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Jbm2020, September 24,  2020  6:47pm EST

Implantable Cardioverter Defibulator (ICD)

Does anyone have an ICD?  I would like to know if it helped them or not.  I had a massive heart attack about 4 months ago and only 30% of my heart is working. I have 1 stint on the left side of my heart (left Ventricle). The thing is that getting a defib... doesn't increase the amount my heart is working.  Apparently there are many things that can go wrong with having surgery to have an ICD implanted in your upper chest.  The article I read said that 36 out of 100 people vs 29 out of 100 people getting the defib would increase a persons chances of living longer by seven people.  There was less risk of dying suddenly of an irregular heart rhythm within 5 years. But not having a defib....implanted didn't have much difference in added years to my life and there would be no multiple surgeries for possible things going wrong with an implanted defib.  I would appreciate anyone who does have a defibulator to tell me how they felt about making that decision.  Thanks, JBL

3 Replies
  • EMON1
    EMON1, September 24,  2020  8:20pm EST

    I'm sorry if I'm wrong, but just to clarify, are you sure the '30% heart' you have isn't an 'EF of 30%', your  Ejection fraction, which does mean 'heart failure' but not that you have 30% of your heart. The EF is normally (50)55%-75%, the amount of blood pumped per beat. Under (40)45% is considered 'heart failure'. Your heart works, just not as efficiently as it should. That's why a lot of us take certain pills to help. I ask because you should accurately understand your situation when discussing this with your cardiologist. My understanding is, an EF below 30% is when they 'consider' an ICD, but medications 'may' still be an option.

    Again, I apologize if I'm reading you wrong, I just want to make sure you fully understand your situation when discussing this with your doctor. (Matter of fact, for this procedure you may want a 2nd cardiologist's opinion) Good luck regardless!

  • AHAASAKatie
    AHAASAKatie, September 25,  2020  8:21am EST

    Good morning, I can share the information we have on Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators and heart failure with you. I do agree with Emon1 that getting clarity on your condition, is it an arrhythmia issue or heart failure or a combination of the two is important. And, second opinions are always a good idea. 

    I am truly sorry that you are having to manage all of this, it can be A LOT of information to take in at one time. 

    Please know that we are here to help you and offer support. 
    Best Katie

  • Jbm2020
    Jbm2020, September 26,  2020  7:04pm EST

    Thank you for your replies and advice.  Yes, the EF is 30%, which is considered heart failure.  It has been difficult and after meeting with the implant doctor regarding the ICD, the risks outweigh the benefits.  Having a defibulator implanted does not increase the amount of heart function and the life expectancy of having one as to not going through the procedure is not much of a difference.  Reading all of the things that can go wrong with implanting the ICD just reads like a horror story.  Thank you both so much for responding. God bless you both!!!!!

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