What You May Be Wondering
Do the shocks from an implantable cardioverter device (ICD) hurt when it is working?
Different people perceive shocks differently, so there is actually a wide range of experiences for an ICD shock. Some patients may not even be aware of the shock. Other patients may experience a mild sensation. Still others describe it like being kicked in the chest. Though it may be uncomfortable to receive a shock, it means your ICD responded to a very dangerous rhythm disorder of your heart.
Will an ICD or pacemaker be noticeable under my skin?
Many people just notice a small scar and a small bump after the incision heals. However, in people who are very small or thin, the device might stick out more. If you’re worried about how this might look, talk to your doctor. In some cases, the device can be located somewhere that will be less noticeable.
Are there any resources to help me decide about my treatment options?
The Ottawa Personal Decision Guide (OPDG) is designed for any health-related and/or social decisions. It may be helpful for you to assess your decision making needs, plan the next steps, and track their progress in decision making.
Last Reviewed: March 11, 2010 900245