Internal Cardiac Defibrillator (ICD) Service

An ICD is inserted with a similar procedure as a normal pacemaker.  Your cardiologist makes an incision, usually in the left shoulder/chest area, through which s/he passes one to three small leads to your heart.  The ICD checks the heartbeat for abnormal rhythms. If it senses an abnormal rhythm it sends out electrical pulses or a shock to return the heart rhythm to normal.



If you are having an Internal Cardiac Defibrillator inserted you may be given the option of having intravenous sedation. The sedation is given through a cannula (small plastic tube) placed in the vein. You will feel sleepy and relaxed following the sedation but you will not be unconscious (this is not a general anaesthetic).

If you have sedation

  • You must have someone to accompany you home and remain with you for 12 hours
  • You must not drive or operate machinery for 24 hours
  • You must not consume alcohol for 24 hours
  • You should not make any vital decisions or sign any legal documents for 24 hours
  • You should not take any medication not prescribed or acknowledged by your doctor



Permanent pacemaker insertion is a relatively safe procedure and serious complications are rare. The risk depends on your overall health and your individual heart condition – your doctor will not recommend the test if they don’t feel the benefits outweigh the small risk.

  • Blood clots
  • Surgical site infection (redness or discharge from wound)
  • Collapsed lung (may require intervention such as a chest drain)
  • Pacemaker malfunction (ICD can misfire)
  • Internal bleeding



  • Severe pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Inflammation or redness at surgical site
  • Discharge from wound

Available at the following locations:

  • Dublin

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