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Questions and Answers – Getting a Pacemaker

Bradycardia (Slow Heart Rate)

If your doctor has advised you that a 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?

The procedure to implant a pacemaker is usually quick, and typically 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.

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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.

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Will I have to change my lifestyle?

An implantable heart device allows many individuals to return to the activities they enjoy. Your doctor will provide more information on activities you may need to avoid, but people typically resume their normal daily activities after full recovery from surgery.

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Where can I find additional resources?

There are many resources available for individuals living with a heart condition. Talk to your doctor or health care professional if you have medical concerns or health symptoms. 

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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.