Defibrillators Specialist

Pinnacle Healthcare System

Cardiology & Internal Medicine & Nephrology located in Hollywood, FL & Pembroke Pines, FL

If you have a heart condition that puts you at risk for sudden cardiac death, you can still confidently live and enjoy your life with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator. The skilled heart specialists at Pinnacle Healthcare System have extensive experience identifying patients who qualify for a defibrillator. They safely implant the device and teach you what to expect as you move forward in life. To learn more about defibrillators, call one of the offices in Hollywood or Pembroke Pines, Florida, or schedule an appointment online today.

Defibrillators Q & A

What are defibrillators?

Defibrillators are battery-powered medical devices that send out an electrical impulse to stabilize or restart your heartbeat.

You may be familiar with the automated external defibrillators found in public places. These devices work like the defibrillators used to revive patients in the hospital, but anyone can use them during an emergency.

The heart specialists at Pinnacle Healthcare System offer patients another type of defibrillator called an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). After they implant an ICD, it continuously senses your heartbeat.

When your heart speeds up, skips a beat, or stops beating, the device sends an electric impulse through wires into your heart. The shock makes your heart rhythm return to normal or restarts the heart.

Some ICDs also contain a pacemaker, so they can restore a slow heartbeat or regulate atrial fibrillation.

When might I need an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator?

The ICDs currently available treat heart arrhythmias that put you at risk for sudden cardiac arrest. You may need an ICD when your doctor diagnoses you with:

  • Ventricular fibrillation
  • Ventricular tachycardia
  • Long QT syndrome
  • A conduction disorder
  • Arrhythmia caused by a heart attack
  • Congenital conditions that are known to cause sudden cardiac arrest
  • Heart damage due to a neuromuscular disorder

Ventricular fibrillation, one of the top reasons people need an ICD, makes the lower chambers in your heart quiver instead of contracting to pump blood. Another condition typically treated with an ICD, ventricular tachycardia, causes a dangerously fast heartbeat.

What symptoms indicate I might need an implantable defibrillator?

The heart conditions often needing an ICD can cause symptoms such as:

  • Chest pain
  • Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) – racing heart
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of consciousness

You may also quickly get tired and out of breath when you try to exercise.

How are defibrillators implanted?

Your provider at Pinnacle Healthcare System implants the ICD’s pulse generator under your skin, usually just under the breastbone or near your ribs. Then they thread wires from the device, through your blood vessels, and into your heart.

After your surgery, your provider talks with you about what to expect if the ICD sends out a shock. They also give you instructions about any activities you should avoid and tips for avoiding devices and places with strong magnetic fields.

If you need exceptional care for heart symptoms or ongoing management of an existing arrhythmia, call Pinnacle Healthcare System or book an appointment online today.