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S-ICD box change

Frequently Asked Questions about the S-ICD box change

The S-ICD box change, can also be referred to as "device change-out". In this procedure, only your old  S-ICD "box" or  "pulse generator" will be replaced with a new one, with a full battery. The lead will stay as is. Eventhough this box change is simpler than your first S-ICD implant, the procedure may raise all kinds of questions. Below some FAQs:

Q: How long does an S-ICD battery last?

A: Based on real-world life data, the EMBLEMTM S-ICD longevity is predicted to last 8.7 years with all the features turned on.1

Q: How do I know when my S-ICD device needs to be replaced?
A: During your periodical check ups, your S-ICD battery level is monitored. Your doctor will tell you when its time to plan for the S-ICD device replacement. Your doctor will plan this well in advance so that your S-ICD will continue to function normally throughout the time to replacement.   

Q: What does it mean if my S-ICD beeps?
A: A beeping sound coming from your S-ICD can mean a couple of things, including that your battery is nearing its elective replacement time. If your S-ICD is beeping, please contact your doctor.

Q: What will be different about this new S-ICD device compared to my old one?
A: Depending of the time of your initial S-ICD implant, your have either received model SQ1010 or A209. You will now most likely receive model A219 which is thinner thank the SQ1010 and the battery is longer lasting. All EMBLEM S-ICD models are MRI safe. 

Q: Will the new S-ICD " fit" me the same?
A: The shape of your new S-ICD pulse generator will be more or less the same, or exactly the same, as your old one. Most often, it will be inserted in your " old " pocket. Herefor, feedback we received is that it fits the same, or that its even less noticeable because it is thinner.

Q: How long will the procedure take? Do i need to stay overnight in the hospital?
A: The procedure will take about  same time as, or shorter than, your first S-ICD  implant: 40-60 minutes. Staying overnight or not depends on your doctors assesment.

Q: Will it be painful?
A: You will be under local or general anaestesia (depending on your doctors assesment). When the procedure is performed under local anaestesia it could be a bit unpleasant, but you will receive medication to make you comfortable. In all cases, you should not experience any pain during the procedure. 

Q: Will the recovery of the device change-out be the same as the intinial S-ICD implant?
A: Because with device change-out, only the S-ICD box gets replaced in the already existing pocket, you mostly only need to recover from the new incision that was made. This would mean that your recovery from the S-ICD box change should be much faster (about 2 weeks) than your recovery from the initial S-ICD implant (4-6 weeks). 

Q: Should the same elecrophysiologist that implanted my S-ICD the first time, perform the box change?
A: It is usual that you return to your implanting centre, but not mandatory.

Patient experience: Follow Rob's S-ICD box change

Rob's S-ICD box change


1. Van der Stuijt W, Williams JL, Brisben AJ et al. Real world battery longevity of the subcutaneous implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (S-ICD). Presented at European Society of Cardiology 2023, 28 August, Amsterdam, the Netherlands”.


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