Permanent Pacemaker Implantation

What is it?

A pacemaker is an electronic device that prevents your heart from beating too slowly. It consists of two parts: a generator (battery) and one or more electrodes (wires). The electrodes carry electrical impulses from the generator to your heart to make your heart beat consistently.

Preparation

Do not eat or drink anything for 6 hours before your procedure. If you have diabetes, you should talk to your Cardiologist about your food and insulin intake as these can affect your blood sugar levels.

Also, inquire with your Cardiologist whether you should withhold your medicines (especially blood thinning medications) before this procedure. Finally, be sure to bring a list of your medicines to the procedure.

Your Cardiologist may prescribe a sedative before the procedure. A nurse will clean and shave the area of pacemaker implantation to prevents infection. An ECG and blood pressure monitor will watch your heart rate and blood pressure while you lie on the table in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab.

Injection of local anaesthetic (numbing medication) will numb the area of skin previously cleaned and shaved.

Your pacemaker will be placed below the collar bone at the top of the chest. The Cardiologist will make a 5 to 10 cm incision and create a small pocket under the skin to hold the pacemaker. The Cardiologist will then close the incision with sutures and apply a dressing directly over this area.

You will then return to the hospital ward after the pacemaker implantation. The pacemaker technician will check your pacemaker and your Cardiologist will review you before discharge from hospital, usually the next day.