A pacemaker is a small device that is placed in the chest to help control abnormal heart rhythms. This device uses wires to carry electrical pulses to the heart muscle, which prompts the heart to beat at a normal rate.
Pacemakers are used to treat abnormal rates or rhythms of the heart. If the heart beats abnormally it may not be able to pump enough blood to the body. This can cause symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath or fainting. A pacemaker may relieve these symptoms.
Your doctor may recommend a pacemaker if you have one of the following:
The day after your procedure you will have a repeat chest x-ray performed to ensure the correct position of the pacemaker wires.
A representative from the pacemaker company will come and check your pacemaker before discharge. They will give you a booklet that will tell you about your pacemaker.
Your Cardiologist may change your medications but this will be explained to you.
You may need some mild painkillers at home, tell the nurse if you require us to get them from the pharmacy prior to your discharge.
If you normally take a blood thinner, the doctor will tell you when to recommence this.
The dressing on your chest must remain intact for 7 days. The dressing only needs changing if it lifts off. It is a good idea to have this done by a nurse at your GP’s surgery. If this is not an option contact your Cardiologist’s rooms and they will make an alternative arrangement.
After 7 days, remove the dressing from your chest then gently wash the wound in the shower and carefully dry with a clean towel. Report to your doctor if there is any discharge from the wound. You may be asked to attend the Cardiologist’s rooms for a wound check.
You should not do any heavy lifting or straining for 4 weeks. During this time it is important that you do not lift your left arm above your head, as this could cause the pacemaker wires to dislodge.
You will be given a temporary identity card before you are discharged. You will receive a permanent one in the post in a few days. It is important to carry this card with you at all times. It is a good idea to let a close friend or family member read the pacemaker booklet and familiarise themselves with the information.
You will need to make an appointment to see your GP in a few days time and you will be given a discharge letter to give to them.
Your Cardiologist will ask you to make an appointment to see him at a later date.
If you have any concerns when you go home, you can ring us on (07) 4052 5230 or contact your GP.
If you have further questions regarding this procedure, please ask your nurse or doctor for clarification.
Providing invasive & non-invasive cardiovascular services to patients in Far North Queensland, PNG, and the Torres Strait Islands