Did you know that ICD defibrillators can improve 5-year survival rates to over 90%? These revolutionary devices are able to save lives every day for patients with heart disease.

Many patients are curious about whether or not ICD devices would be right for them. Would it be better to get a pacemaker? What is the difference between an ICD vs pacemaker?

In this article, we will walk you through everything you need to know about a pacemaker vs ICD.

What Is An ICD?

An ICD is an implantable cardioverter defibrillator. It’s a device that’s placed under the skin on your chest.

The ICD has wires that go to your heart. The device monitors your heart rhythm and can give you a shock if it detects a life-threatening irregular heartbeat.

An ICD may be an option for you if you have a history of:

  • Ventricular fibrillation, which is when the ventricles of your heart quiver uncontrollably instead of pumping blood
  • Ventricular tachycardia, which is when the ventricles beat too fast and prevent blood from being pumped efficiently to the rest of your body
  • Sudden cardiac arrest, which is when the heart stops beating unexpectedly

Your doctor may also recommend an ICD if you have had a heart attack and your left ventricle is damaged or weakened. Click here to learn about different types of ICDs.

What Is a Pacemaker?

A pacemaker is a smaller device placed under the skin. It uses electrical pulses to help control abnormal heart rhythms. This means that the heart can beat both slowly and more regularly.

A pacemaker can also help the heart to pump blood more effectively.

The device is made up of two parts: a generator and one or more leads. The generator is about the size of a half-dollar coin and contains a battery. The leads are thin wires that are threaded through veins to the heart muscle.

There are different types of pacemakers, and your doctor will choose the one that’s best for you based on your needs. Some pacemakers have a single lead, while others have multiple leads.

The type of pacemaker you have will determine how it’s implanted and how well it works.

How Is an ICD Different From a Pacemaker?

So, how is an ICD different from a pacemaker? An ICD is a more sophisticated device that is capable of delivering electrical shocks to the heart.

This is usually only necessary in cases where the heart is beating dangerously fast or erratically.

Pacemakers, on the other hand, simply provide a small electrical charge that helps to regulate the heartbeat. In most cases, pacemakers are only necessary for people who have a slow heart rate.

So, while both ICDs and pacemakers are implantable devices that are used to treat heart conditions, they work in different ways to achieve this goal.

Choosing an ICD Vs Pacemaker

At the end of the day, having an ICD vs pacemaker placed is a decision you’ll need to make with your doctor. ICDs are more sophisticated and may require closer management. Your doctor will be able to decide which of these products is right for you based on your condition.

If you enjoyed this article about implantable cardioverter defibrillators, please check out the other articles on our blog!