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Questions and Answers – Pacemakers

If your doctor has advised you that a heart device (pacemaker) is the best course of treatment for your slow heartbeat (bradycardia), you may have a variety of questions and concerns.

Here are some common topics of interest to individuals considering an implantable heart device:

What should I expect during pacemaker therapy surgery?

Typically, the procedure to implant a pacemaker is short and done under local anesthesia. It does not require open-heart surgery, and most people go home within 24 hours.

Your doctor will provide more detailed information, but most individuals can expect to gradually return to their everyday activities shortly after the procedure.

Will the device affect my appearance?

Sometimes individuals wonder if there will be a noticeable bulge where the heart device was implanted. In general, you may notice a slight bump under your skin where your pacemaker is located.

Will I have to change my lifestyle?

An implantable heart device allows many individuals to participate in the activities they enjoy. Your doctor will have more information on activities you may need to avoid. However, most people resume their normal daily activities after full recovery from surgery.

Where can I find additional resources?

There are many resources available for individuals living with a heart condition. One resource for people considering an implantable heart device is the toll-free Medtronic HeartHelp® Resource Center, (800) 930-9374. Individuals who have an implanted heart device can call Heart Rhythm Patient Services, (800) 551-5544, x41835.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 22 Sep 2010

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