Defibrillator or AICD

For invasive procedures, you would be under the best of care with our physicians who have served as Directors of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories at Northside Hospitals Forsyth and Cherokee where they pioneered coronary angioplasty and stenting. Our specialists perform the following procedures at Northside Hospital Forsyth, Northside Hospital Cherokee, Emory Johns Creek Hospital, and St. Joseph’s Hospital of Atlanta.

Who is an candidate for an AICD?

The AICD is implanted only in patients who have a risk for a life-threatening arrhythmia and all the correctible causes have been ruled out. The most common indication is patient with weak heart muscle or cardiomyopathy from any cause, with the most common cause being coronary artery disease. If you have had a heart attack or suffered from a sudden cardiac arrest, your doctor may recommend an AICD for you as well. An AICD is extremely useful in preventing death in patients who are at risk of suffering ventricle arrhythmia.

How does it work?

An AICD is a battery powered device that is self-contained and gets inserted underneath the skin below the collarbone near the heart. Wires are then run through the veins and to the heart, allowing patients to avoid open-chest surgery to insert the device. The AICD then keeps track of your heart rate and detects when the rhythm becomes irregular, either becoming too slow or too fast. If your heart is beating irregularly or if it is racing in a dangerous way, an electric shock is sent to your heart, effectively resetting it so that it resumes a regular heart rate.

Are there any restrictions?

Because the AICD is a device under your skin, you do need to take extra precautions so as not to damage the device. You should always carry your AICD identification card on you so any emergency or medical help knows you have the device. Be sure to tell your healthcare professionals that you have an AICD as well.

Who is AICD for?

AICD is not the solution for everyone who suffers from heart trouble, but for those who suffer from weak heart muscle it is often indicated.