Heart Failure and Biventricular Pacemakers
What Happens After The Pacemaker Is Implanted? continued...
Final pacemaker check: For your final pacemaker check, you will sit in a reclining chair. A small machine known as a programmer is used to check your pacemaker. It has a wand that is placed directly over the device. This machine allows the technician to read your pacemaker settings and make changes during testing. With these changes, the function of the pacemaker and leads can be evaluated. You may feel your heart beating faster or slower. This is normal; however, report all symptoms to the technician. Results of the pacemaker check are discussed with your doctor who will then determine your pacemaker settings.
After your pacemaker check, an echocardiogram may be done to help determine if your pacemaker is on the correct settings. The technician nurse will be there during your echo and will change your pacemaker at least three times. The echo will be repeated with each change to evaluate heart function. The pacemaker will keep the settings that demonstrated your best heart function.
When Will I Be Able to Go Home After Getting the Pacemaker?
Usually, you will be able to go home the day after your pacemaker is implanted. Your doctor will discuss the results of the procedure and answer any questions you may have. A doctor or nurse will go over specific instructions for your care at home. Please ask a responsible adult to drive you home, as the medications you received may cause drowsiness, making it unsafe for you to drive or operate heavy machinery.
How Do I Care for My Wound?
Keep the area where the pacemaker was inserted clean and dry. After about five days, you may take a shower. Look at your wound daily to make sure it is healing. Call your doctor if you notice:
- Increased drainage or bleeding from the insertion site
- Increased opening of the incision
- Redness around the incision site
- Warmth along the incision
- Increased body temperature (fever or chills)
When Can I Do Normal Activities After a Pacemaker Implantation?
After your pacemaker is implanted, you may move your arm normally and do not have to restrict its motion during normal daily activities. Avoid extreme pulling or lifting motions (such as placing your arm over your head without bending at the elbow). Activities such as golf, tennis, and swimming should be avoided for six weeks after the pacemaker is implanted. Microwave ovens, electric blankets, and heating pads may be used. Cellular phones should be used on the side opposite your pacemaker. Ask your doctor or nurse for more specific information regarding types of equipment that may interfere with your pacemaker.
Pacemaker Identification: You will receive a temporary ID card that tells you what type of pacemaker and leads you have, the date of implant and the doctor who implanted it. In about three months following implantation, you will receive a permanent card from the company. It is important that you CARRY THIS CARD AT ALL TIMES in case you need medical attention at another hospital.