cleaned with an antiseptic solution and sterile towels and sheets are placed around the area. A local anaesthetic is injected into the skin at the site of insertion. The doctor makes a small incision at the site of insertion. Under the collarbone, a sheath or an introducer is inserted into a blood vessel. This sheath is a plastic tube through which the ICD lead wire is inserted into the blood vessel and later into the heart.
  • The patient is required to be as still as possible during the procedure so that the catheter does not move out of place or cause any kind of damage to the site of insertion. The lead wire is then introduced into the blood vessel through the introducer. This lead wire will now slowly making its way up to the heart.
  • Once the lead wire has made its way into the heart, the doctor test them to ensure that it works and serves the purpose. It is highly possible to have multiple lead wires inserted into the blood vessels, depending on the kind of device the doctor has chosen for the patient.  To test the location of the leads, fluoroscopy is conducted and the position is checked in the monitor.
  • Now the ICD generator is slipped under the skin through the point of an incision below the collarbone after the attachment of the lead wire. The generator is placed on the non-dominant side of the body (suppose if the patient is right-handed, then the device is placed on the upper left chest. If the patient is left-handed, the device is placed in the upper right chest). The ECG that was earlier mentioned keeps monitoring the function of the ICD and tests can be performed to assess the functioning of the device. The incision in the skin is closed with the help of a special glue or adhesive strips and a sterile bandage dressing is applied to the site.

The patient is closely monitored before the surgery and it is necessary to inform about any discomfort that is felt after AICD placement. Some amount of chest pain is normal.  Vital signs are monitored and the easily digestible food is given for a few days.You will be discharged when the breathing and heart rate stabilizes. Within a few weeks or so, you can resume a normal life with some restrictions on movement as advised by the doctor. Driving has to be avoided until the doctor approves of it.

Specific instruction has to be followed regarding bathing and dressing. Regular evaluation of ICD is required at a certain frequency. A duly filled card will be given at the time of discharge, which must be carried by you. You must inform the security personnel during airport screening or mall screening that you have an ICD installed. You must also avoid being close to heavy motors or strong magnetic and electromagnetic fields.

You must notify your doctor if you feel feverish, palpitations, or have severe chest pain during the recovery period or at any point of time. You must discard completely discard the habit of carrying the mobile in your chest pocket.

Benefits of ICD

  • Continuous monitoring of heart is achieved
  • Immediate improvement can be felt
  • Prevents chances of sudden death

Frequently Asked Questions

Israel is one of the most developed countries in the world which has been rightly praised for the healthcare benefits it offers. Unlike historical times, Israel has upgraded and advanced itself to keep at par with the progression in the medical field and has thus been capable of providing the best of the best benefits to not only the native citizens but for tourists from all across the world. The reason why thousands of people prefer Israel over other countries is because of the high affordability of the medical facilities. The healthcare benefits of the hospitals and the clinics are competent with the major countries which means their services are uncompromised even though the packages can be availed at approximately 65% affordable rates.
Even though Israel is counted among one of the most affordable countries for medical treatments, the country houses best hospitals and clinics, which are teamed yo with professional physicians and surgeons as well as advanced medical equipment. Due to the quality of the treatment available, a number of hospitals and clinics in Israel have earned due JCI certification. Hence, some of the most popular hospitals in Israel which have attained JCI certification are:
  • Sheba Medical Center
  • Sourasky Medical Center
  • Rabin Medical Center
  • Rambam Medical Center
  • Assuta Hospital

Not only the doctors, the hospitals in Israel follow a strict protocol while selecting medical staffs, which is why, the quality of even the support staffs remain incomparable. The support staffs are also trained to handle emergency situations as well as critical cases with umpteenth care so as to ensure complete healthcare to the candidate undergoing minor to major procedures.

The doctors and surgeons in Israel are globally recognized for their excellent skills which has also garnered them with awards from reputed medical universities. A high number of complex and terminal cases have been successfully treated by the medical professionals working in the country. More than the progressing technology, the doctors are accredited for the impressive treatments in the United States of America, which is why, every year the USA records some of the highest number of medical tourists from various corners of the world.
Visas for medical reasons are arranged by the sponsors directly through the government portal. However, the candidate should go through the procedure listed on the government portal so as to keep the documents and necessary photocopies, to be submitted, ready. In some cases, the candidate may also have to obtain a fresh permit from the Embassy mentioning the details and attaching the requirements to be followed. However, the documents needed for obtaining medical visa are:
  • Confirmation page of successfully filled visa application form
  • Visa fee paid and a photocopy of the receipt obtained for the same
  • Two passport size recent photographs not older than six months
  • Birth certificate, residential proof, employment proof, if any.
  • Civil status proof of the candidate
  • Minors require to provide signed consent of the parents or the guardians responsible
  • Medical certificate signed by the treating medical professional, mentioning clearly the cause of travel
  • Acceptance letter by the doctor being referred to, also stating the estimated time of stay required.
MediGence ensures a hassle-free medical travelling experience in Israel. Right from the beginning of the journey to the end, MediGence assists the candidates and the family with utmost care thereby making the stay as comfortable as it can be. Hence, here is a list of services provided for candidate satisfaction:
  • Visa Assistance
  • Free airport to hospital transfer
  • On-Ground Support
  • Teleconsultations
  • Accommodation Assistance
  • Rehabilitation and recovery services
Israel is brimming with historic cities that have graced mankind with beautiful architecture. However, the country has also upgraded itself in terms of medical facilities. This, some of the best cities in Israel which are ideal for availing medical treatment are:
  • Ramat Gan
  • Beer Sheva
  • Tel Aviv
  • Haifa

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