Pacemaker to Defib upgrade

Hello. I am a 44 year old male who has a Medtronic Dual Chamber pacemaker for complete heart block.  I have 12 months left of battery and have been told that I need to have it upgraded to a Defibrlator in the near future.

Can anyone who has also had this done give me any advice on the procedure and living with a Defib compared to a Pacemaker.  

Thanks in advance


Driving is usually the big issue

by crustyg - 2020-12-28 05:18:03

That, and unintended 'firing' of the defib.  If it's precautionary, most driver licensing authorities allow driving if the ICD hasn't fired for 6-12months, so after the usual pause following a box installation/replacement you're ok to drive.

Living with an ICD is exactly the same as living with a PM (or CRT-<x>) - until it fires - and hopefully saves your life.  Then you understand what folk mean when they talk about the 'j**** jolt'.

The box is bigger than your current PM (bigger battery and a large capacitor), but apart from that, it uses the same two leads as you have now. Installation takes much the same time as a PM box change - but they have to make the pocket larger and that hurts - and then a few sutures to close the pocket +/- skin sutures or sticky tape and you're free to go home.

You know you're wired when...

You fondly named your implanted buddy.

Member Quotes

Stay positive and remember that your device is your new best friend.