Some side effects of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators include infection at the implant site, swelling or bleeding where the defibrillator was implanted, and damage to the vein around the heart, according to the Mayo Clinic. It is also possible to have an allergic reaction to the medications taken during the defibrillator implantation procedure.
A defibrillator shocks a person out of cardiac arrest. An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator works in a similar way, but it is surgically placed below the collarbone and shocks the heart internally when it detects anything abnormal, states the Mayo Clinic. Typically, only one shock is necessary. However, the defibrillator can send out multiple shocks at once. If this happens, it is important to see a doctor immediately because additional medications may be necessary.
Additional side effects associated with defibrillators include anxiety, depression and sexual dysfunction, according to EverydayHealth.com. Studies show that although a defibrillator produces beneficial results for those suffering from heart disease, many doctors are reluctant to bring up sensitive side effects such as anxiety and sexual dysfunction. Sexual dysfunction after a defibrillator is implanted can be caused by exercise intolerance, side effects of necessary medications and psychological issues. It is important for doctors to screen patients for these side effects.