A stroke after ICD implant

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Submitted by Dr T on October 27, 2011 – 7:42am

Hello,  and thank you for taking my question. 3 yrs ago I had triple by pass. A yr later I began felling a little more tired than usual so my Cardiologist said I’d be a good candidate for a 3 lead ICD he said another Dr. in his center preformed most of the implants so he sent me to him. The Dr. he sent me to ask me if I had ever heard of the term “horse’s mouth”. I said “yes”. He said “well, I’m the Horse”. Cocky yes, but he made me feel pretty good. A few weeks later he implanted the ICD. One week to the day I had a STROKE. Later I found out that post-op no blood thinners were prescribed until after the stroke. Later that yr. I switched doctor’s and left the heart center that had been treating me. My new Dr. did some tests and found that one of the leads had not been placed deep enough so he had to do a re-section. Do you think there could be a correlation between the ICD procedure and the stroke. I can’t seem to get a straight answer from anyone. Again, thank you.

Hi Tony,
While there are reasons blood thinners could have been appropriate I cannot judge that from here. If you had an underlying arrhythmia such as Afib, you might have needed a blood thinner, but I suspect you had the ICD for heart pacing as treatment for a diminished heart function (heart failure), as well as protection against SCD. The pacing wires are located on the right side of your heart. A heart related stroke would have come from a blood cot on the left side.
Hope this helps,
Dr T

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