Pacemaker Implantation

Care After

Always carry your pacemaker card with you. The card should list the implant date, device model and manufacturer.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Keep the incision dry for a week after the procedure. It may take several weeks for the incision to heal.

  • For about 6 weeks, avoid sudden jerking, pulling or chopping movements that pull your arm away from your body. For instance, you should not play golf for 6 weeks.

  • Do not raise your arms above your shoulders for 1-2 weeks or as told by your caregiver.

  • Take medicine as told by your caregiver.

  • Learn how to check your pulse. Follow directions about when to call or be concerned.

  • Exercise as told by your caregiver.

  • Household appliances do not interfere with pacemakers.

  • Travel by airplane should not be a problem. Tell security you have a pacemaker before going through the metal detector. Carry your pacemaker ID card with you.

  • Never leave a cell phone in a pocket over the pacemaker.

  • Avoid strong electro-magnetic fields. You will not be able to have an MRI scan because of the strong magnets.

PACEMAKER CARE:

  • Avoid putting pressure over the area where the pacer was put in.

  • Digital cell phones should be kept 12 inches away from the pacemaker. Hold the cell phone to the ear opposite of the pacemaker.

  • Never leave a cell phone in a pocket over the pacemaker.

  • Avoid strong electro-magnetic fields. You will not be able to have an MRI scan because of the strong magnets.

  • Pacer batteries last about 5 years and give off warning signals when they are running low on power. Pacers may be checked every 3 months. This allows plenty of time to change the generator when it is running low on power.

  • Changing the battery means removing the old generator through the same cut and plugging the existing wires into the new generator.

  • An EKG or heart monitor is used to see if your pacer is working properly. Sometimes signals may be sent over a land line phone to your clinic.

  • Wear a medical alert bracelet. This can help emergency responders know you have a pacemaker.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You begin to gain weight and your feet and ankles swell.

  • You have dizzy spells or feel weak.

  • Your pulse rate drops below the limit or is too fast.

  • You have redness and swelling over your pacemaker insertion site.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You faint or pass out.

  • You have chest pain or shortness of breath.

  • You are injured and think your pacemaker may have been damaged.

  • You are suddenly very tired or have pain in your back.

  • You have yellow drainage coming from the pacemaker incision site.

  • You are worried that your heart is not beating right or cannot feel your pulse.