An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), or defibrillator, stops dangerously fast heart rhythms in the ventricles (the heart’s lower chambers). The device is used to treat sudden cardiac arrest and to restore a normal heartbeat.
Implantation of a defibrillator involves positioning leads (thin, insulated wires) in the heart, and placing the device beneath the skin. It is typically placed in the shoulder area. In most cases, the implant procedure involves only local anesthetics and a sedative, rather than general anesthesia. Most people have a fairly quick recovery after an ICD implant.