Is it possible to disconnect the defibrillator feature from an ICD and leave the pacemaker functioning?

My 91-year-old father has a pacemaker/defibrillator (ICD, I think it is called).

Is it possible to turn off the defibrillator part and not the pacemaker part? I’m thinking of this as his health is declining.

Thank you.

Submitted by Juliana from Texas on 02/27/2015

by Abdi Rasekh, MD

Yes, the shock therapy of the defibrillator can be turned off. The device can still function as a pacemaker. Your father’s cardiologist can determine if this is the appropriate course of action for him.