Getting a Replacement Device

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Find answers to your questions about cardiac arrhythmias.

Having a Replacement ICD or Pacemaker Procedure

At some point, your doctor may recommend that you replace your pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD).

There are a number of common reasons for needing a replacement device:

  • Your device battery is running low.
  • A new version of the device that you currently have, with new features, may become available after you have a device implanted. Such a device may:
    • Be smaller.
    • Require a less visible pocket—or no pocket—under the skin of your chest or abdomen.
    • Allow for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of more areas of your body.
  • You may learn of a device made by manufacturer other than the one that made yours that seems better suited to your needs.

If you feel a new device may suit your needs better, talk to your doctor. He or she is the best resource for information about having a replacement ICD or pacemaker procedure and whether a new or different device would be right for you.


If you have received an ICD or a pacemaker with leads, the device replacement procedure will probably be shorter than your original implantation. This is because your doctor will remove the device, but leave the leads in place, simply plugging them into your new device.