Going home with pacemaker or ICD

  • After we are sure the pacemaker is working properly, you can go home.
  • If you have symptoms of faintness or dizziness, go to the emergency room.
  • Avoid excessive upper arm activity for six weeks. i.e., heavy lifting, golfing, swimming, vigorous vacuuming or lawn cutting. Otherwise, you may resume all usual activity, as you are able.
  • The dressing on your chest must be kept clean and dry. The nurses will instruct you on when you may remove the dressing and when you may bathe.

Pacemaker identification (ID) card:

The pacemaker identification (ID) card identifies you as the wearer of an implanted device. It is helpful to have this card with you at all times. It is especially helpful for follow-up appointments, to clear airport security, and in case of a medical emergency. You will receive a temporary copy of your card during your hospital stay. Approximately six to eight weeks after surgery, you will receive a permanent ID card in the mail from the device manufacturer. Your ID card will show the following information:

  • Your name, address, and phone number.
  • Model and serial numbers of your pacemaker and lead(s) and the date they were implanted.
  • Your follow-up clinic/doctor’s name and phone number.

Things you need to know:

  • There are no restrictions for using microwaves and household appliances; these are all safe with normal use.
  • Airport security gates are metal detectors, and your pacemaker may trigger this alarm. This will not harm your pacemaker. If you wish you may present airport security with your pacemaker ID card to bypass the metal detector and be hand-searched.
  • You will require routine checks of your pacemaker at the cardiologist’s office or pacemaker clinic (approximately every 6 months). Your first visit will be six weeks after surgery, or earlier. Check with your cardiologist.
  • No driving for one week.
  • Inform your family doctor that you have had a pacemaker implanted.

Why do I need to go for my device check-ups?

Pacemakers have many different settings to ensure that your heart beats normally. The pacemaker also collects a lot of information about your heart rhythm as it monitors you. This information helps the pacemaker clinic and your cardiologist program your pacemaker to best suit your needs. Attending regular pacemaker appointments also allows us to monitor the battery life of the pacemaker so that a replacement procedure can be scheduled in a timely manner.