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. You stay awake during the procedure. You may be asked some questions or be asked to take some deep breaths.
X-ray showing an implanted ICD.
During the Procedure
- 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 where the generator is placed.
- The lead (transmits to and from your heart) is guided through a vein into your heart’s chambers using x-ray monitors.
- The pacemaker generator is attached to the lead or leads.
- The pacemaker’s settings are programmed to help your heart beat at a rate that’ s right for you.
After the Procedure
You’ll stay in the hospital at least overnight. While in the hospital, your heart’s signals are monitored to see how the ICD is working. You can go home when your condition is stable. Once you get home:
- You will stay in the hospital a day or two.
- Your pacemaker settings will be rechecked.
- On the incision side, don’t raise your arm above your shoulder for at least a week. This gives the lead a chance to secure inside the vein in your heart.
- Take your temperature and check your incision for signs of infection every day for a week.
- Return for a follow-up visit as directed by our staff.
When to Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:
- You feel any of the symptoms you had before the pacemaker was implanted (dizziness, lightheadedness, lack of energy or fainting spells).
- our chest muscles twitch.
- You have a rapid or pounding heartbeat or shortness of breath.
- You feel pain in the area around your pacemaker.
- You have a fever over 101.0°F, or other signs of infection (redness, swelling or warmth at the incision site).
Publication Source: American Heart Association
Publication Source: FDA Heart Health Online
Online Source: American Heart Association
Online Source: FDA Heart Health Online
Date Last Reviewed: 2007-01-15T00:00:00-07:00
Date Last Modified: 2002-07-09T00:00:00-06:00