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An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is used in patients at risk for sustained elevated heart rate (tachycardia). An ICD may be recommended if a patient has had a ventricular arrhythmia, a heart attack, survived a sudden cardiac arrest, a congenital heart disease or other underlying conditions for sudden cardiac arrest. The device is connected to leads positioned inside the heart or on its surface. These leads are used to deliver electrical shocks, sense the cardiac rhythm and sometimes pace the heart, as needed. The leads are connected to a generator, typically a little larger than a wallet and have electronics that automatically monitor and treat heart rhythms recognized as abnormal. Newer devices are smaller and have simpler lead systems. They can be installed through blood vessels, eliminating the need for open chest surgery. After the procedure the patient is to stay in the hospital overnight.

Internal Cardiac Defibrillator Testing

ICD testing is when your heart is put into an abnormal rhythm and the device shocks the heart to put it back into a normal rhythm.

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