PacemakerschematicYour doctor has told you that you need a permanent pacemaker insertion.  A permanent pacemaker is battery operated device that is placed under the skin, usually in the left upper chest. Small wires connect the pacemaker to the heart. The device is approximately the size of a half-dollar and about 1/2 inch in thickness. The pacemaker is able to sense your heart’s rate and the time between beats. If your heart beat is not regular or is too slow, the pacemaker sends a small amount of electricity to the heart to speed up the heart or make it beat more regularly. The insertion, which usually takes about 2 hours, is performed in a special room in the hospital.

Before The Test

  • You will be asked to sign a consent form after your doctor has explained the procedure and the risks to you.
  • Most patients are not allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight prior to the surgery. Please ask your nurse.
  • You may be asked to remove dentures, glasses, and jewelry, and to wear a hospital gown.
  • You will need to empty your bladder before you go for the procedure.
  • Tell your doctor or nurse if you are allergic to iodine, x-ray dye, or other medications.
  • You may be given some medicine to help you relax. You will not be put to sleep; you will be awake, but drowsy.

During The Test

  • You will be lying on a hard table surrounded by x-ray equipment and will be connected to a heart monitor.
  • A numbing medicine will be given.
  • The permanent pacemaker will be inserted just under the skin through a small incision.
  • Your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing will be monitored.

Immediately After The Test

  • You will probably be returned to your same room.
  • Your heart rate and blood pressure will be monitored.
  • You will be able to eat and/or drink as soon as you are awake.
  • Before you go home, you will be given information regarding your and follow-up care from the nurses in the pacemaker lab.