Understand the Realities of Life with an ICD

Expert advice about what activities should and shouldnt be avoided can help keep you safe and healthy.

Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) can improve the quality of life for many heart patients, but a number of misconceptions and questions surround the devices. Cardiologists are often asked questions like, "Will my cell phone ruin my ICD?" or "What about metal detectors at airports?" We asked Cleveland Clinic cardiologist Thomas J. Dresing, MD, what people should know about living with an ICD. ICDs are small devices, about the size of a pager, that are placed below the collarbone and continuously monitor the hearts rhythm. If the heart beats too quickly, the ICD issues a lifesaving jolt of electricity to restore the hearts normal rhythm and prevent sudden cardiac death.
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