Pacemakers are recommended for people of all ages when their heart beats too slow. Pacemakers send electrical impulses to the heart to stimulate the heart muscle to beat faster.
Before the procedure:
- Discuss with your surgeon your hobbies and occupations to determine the side of your chest the pacemaker will be inserted.
- Do not eat or drink for about 6 to 8 hours prior to the surgery.
- Remove eyeglasses, contact lenses, dentures and any jewelry.
- You will have an intravenous, as well as your blood pressure and EKG taken.
- Blood thinner pills may be stopped for a few days before you have your pacemaker put in.
- You are wake during the surgery but the area is frozen.
- A small cut is made where the pacemaker will be placed.
- The pacemaker wire (lead) is inserted into the heart through a vein.
- The incision is closed with a few stitches.
- A large bandage is placed over the incision.
After the procedure:
- You will be placed on a portable heart monitor for 12 to 24 hours.
- You will be able to eat and drink.
- You will be offered pain medication as needed.
- You will be able to walk to the bathroom within your hospital room.
- Your activity level will be determined by your physician.
- You will need your pacemaker checked by the Pacemaker Technician within 72 hours of the implant.
- Do not raise the effected arm any higher than your fingertips to your ear for 3 to 4 weeks after the surgery.
Recovery and Discharge Instructions:
- Your hospital stay is different for every person. Generally, new pacemaker insertions require you to stay overnight and pacemaker replacements usually only need monitoring for a few hours.