Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a cellphone?
Yes, you can use a cellphone. It is recommended to talk on the cell phone and carry it on the opposite side of your ICD.

Can I use an iPod or MP3 player?
Yes, you can. It is recommended that you keep the player to the opposite side of the ICD when you are using or carrying it.

Can I use a microwave oven?
Yes, you can use a microwave oven without taking any special precautions.

Can I go through a security system at the airport?
Yes, it is OK to walk through the security screening archways. The system may detect your device and set off the alarm; however, it will not affect the functioning of your device. Present your device identification card to the security personnel. Ask that they clear you after a hand search and that they not use the handheld screening wand because it might affect your device.

How long should an ICD last?
ICD’s can last anywhere from two to ten years (average is five years). The length of time depends on how hard the generator/battery has to work, which is affected by how much energy is needed and how your ICD is programmed. The functioning of your device will be assessed at each clinic follow-up appointment.

Will I feel the ICD?
At first, you may feel the weight of the ICD in your chest. With time, most people become accustomed to it.

Can I exercise?
Once your doctor gives you the go-ahead to exercise, it is a good idea to exercise regularly.

Can I hurt someone if I am touching him or her when my ICD gives a shock?

When can I resume sexual activity after my ICD implant?
If your admission to the hospital is for only the ICD implantation, you can resume sexual activity in a couple of weeks or after your incision has healed. If you have been admitted to the hospital for a heart attack or heart failure, or you have had open heart surgery, please ask your doctor about safely resuming sexual activity.

If you have other question about your ICD, please bring them to your Pacemaker/Defibrillator Clinic appointment to discuss with the nurse. If you have more urgent questions, please phone the clinic and we will do our best to get the information that you need.