There can be serious complications to the implantation of a cardioverter-defibrillator. These include inflammation of the pericardium, the sac that surrounds the heart; heart attack; congestive heart failure; and post-operativestroke. Serious infections can develop in the area around the device while the patient is initially hospitalized or up to several months later. Death due to the device's failure while being tested during surgery is an uncommon risk. The risk of death from the implantation procedure is about the same as that for a pacemaker—less than one percent. There are also potentially serious risks associated with the device's improper functioning once it is in place.
DeBakey, M. E., and A. M. Gotto. "Arrhythmias." In The New Living Heart. Holbrook, MA: Adams Media Corporation, 1997.
Texas Heart Institute. "Arrhythmias." In Texas Heart Institute Heart Owners Handbook. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1996.
"Comparing Implantable Defibrillators and Drug Therapy in Patients with Life-Threatening Arrhythmias." Modern Medicine 65, no. 7 (July 1997): 15.
"Computer Software Aids Cardiac Implants." USA Today,Feb. 1998, 4.
Daneala, Gallagher, et al. "The Impact of the Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator on Quality of Life." American Journal of Critical Care 6, no. 1 (Jan. 1997): 16-23.