Like other implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), your S-ICD continuously monitors your heart rhythm, 24 hours a day. It’s always on call. If your S-ICD detects a heart arrhythmia (abnormal rhythm) problem, it sends out an electrical shock to correct it.
The experience of receiving a shock can differ for each person; some may find the shock reassuring, others may feel anxious after shock therapy is delivered. Some people recover more quickly than others. Be sure to talk with your healthcare provider so that you thoroughly understand all of the risks and benefits associated with the implantation of an S-ICD.
It’s possible that you’ll experience a shock at some point during your time with an S-ICD. Different people feel these shocks differently. Because many patients faint or become unconscious shortly after a very fast heart rhythm starts, they do not feel these high-energy shocks. Those who are conscious sometimes describe the shock as a “kick in the chest.” The sensation lasts for a second.