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Getting an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican Hospitals

An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a small, battery-operated device placed in your abdomen or chest to help control a dangerous type of arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat). Some newer ICDs also work as pacemakers.

Find a cardiac surgeon online or call Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican hospitals at (702) 616-4900.


When to Consider a Cardioverter Defibrillator Implant

You may be a candidate for an ICD if you have had:

  • Congenital heart disease that may cause sudden cardiac arrest
  • Ventricular fibrillation or tachycardia, which is when the lower chambers of the heart beat too fast or start to fibrillate (quiver)
  • Cardiac arrest and survived, but have an unstable heart rhythm
  • Heart attack and are at risk for a life-threatening arrhythmia
  • Severe symptoms related to an arrhythmia 

An ICD can detect a change in heart rhythm. It delivers a mild electric shock to restore a normal heartbeat. It can also help your doctor monitor your heart rhythm remotely. The ICD uses a battery that is replaced around every 10 years.


Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Placement in Las Vegas, NV

ICDs are placed by a cardiac surgeon in a Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican hospital or specialized clinic for interventional procedures. There are two parts to an ICD: the device that your surgeon places under the skin in your upper chest or abdomen. The second part is the wire leads that go to your heart. The surgeon may implant the leads in two ways: 

  • Transvenous procedure. This is the most common method. The surgeon threads the leads through a vein into your heart using a small incision near your collarbone.
  • Surgical procedure. This method may be appropriate if you are undergoing open heart surgery for another problem, such as heart valve surgery.

ICD implantation is generally well tolerated and safe. But with any surgery, there are risks. They include:

  • Infection
  • Damage to heart tissue and blood vessels
  • Bleeding at incision sites

Your cardiac surgeon will talk to you about ways to reduce your risk of complications.

You will get an ICD identification card that you must carry at all times. Make sure all health care providers you see know you have an ICD before you receive any new treatments or undergo any tests, especially MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).

Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican hospitals provides cardiac treatments and implantable cardioverter defibrillators in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.