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An Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) is a device that is placed permanently inside your body to monitor your heart rhythm (the speed and pattern of your heartbeat).
If this rhythm becomes too fast or too slow, the ICD sends out electrical signals that help bring the rhythm back to normal, either by cardioversion, defibrillation or pacing. The ICD is put inside your body during a minor surgical procedure called implantation.
In most cases, implantation takes one to three hours. The ICD is usually implanted on the left side of your chest. Implantation does not require open heart surgery (your chest will not be opened). During implantation:
In some cases, the ICD can be put elsewhere in the body. This could be in the abdomen, on the right side of the chest, or on the left side under the muscle. If one of these is an option for you, your doctor will explain more.
After an ICD implantation, you'll stay in the hospital at least overnight. While in the hospital, your heart's signals are monitored to see how the ICD is working. You can go home when your condition is stable. Once you get home: