Pacemaker and defibrillator implant procedure

You will be given medication to be relaxed and ideally, have little or no memory of procedure. Your chest and face will be covered to protect the implant area, usually below the left collarbone. Most patient’s complain of recollection of some skin tugging and pushing. After your procedure, you will likely go home with a dressing in your chest. Your doctor will explain how to handle this before you leave. You must expect some discomfort at implant area, that usually gets better after a couple of weeks. We will ask you not to lift or reach up with upper extremity at side of implant.
These devices are usually very superficial so you must expect to see a small bulge at site of implant.
Potential risks involve bleeding, infection, perforation or death. Overall this is a very safe procedure.

Living with your pacemaker

We all have pacemakers in our bodies. For most of us, it’s the all-natural version. When the heart beats in order to pump blood through the body, it is able to do so because special cells in your heart produce electrical impulses. Those impulses are the result of the work of the heart’s natural pacemaker, which is called the sinus node.

As long as the electrical impulses flow down the heart’s walls at regular intervals, your heart pumps at a rhythmic pace. Sometimes, though, something happens to interfere with the electrical impulses of your heart’s natural pacemaker. When this happens, the natural pacemaker can’t do its job as well as it needs to. In those instances, a pacemaker device may need to be implanted into a patient’s chest. Here are two types of pacemakers:

Demand pacemaker

A demand pacemaker is equipped with a special circuit that senses your heart’s own electrical activity. When the heart is beating normally on its own, the pacemaker does nothing. But it jumps into action when the heart’s beats are irregular and returns your heartbeat to normal. The kind of pacemaker you have depends on the kind of heart problem you have. Demand pacemakers are commonly used.

Fixed-rate pacemaker

Unlike a demand pacemaker, a fixed-rate device is always on. To keep your heartbeat regular, the pacemaker produces constant electrical impulses at a rate preset by your doctor.