Pacemaker Implantation


What is a Pacemaker?

A pacemaker is a small electronic device that helps your heart’s electrical system. It keeps your heart beating at the right pace. Inserting the pacemaker into your body is called implantation. Your stay awake during the procedure you may be asked some questions or to take some deep breaths.

What happens during implantation?

This procedure is performed at the hospital. When you arrive you will change into a hospital gown and an intravenous line or IV will be started. You will then be taken to the procedure room.

A local anesthetic is given by injection to numb the area where the pacemaker will be inserted. This keeps you from feeling pain during the procedure. An incision is made and the pacemaker is placed. It is usually in the upper left chest area. The lead that transmits electricity to and from your heart is guided through a vein into your hearts chambers using x-ray monitors. The lead is attached to the pacemaker and the settings are programmed to help your heart beat at the rate that is right for you.

You will stay in the hospital a day or two and your pacemaker settings will be rechecked.

After the procedure don’t raise your arm above your shoulder for at least a week. This gives the lead a chance to secure inside your heart.

What to do after a pacemaker implantation?

Carry your pacemaker card with you at all times this card has important information about your pacemaker. Because pacemakers tend to set off metal detectors you may need to show your card to security personnel.

Return to your doctor as directed by the hospital staff before discharge.

You can do almost everything you did before you got your pacemaker.

Some things to avoid are:

  •   Carrying a cellular phone in your breast pocket and using it on the side of your pacemaker.
  •   Strong magnets like MRI machines or hand held security wands.
  •   Strong electrical fields such as those made by radio transmitting towers and heavy duty electrical equipment. A running engine also makes an electrical field. Avoid leaning over the open hood of a running car.

Microwave ovens as well as other appliances such as computers, hair dryers, power tools, radios, televisions and electric blankets are all okay to use.