A pacemaker is a small electronic device that helps regulate your heart’s electrical system. They can be used to treat a slow heartbeat after a heart attack, heart surgery or an overdose of medication. It keeps your heart beating at the right pace. Inserting the pacemaker into your body is called implantation.
Before the Pacemaker Implantation
Placing a pacemaker requires minor surgery. You will stay awake during the procedure and may be asked some questions or to take some deep breaths. A local anesthetic is given by injection to numb the area where the pacemaker will be inserted. This keeps you from feeling pain during the procedure. Your doctor also may give you antibiotics to prevent infection.
During the Pacemaker Implantation
- An incision is made where the generator is placed.
- The leads, which transmit to and from your heart, are guided through a vein into your heart’s chambers using X-ray monitors.
- The pacemaker generator is attached to the lead or leads.
- The pacemaker’s settings are programmed to help your heart beat at a rate that’s right for you.
After the Pacemaker Implantation
- You will stay at Gwinnett Medical Center for a day or two.
- Your pacemaker settings will be rechecked.
- Follow the instructions you are given for caring for the implantation site. You will likely be told not to raise the arm on that side for a certain amount of time.
- Take your temperature and check your incision for signs of infection every day for a week.
- Return for a follow-up visit as directed by our staff.
Find a cardiologist now, or call 678-312-5000 for a physician referral.