- Avoid overuse of your left arm for 4-6 weeks following surgery. This includes lifting the arm over your head, lifting or pulling weight greater than 10 pounds.
- Do use the arm normally for all routine activities to avoid shoulder stiffness.
- Avoid rough contact sports and sharp blows or trauma to the ICD device.
- Avoid hot tubs, swimming alone, or high places (i.e. ladders or roofs).
- Do not drive until your physician has given you the okay.
- Resume sexual activity as tolerated.
- Keep a safe 12-inch distance between your ICD and strong magnetic fields.
- Depending on your device, you may hear a soft beeping sound if you are too close to a magnetic field. Just move away until the beeping sound disappears.
Things to avoid:
- Power tools and running motor engines
- Strong magnets
- Cellular phones- hold the phone to you’re the ear opposite to your ICD.
- Magnetic resonance imaging known as MRI.
- Stereo speakers
- Large generators and power plants
- Electrical and gas-powered appliance or tool.
- Ham radios
- Arc welders
Make sure to:
- Inform your doctors and dentist of your ICD if you are to undergo a dental or surgical treatment.
- Carry your ICD identification card with you at all times.
- Wearing a medic alert bracelet/necklace is advised.
- You can safely operate most appliances and tools such as: microwaves, household appliances, computers, washer/dryers, TV’s/VCR’s, and remote controls.
What to do if you receive a shock:
- If you feel fine after the shock and no more symptoms appear, call the Arrhythmia Center at 860-972-2883 to schedule an appointment in the ICD clinic. The Arrhythmia Center is open Monday to Friday 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM.
- If you pass out or do not feel well after a shock, or receive multiple shocks call 911. You need to be examined at the hospital.
- Keep a diary of time of activities and symptoms experienced at the time of the shock.
- Keep in mind that a shock treatment means your ICD is doing its job. It sees a dangerous rhythm and returns the heart to a normal rhythm. Remember to stay calm and find a place to sit or lie down.
Be prepared when planning a trip:
- Take along information about your ICD ( I.D. card and medic alert bracelet)
- Carry a list of all medications you are taking. Bring an adequate supply of your medications and carry them with you (not in your suitcase).
- If you are going away for several months, ask for the name of a doctor you can see for a follow up visit.
- Do not allow airport security to use hand-held metal detectors above your waistline. You can safely walk through the metal detector walkway but request to be hand searched above the waist if the magnetic hand wand is used.
When to call the doctor:
- If your incision becomes red, swollen, bruised or has drainage call your surgeon.
- If symptoms re-occur that were present prior to the implant of your ICD call your cardiologist.(Such symptoms may include: lightheadedness, dizziness, fluttering in your chest/palpitations, shortness of breath or near-fainting)