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How do they implant defibrillators?

A modern implanted defibrillator is almost identical to a pacemaker. These devices consist of two parts: electrodes and a pulse generator.

The electrodes are the part that sits within the heart, they sense any abnormal heart rhythms and deliver an electric shock if an abnormal rhythm is detected. These electrodes are threaded through the veins that lead to the heart and into the right side of the heart that those veins drain into. This is known as “transvenous” placement.

At the same time the electrodes are being placed, the pulse generator will be placed beneath the skin of the chest. This is typically done in the left chest as the entry point for the electrode is in one of the veins near the upper part of the left chest. This pulse generator is a small box that contains the battery and circuitry that makes the defibrillator work.

What is an implanted cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)?

How serious is the surgery to implant a defibrillator?

How long is the procedure to put in a defibrillator?

How long does it take to recover from defibrillator surgery?

How long can a person live with an implanted defibrillator?

How often do you have to replace a defibrillator?

* Savings estimate based on a study of more than 1 billion claims comparing self-pay (or cash pay) prices of a frequency-weighted market basket of procedures to insurer-negotiated rates for the same. Claims were collected between July 2017 and July 2019. R.Lawrence Van Horn, Arthur Laffer, Robert L.Metcalf. 2019. The Transformative Potential for Price Transparency in Healthcare: Benefits for Consumers and Providers. Health Management Policy and Innovation, Volume 4, Issue 3.

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