Defibrillator Specialist

Michigan Heart Rhythm Center

Electrophysiologist located in Southeast Michigan

If you have congestive heart failure (CHF) or a history of cardiac arrest or syncope, Dr. Zahwe of Michigan Heart Rhythm Center offers comprehensive evaluation and management of Defibrillators (ICD). MHRC provide a comprehensive evaluation to evaluate the need for a defibrillator (ICD) and surgical implantation of the most advanced and newest defibrillator including cardiac resynchronization therapy and subcutaneous defibrillator. MHRC also offers remote monitoring of your defibrillator while you are at home through our device clinic. You can learn more about your options by calling the office in Southeast Michigan or booking an appointment at our device clinic using the online booking system.


What is a defibrillator?

A defibrillator is a medical device designed to restore a normal heartbeat. This type of device delivers an electric shock to the heart to correct an irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia which can cause death otherwise. You may also need the device if your heart stops suddenly.

There are several types of defibrillators that work similarly to address sudden cardiac death. They include:

Automated external defibrillators (AED)

This is a type of device often found in public areas for emergency situations. This kind of defibrillator can be used by anyone to save a life, even without previous training.

Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD

This is a type of implantable device you wear inside your body to prevent sudden death from an irregular heartbeat. You may need an ICD if you’ve already had cardiac arrest or have congestive heart failure(CHF), or you’ve had heart damage.

Wearable cardioverter defibrillator (WCD)

This device can restart your heart in an emergency, and it’s worn against your body but not implanted. You may need to wear this type of device temporarily if you’re waiting in recovery from a heart attack, or are awaiting the placement of an ICD.

Dr. Zahwe offers comprehensive ICD implantation services and follow-up care to closely monitor your condition and prevent additional complications.


How does a defibrillator work?

After an ICD is implanted, you can expect routine follow-up appointments where Dr. Zahwe evaluates the device and your condition. Also, MHRC offers remote monitoring of your ICD through our device clinic.

It can take time to adjust to the defibrillator, especially as it delivers electric shocks to your heart. The device uses these shocks at different times, depending on your heartbeat. It’s also possible to experience unnecessary shocks just after surgery or if you forget to take medications.


How long does it take to return to my usual activities?

Dr. Zahwe reviews what you can expect after surgery. Your recovery from the implantation procedure lasts for 3-4l weeks, allowing your skin to heal properly. Dr. Zahwe offers same-day discharge from hospital after defibrillator implant (a few hours after surgery) which has shown to be safe and more convenient for the patient and their family.  

Otherwise, many people return to their usual activities without many limitations. You can resume exercising, but you may need to avoid impact sports to prevent damage to your ICD.

Dr. Zahwe may recommend limiting your driving for some time, especially if you have a history of cardiac arrest. He can evaluate driving safety based on the progress of your treatment for normalizing your heartbeat.

Find out more about the comprehensive defibrillator services available at the Device clinic at Michigan Heart Rhythm Center by scheduling an appointment today, online or by phone.