Living with S-ICD
How will your life change once your S-ICD is implanted? In general, once you have fully recovered from your procedure (which takes about 4-6 weeks), your normal daily life should change very little. The following tips can help you know what to expect from many common everyday activities:
- Having an S-ICD does not prevent you from traveling. That said, check with your doctor about any travel restrictions you may have.
- Carry your patient identification card while traveling.
- Notify your insurance company that you have an S-ICD implanted. Some insurance companies may require written confirmation from your cardiologist that you are fit to travel.
- In general, an S-ICD is compatible with an active lifestyle.
- Your doctor will let you know when you can return to your regular activities.
- You should be able to resume most forms of exercise but you should avoid contact sports such as football and rugby because a fall or direct hit to your chest could damage your device. However, some people do play contact sports with appropriate protection. Talk to your doctor before you consider participating in a contact sport.
- It’s vital that you tell your doctor, nurse, or dentist that you have an S-ICD implanted before undergoing any procedures. They may need to speak with your cardiologist (heart doctor) before performing any tests or procedures. You should take your patient identification card with you whenever you go to hospital.
- Your doctor will advise you if, and when, you may drive after your S-ICD has been implanted.
- Some people may be reluctant to resume sexual activity after recovery but in general, the S-ICD is compatible with an active sex life.
- The S-ICD can distinguish between a high heart rate and an arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat). If you have any concerns, ask your doctor.
Use of household electrical equipment
- You can safely use typical household electrical equipment such as microwave ovens, electric blankets, power tools, MP3 players, and automobile ignition systems, as long as they are in good working order. However, you should keep them away from your S-ICD site.
- Ask your doctor for a complete list of precautions for your S-ICD.
- In general, an S-ICD should not restrict your ability to work. For example, it is safe to use a photocopier, fax machine, and personal computer. However, certain equipment such as chainsaws, corded drills, power saws, and lawnmowers should be kept at least 30cm from the device. Running motors and alternators, especially those found in vehicles, and arc-welding equipment should be kept 60 cm from the device.
- Talk with your doctor about what your work involves so that you can obtain detailed information before using any equipment.
Check out these tips for many common activities
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