Pacemakers are a small piece of technology that can completely transform a patient’s life by giving them peace in knowing that their lives aren’t at risk. Patients come to need pacemakers for a host of different reasons, but the primary one is to help maintain a strong and steady heartbeat. This procedure can be done on an outpatient basis but is also performed in patients who are in the hospital for longer stays.
If you’re curious about what is in store for your upcoming pacemaker implantation surgery, here is what you can expect.

The Preparation
Like any surgical procedure, you will be asked to change into a surgical gown and hooked up to an IV and other machines used to monitor your vital signs during the surgery. Once you’re all set up you’ll be given a medication to relax but not fall asleep completely. Contrary to what you might think, the pacemaker implantation surgery is performed while you are still awake.

The Implantation
At this point, the surgeon will inject a local anesthetic at the site of the pacemaker implantation and (once it has set it) make a small incision the implantation site. First, a lead wire (or more than one depending on the type of device used) is fed through a blood vessel and directly into the heart. Once it is inserted it will be tested to ensure that it is working properly and that it has been placed in the right location. Lastly, the pacemaker generator will be inserted just below the skin and attached to the lead wire. Once the device has been thoroughly tested with the use of an ECG the patient will be sutured up and the procedure is complete.

The Recovery
After the procedure is completed, you’ll be moved into a room to recover and will be monitored for any possible complications. You must stay under medical care until your medications have completely worn off and you’ve been released by your cardiologist. At that point, depending on your case, you’ll either be discharged to go home or sent back to your hospital room. While you may experience some pain from the procedure, many patients are cleared to return to a regular routine (with some caveats) within a short time. Regardless it’s critical to remember that you’ve just undergone a significant procedure and should follow your doctor’s orders and rest when needed.

While the pacemaker implantation surgery is not very invasive, it like any other surgery should be taken very seriously and your cardiologist’s orders should be followed to the letter. Many patients find themselves with a whole new lease on life after their pacemaker implantation surgery is complete and their confidence in their own heart is renewed. If you have questions or concerns about your upcoming heart surgery or would like to meet with a member of our team, contact us today.