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Pacemaker Surgery: All About Pacemakers


Updated June 27, 2014

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Life After Pacemaker Surgery

Once you have healed from your pacemaker placement surgery, you may notice a dramatic improvement in your energy level and stamina. The pacemaker will help your heart work efficiently, which should alleviate symptoms of fatigue, and allow you to be more active.

If your pacemaker is also an implanted defibrillator, you may periodically experience “shocks” as the device works to keep your heart in a healthy rhythm.

After surgery, you will want to avoid magnetic fields whenever possible. This is because magnets can interfere with the function of the device and can cause serious problems with your heart. You should avoid placing small electronics such as a phone in your breast pocket, as they can interfere with the device. Tests that utilize magnets, such as an MRI, can disrupt the function of the pacemaker.

You should notify any physician you might see, whether they are a heart specialist or not, that you have a pacemaker.

In addition, strenuous activity or anything that would cause significant impact on the device should be avoided. The pacemaker is somewhat protected as it lies under the skin; however, a sharp blow could damage it. For example, playing a contact sport such as hockey could result in damage, and other high-impact sports could potentially cause the wires to move from their position in the heart.

You will have to see your physician regularly after the pacemaker is inserted to make sure the device is working properly and potentially for the computerized memory to be downloaded. This can be done very easily through the skin, and should be painless. Long term, your pacemaker may need maintenance, which your doctor will determine during your regular visits.

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