A new information sheet for AICARM members. Emil Tsenov, entrepreneur and author of the novel "The Green Tunnel", in which he tells the story of a woman suffering from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, faces one of the most delicate choices patients can face, that of implanting a defibrillator.

This is a brief summary of the text of the article which can be consulted on the AICARM website at the following address: To implant a defibrillator or not?

7 tips for deciding whether to implant a defibrillator

7 tips for deciding whether to implant a defibrillator

For a patient suffering from a genetic heart disease, the decision to implant a defibrillator is not an easy one. There are many pros and cons, a lot of information to take into consideration and, although the advice of your doctor is fundamental, the final choice can only be up to the patient. Getting an ICD implant or not is important and has consequences, it's about your life and how you want to live it.

Doctors may recommend implanting a defibrillator (ICD) to prevent arrhythmias causing cardiac arrest (CA), but there are some tips you can follow to make an informed decision.

First of all, to better understand the situation, it is essential to collect all the information on specialized sites such as Aicarm, consult scientific articles and brochures that you can receive from your doctor and support groups. It is then necessary to know how to evaluate the level of urgency and understand the risk based on age, family situation, environment and one's way of being.

https://www.aicarm.it/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Scheda Tematica-Impiantare un-defibrillatore o no

Download the pdf of the thematic sheet

The implant can have positive and negative consequences. If on the one hand the ICD is a constant protection against the risk of cardiac arrest, on the other there may be problems with correct functioning or repercussions on one's lifestyle: travel, work or the driving license which must be renewed every year.

Among the options there is also that of waiting and not rushing in order to make a more informed decision, waiting for new devices, perhaps better performing, smaller and more durable.

Certainly the path that leads to the choice must be shared, the doctor's opinion, especially if he is trusted, is important but in the end it is only the patient who can make this decision. 

A choice that must be made very carefully, confident that we have had answers to our doubts and questions.


Emil TsenovEmil Tsenov (55) lives and works in Vienna, Austria, and is an Austrian citizen of Bulgarian origin. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration (American University in Bulgaria), a master's degree in English language and literature (Sofia University) and an MBA from INSEAD. Emil has worked in various marketing and IT leadership positions at major companies such as Philips, Zurich Insurance and OMV, as well as in start-ups. He currently runs the marketing consultancy company Optimus Consulting which deals with various strategic and operational marketing problems and teaches at several universities.

In 1989 Emil was diagnosed with non-obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (CMI), a disease that killed his father at the age of 54. Since then Emil has been actively involved in various patient initiatives. He is familiar with the landscape of European HCM patient organizations as well as country- and EU-specific regulations. He also wrote the novel “The Green Tunnel” (2022) which has CMI as its main topic.