I can’t help feeling a bit tense on the day of the operation. In order to calm my nerves, I remind myself of the way I always explain the procedure to my relatives and friends. I tell them it’s going to be a cinch, because the lead will simply stay in. It’s just a matter of taking out the old “box” and putting in a new one with a fresh battery. I like to put on a bold face and say: ‘open zipper, pop in a new box, close zipper. Easy-peasy’.
Still it can be iffy to explain it to others. I have had my current S-ICD for over 6 years. And although I’d rather not have needed it, these past 6 years have turned out way better than expected. I play my sports even more fanatically than ever, and I am so used to the little box that has kept me safe for 6 years, that it could have stayed in even longer as far as I’m concerned. But anyway, I’m going to have the latest S-ICD version now, which is thinner and is going to last even longer.
The nurse comes in to tell me that we are going to get ready for the surgery. ‘Right, let’s roll!’ I think. Because waiting only makes you think too much, doesn’t it?
The cardiologist explains the procedure. First you’re hooked up to all kinds of monitoring equipment, so everything can be closely watched and tracked. Next, they switch off the old S-ICD and make a small incision, in my case exactly next to the previous scar (nice, so I won’t get another scar). Then the lead is disconnected, because it will stay in place. Once the S-ICD box is taken out, the new box with the fresh battery is connected to the lead. The new S-ICD will be installed exactly where the old one was, with exactly the same settings.. Then the incision will be closed and we’re done.
The whole setting of the operation theatre is super professional, of course, but this surgery is indeed, as I always say, a matter of “open zipper, pop in a new box, close zipper”. I’m glad I can’t make it sound more exciting than that ☺.
Right after the operation I notice the difference from the first procedure. Of course I don’t feel like hopping on my mountain bike right away, but I do feel that this has been a simple procedure. The after pain is clearly less, and so I can tell my wife: ‘I bet I’ll be back on my mountain bike within a month’.