While pacemaker procedure is relatively safe, some patients may take other treatments into consideration. For example, patients with atrial fibrillation can decide for catheter ablation procedure instead of pacemaker surgery. During the visit in doctor’s office, you are free to ask about other irregular heartbeat treatments available.
Additionally, some older patients may not be able to undergo pacemaker placement. If it is the case, doctors will suggest other ways of dealing with their abnormal heart rhythm.
How long should you stay in the hospital after the surgery?
How many days should I travel/stay abroad to do the treatment?
You can expect to get back to work within 1 week after the surgery.
Preparation for pacemaker surgery consists mainly of a series of tests, aiming at gathering data about your heart rhythm and health. These usually include electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, Holter monitoring and stress test.
Additionally, you will be asked to produce a list of your medical conditions and medicines you take in order to exclude potentially damaging medicines around the time of your pacemaker operation. You will be asked to fast for the day of the pacemaker surgery and take a long shower using special soap.
The pacemaker procedure is conducted under local anaesthesia. Firstly, the wires are inserted with the help of a needle into one’s veins and then to heart. In the second phase of pacemaker surgery, doctors connect the wires with pacemaker device which is inserted under one’s skin or deeper into the abdomen. Then the incisions are closed and the pacemaker operation comes to an end.
Pacemaker surgery recovery is rather easy to stand. Initially, patients may feel uneasy with pacemaker device but this feeling passes with time. Similarly, patients may feel pain during first days after pacemaker operation but it is manageable with painkillers. Usually, after the first night, they are free to go home. For the first 4-6 weeks of pacemaker surgery recovery, patients are dissuaded from engaging in strenuous physical activities. Sometimes they may be advised against spending a long time next to electrical devices.
While pacemaker procedure is thought to be a relatively safe one, still there are pacemaker risks worth taking into consideration. These include:
• Neural damage
• Damage to veins
• Repositioning of wires or pacemaker which often necessitates another pacemaker procedure to adjust their positions.
• Lung collapse (very rare)
• Heart puncturation (very rare)
Additionally, on rare occasions patients may experience pacemaker problems – it may not work properly due to its own faulty or influence of other electrical devices. For this reason, patients are advised to not stay close and for long period of time next to strong electricity generators as well as body scanners.
Living with a pacemaker means that we need to accept some pacemaker side effects. First of all, to pacemaker side effects belongs feeling uneasy, being aware of the pacemaker. Additionally, security scanners will often beep as a reaction to metal parts of your pacemaker device. Finally, you need to stay away from devices generating strong magnetic and electric field in order to prevent the occurrence of any pacemaker problems.
Success rates for pacemaker procedure are extremely high at more than 99%. This shows that there is basically nothing to worry when it comes to pacemaker surgery and surgery-related pacemaker risks.
What Is a Pacemaker?
A pacemaker is a medical device which helps to stabilise abnormal heart rhythm. It is inserted under one’s skin and connected to the heart by wires, through which an electric signal is sent every time the heart rhythm becomes abnormal.
Is Living with a Pacemaker Hard?
No, living with a pacemaker is not as hard as one would think. New pacemaker types offer the possibility to intervene only if they detect an abnormal heart rhythm. Apart from some minor pacemaker side effects, life goes pretty much the same for people after pacemaker operation.
How Long Does the Pacemaker Battery Last?
It depends on the patient but a pacemaker battery’s lifespan may be from 5 to 15 years, with 6-9 thought to be a standard.