An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator is often advised for patients who have not responded to treatment with medications, and it is typically performed before more invasive treatments. Doctors generally recommend that an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator be considered when patients taking beta blockers continue to have fainting spells or experience an episode of cardiac arrest. Surgeons implant the cardioverter-defibrillator underneath the skin, and thin wires connect the device to the patient's heart. The device continuously monitors the patient's heart rate. If an abnormal rate is detected, the device generates an electric shock that restores the heart to a normal rhythm. Implantable defibrillators are crucial in preventing sudden cardiac death. After having the device placed, patients may need eight weeks to adjust. They may experience jerky arm movements during this time, but these will typically settle after eight weeks. Patients should also watch for any mood changes, depression, or anxiety after surgery and report these to their medical team.
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