Pacemaker Battery Change

A pacemaker battery usually lasts 4 to 12 years. Once or twice per year, you will be asked to visit your caregiver to have a full evaluation of your pacemaker. When a battery needs to be replaced, the entire pacemaker is actually replaced so that you can benefit from new circuitry and any new features that have recently been added to pacemakers. Most often, this procedure is very simple because the leads are already in place. After giving medicine to numb the skin, your health care provider makes a cut to reopen the pocket holding the pacemaker and disconnects the old device from its leads. The leads are routinely tested at this time. If they are working okay, the new pacemaker may simply be connected to the existing leads. If there is any problem with the old lead system, it may be wise to replace the lead system while inserting the new pacemaker.

There are many things that affect how long a pacemaker battery will last:

Your health care provider will be alerted to the fact that it is time to replace the battery during follow-up exams. He or she will check your pacemaker using a small table-top computer, called a programmer, and a wand. The wand is about the same size as a remote control. Your provider puts the wand on your body in the area where the pacemaker is located. Information from the pacemaker is received about how well your heart is working and the status of the battery. It is not painful, and it usually takes just a few minutes. You will have plenty of time before the battery is fully used up to plan for replacement.

LET YOUR CAREGIVER KNOW ABOUT:

RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS

These are very uncommon but include:

Diabetics may have a temporary increase in their blood sugar after any surgical procedure.

BEFORE THE PROCEDURE

Wash all of the skin around the area of the chest where the pacemaker is located. Try to remove any loose, scaling skin. Unless advised otherwise, avoid using aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen for 3-4 days before the procedure. Ask your caregiver for help with any other medication adjustments before the pacemaker is replaced. Unless advised otherwise, do not eat or drink after midnight on the night before the procedure EXCEPT for drinking water and taking your medications as you normally would.

AFTER THE PROCEDURE

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

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