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Heart Failure Health Center

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Heart Failure and the Biventricular Pacemaker

What Happens After The Pacemaker Is Implanted?

Hospital stay: After the pacemaker implant, you will be admitted to the hospital overnight. The nurses will monitor your heart rate and rhythm. You will also have a monitor (a small recorder that is attached to your chest by small electrode patches). It will record your heart rhythm while you are in the hospital. This is another way to check proper pacemaker function. The morning after your implant, you will have a chest X-ray to check your lungs and the position of your pacemaker and leads. Your pacemaker will be checked to make sure it's working properly. The results of the test will be reported to your doctor.

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. 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 a Pacemaker Implant?

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.

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