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Removal of Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) may be removed due to an infection around the device or in the heart tissue.
Call 911 or have someone else call for any of the following:
- You have any of the following signs of a heart attack:
- Squeezing, pressure, or pain in your chest
- and any of the following:
- Discomfort or pain in your back, neck, jaw, stomach, or arm
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea or vomiting
- Lightheadedness or a sudden cold sweat
- You have trouble breathing.
- You lose consciousness or stop breathing.
Seek care immediately if:
- Blood soaks through your bandage.
- Your stitches come apart.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever or chills.
- Your wound is red, swollen, or draining pus.
- You have nausea or vomiting.
- Your skin is itchy, swollen, or you have a rash.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition.
You may need any of the following:
- Heart medicine may be given to strengthen or control your heartbeat.
- Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely.
- Antibiotics help treat an infection.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Care for your wound as directed:
Wear loose-fitting clothing over your wound. Do not get your wound wet until your healthcare provider says it is okay. Carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty. Do not put powders or lotions over your incision. Check your wound everyday for signs of infections such as swelling, redness, or pus. Empty your drain as directed. Write down how much you empty each time.
- Apply ice on your wound for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.
- Do not lift anything heavier than 3 pounds. Lifting may put too much stress on your incision. Ask your healthcare provider when you can lift heavy objects.
- Limit the use of your arm nearest to your wound. Place your arm closest to the wound in a sling. Wear as directed. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your arm on pillows or blankets when you take off your sling to keep it elevated comfortably. Do not lift your arm closest to your wound, over your heard for 5 days. Perform gentle range of motion exercises (ROM) exercises as directed to prevent arm and shoulder stiffness.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.