pacemaker implant

overview

A pacemaker is a small device with one or two wires (called leads). It’s placed in the chest, and the leads are connected to the heart to help keep heart rate normal. Once it’s connected, the pacemaker will look at every heart beat and keep the heart beating if your rate is too slow or too irregular, which are signs of arrhythmia. If your heart is beating too fast, the pacemaker can give your doctor information so you can be treated. With the pacemaker in place, you’ll get relief from symptoms of abnormal heart rate, such as tiredness and fainting.

what to expect

The length of the procedure varies, but most take about 1 to 2 hours. You may be given a sedative to make you relaxed. During parts of the procedure, you may feel some pushing on your shoulder, but very little pain. 

Most people can go home the day after the procedure, but you may want to take a few days off of work to let your body heal. You’ll need someone to drive you home and to stay with you for a couple of days in case of any problems.

recovery

Most people are a little sore afterward, but that goes away gradually. Your doctor will give you some mild pain medication and will let you know what other meds to continue or stop after your procedure. You’ll get information on any follow-up appointments. It’s important to keep these appointments so your doctor can test and program the pacemaker to best fit your needs.

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