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ICD Procedure Recovery


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  • ICD Procedure Recovery


    After the results from my holter test and my 3.3 cm septum my Dr. strongly advised me to get an ICD/pacer. So this Thursday I'm going in to meet the electrophysiologist. Then we will also schedule to get this done.
    The questions that I have are:
    Can somebody tell me in more detail on how this procedure gets gone?
    Is the heart stopped to test the ICD?
    How long does the operation take?
    How long does the recovery take?
    If somebody drives me to work can I do my desk job (computer work only)?
    How long will it take before I can get back to work?

    Most important question: I'm going on a cruise Aug. 29. If the operation gets done next week, will I be able to go on my cruise

    Thanks for your continuing support,

  • #2
    Re: ICD Procedure Recovery

    Fred, I will give you the rundown of my husband's ICD placement. First of all, no they don't stop your heart to test it. I'll explain that in a minute.

    They took him back to the EP lab at about 9-9:30 am. Obviously I wasn't there, but here are some of the things they do - they prepped him including putting external defibrillator pads on him. They made a pocket just under the skin on the left side about an inch and a half under the collar bone. They ran the leads through a vein and attached them to the heart. Then they connected the wires to the ICD unit. They stimulated his heart into an abnormal rhythm to test the unit. It shocked him out of arrhythmia. I think they did this 2 or 3 times. I forgot. Anyway, they put the ICD into the pocket and sewed him back up. He was in his room by about 12:30 and felt well enough to eat a sandwich. They observed him for a while, then ran some x-rays but they released him that day and we went out for buffalo wings that night. (Probably wouldn't have done that but we were staying in a hotel and couldn't go home to eat.)\

    As far as recovery goes, you shouldn't lift your hand above your head for a couple of weeks. We left that area and drove home - 7 hours - the day after the surgery. I drove and he was comfortable enough. He was on vacation for a couple of weeks after the surgery so I don't know how soon he could've gone back to work, but he was up and around walking and going places with me like the store within a couple of days.

    Remember that this is one person's experience and that others may have had very different experiences. However, I would say you'll be fine to go on your cruise at the end of August! Have fun!!


    Husband has HCM.
    3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.


    • #3
      Re: ICD Procedure Recovery


      Thank you so much for this info, this is really helpfull in getting ready for this and getting prepared for this appointment.
      Knowing that I can be well enough for my trip takes a big load off my back.

      Anybody else with some experiences?



      • #4
        Re: ICD Procedure Recovery

        Dear Fred,

        Use the search function to find all the ICD recovery posts --there are quite a few. (the search button is in the link cluster at the top of this page).

        Good luck and keep us posted,


        • #5
          Re: ICD Procedure Recovery


          Reenie's post hits it right on the head.
          I had an ICD put in this past March. They took me at around noon and the the procedure took about 1 1/2 hours, waking up still in the operating room to the doctor telling me everthing went well. In recovery, they ordered me a meal.
          I stayed overnight in the hospital and they tested the device the next day, going home that evening.
          The doc told me to try not to move the arm so much so that the leads have time to set properly. I stayed home for 3 weeks following surgery and relaxed. I didn't take any meds for pain because I felt I didn't need them.
          Once home I relaxed and went out with my wife at the helm without any problems.
          Worst part for me was just getting showered, drying off and getting dressed.
          Hope this helps a little.

          Good luck with your procedure and keep us updated.
          Stay well and God Bless
          Diagnosed in 1980, ICD Implant 2003, 2nd ICD in 2010.
          Gene Positive, As is my mom as well as one of my 2 sons ( 50% Rule ) and my Grandson.
          Non Obstructive. Atenolol


          • #6
            Re: ICD Procedure Recovery

            Fred this is a piece of cake. All the above are spot on. However, do remember that your body will have its own adjustment period so you might give or take a little. My ICD was placed in January. About the hardest thing for me was not raising my left arm for 6 weeks. The pain was not that bad after the first day. I iced the wound down for a couple of days and took very little by way of pain meds. Now I golf and live a fairly normal (if someone with HCM can be normal) life. Best wishes for you.
            God Squad co-moderator
            Nothing is as gentle as strength and nothing is as strong as gentleness


            • #7
              Re: ICD Procedure Recovery

              1st ICD on a Thurusday - home on a friday (hubby - drove back from Boston to NJ) out of work for 3 or 4 days... hubby drove me to work for a week then on my own. We closed on our home 2 weeks post op
              ... oh and hung wallpaper at 3 weeks post op (not something I recommend...but If you saw that paper in the house when we moved in you may well understand...orange and green with chickens and coffee gringers cira 1968 )

              Be well,
              Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
              YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

              Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
              lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
              Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
              Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
              Currently not obstructed
              Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)


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