Your physician may recommend you receive a bi-ventricular ICD (implantable cardiodefibrillator), if you have congestive heart failure. An ICD helps your heart beat in a more balanced way by synchronizing your right and left ventricles (cardiac resynchronization therapy). An ICD also gives you an important safety net, if you have advanced congestive heart failure with potentially deadly heart rhythm problems.
People who have received bi-ventricular ICDs for congestive heart failure report dramatic improvement in their ability to breathe and their energy levels for everyday activities.
A bi-ventricular ICD, when used along with drug therapy and diet and lifestyle changes, can help you feel better and live longer.
About Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure can cause the electrical synchronization between the right and left ventricles of your heart to be disordered. This can lead to poor blood circulation. Your heart can't pump enough blood to your lungs and the rest of your body. You may feel fatigued and short of breath and lack energy.
What You Need to Know
- To be eligible for an ICD, you must meet strict guidelines.
- Left bundle branch block.
- New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class III congestive heart failure.
- Previous heart attack with a low ejection fraction from an echocardiogram or cardiac catheterization.
- A bi-ventricular ICD is about the size of a small pager.
- The procedure to implant the ICD takes an hour or two.
- Your physician attaches leads (wires) from the ICD to your heart's right atrium, right ventricle and left ventricle by way of your coronary sinus. This is called resynchronization therapy, and it activates both your right and left ventricles and helps your heart beat in a more balanced way.
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