The following information should help you prepare for the permanent implantation
of a pacemaker under local anaesthetic. Any questions or concerns you may have that
are not answered here should be addressed to your surgeon.
The preparation for the implantation procedure includes:
- No food or liquids for four hours prior to the procedure
- Blood tests to check your potassium and haemoglobin levels
- A full betadine bath (including hair wash) one hour prior to the procedure and
- Male patients will have both sides of their chest shaved, from below the shoulder
blades down to the nipple line
Prior to procedure:
- The use of Warfarin is usually stopped prior to the procedure, as advised by your
cardiologist, and a PI blood check is done on admission to establish the clotting
- Disprin should not be taken the day before the procedure or on the day of the procedure,
to avoid bleeding.
- You may be given a sedative in the ward, or once you are in the cardiac catheterisation
laboratory, to relax and calm you.
- A venflon (needle) is inserted into the right hand so that medication can be administered
during the procedure.
- After procedure
- Prophylactic antibiotics are sometimes prescribed.
A temporary pacemaker is occasionally inserted via the right or left groin prior
to the implantation of the permanent pacemaker. This is performed under a local
anaesthetic so you will remain awake during the procedure.
Care after implantation
- You will be connected to a monitor and observed continuously for proper functioning
of the pacemaker.
- Bed rest has to be maintained for 24 to 48 hours after the procedure.
- You will be required to do deep breathing exercises, and passive exercises of the
limbs while in bed.
- You should not lift your left hand or move it about during the first 24 to 48 hours
after the procedure, as this may cause the lead to move out of position.
- A waterproof dressing is applied a day after the procedure and you will be allowed
to shower from the second day.
- Your pacemaker will be checked by a technologist before you are discharged. The
technologist will also hand you a booklet on living with your pacemaker.
The sutures should be removed by your doctor or at a hospital or clinic one week
after the procedure. Remember to book a follow-up appointment with your doctor for
six weeks after discharge. The functioning of your pacemaker will be tested at this
time. If, however, you feel unwell before this time you should contact your cardiologist