Pacemaker Follow-up Guidelines

By  , Expert Content
Jan 03, 2013
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Pacemaker is implanted if your heart beats slowly or there is a problem with the normal electrical signal which causes your heart to beat. It is implanted by a surgeon in the chest or abdomen in hospital in an operating theatre.  After a pacemaker is inserted, regular follow-up visits are required.

The aim of these visits is to:

  • assure pacemaker is functioning at it’s optimal level to meet all your needs and life of the generator in the pacemaker is maximised.
  • maximise the life of the device by appropriate programming and changes as needed.
  • timely detect any abnormality in the pacemaker system and any complication so that treatment can be modified or started at the earliest.
  • detect end-of-life of the pulse generator well in advance so that elective (nonurgent) change of the pulse generator can be done.
  • detect any problems in the pacemaker battery.
  • provide patient support and education.

Follow-up visit schedule

  • Your doctor will advise you regarding the next follow-up visit before you are discharged from the hospital after pacemaker implantation. In most cases it is about a week later for a wound check. If you have any doubt regarding your follow-up appointment you can always call your doctor.
  • The next follow-up visit is scheduled about 4—6 weeks later to check if the pacemaker is functioning optimally to meet your requirement. Regular follow-up visits will be needed for the rest of your life (about every 6-12 months).
  • The pacemaker battery usually needs replacement about every 5-10 years.  Your doctor will arrange for elective (nonurgent) change of the battery when necessary.

During the follow-up visits you will be connected to a heart monitor and pacemaker programmer to check if the pacemaker is functioning optimally to maximise the longevity of the pacemaker. Your doctor will make changes in the pacemaker settings as needed. You should carry the most current identification card and the most current pacemaker program with you at all times.



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