Implant procedure

Before the procedure

  • You may be instructed to make changes to your blood thinner medication(s) for this procedure. You will get these instructions when your procedure is booked.
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight and the morning of the procedure.
  • Bring a list of all your medications with you. You will have been informed which medications to take normally and which medications to hold for the procedure.
  • Have a shower or bath the morning of or night before your procedure. Do not apply any lotions or creams to your chest or back as these may interfere with placement of the monitoring equipment.
  • Your chest may require shaving.
  • You are not allowed to drive yourself home after receiving sedation/anesthesia. You will need to arrange a ride home that day.
  • For the rest of the day, you should not drive a car, use heavy machinery or make any important decisions.
  • Please leave all jewelry or valuables at home or with a family member.

When you arrive

  • You will be brought into our Cardiac Investigation Unit where you will be asked to change into a hospital gown.
  • The nurse will go over your medical history with you and answer any questions you may have.
  • Blood samples may be drawn and an electrocardiogram (ECG) may be done.
  • You will meet your doctor and he or she will ask you to give a written consent for the procedure.
  • Electrode pads to monitor your heart will be put on your chest.
  • An intravenous (IV) line will be placed in a vein in your arm so we can give you medication during the procedure.
  • The nurse in the procedure room will give you medication to help you relax.
  • Please be patient if your procedure is running late. Every patient will get as much time as needed in the procedure room to give them the best care possible.

What Happens During the Procedure?

  • You will be asked to lie flat for the procedure. Wires will be attached to the stickers that have been placed on your back and chest
  • Your blood pressure and oxygen levels will be monitored.  Your arms will be gently secured. This is because you may fall asleep during the procedure and when you awake we do not want you to move your arms suddenly.
  • The nurse will give you medication through your IV to make you feel comfortable. They may also give you oxygen through a mask. You will able to talk and ask for medication during the procedure if you feel uncomfortable.
  • The doctor will cover your chest to keep the area sterile during the procedure.
  • The doctor will freeze the area where the pacemaker generator will be implanted. You can expect to feel some pushing and pressure. If you are sore at all, please tell the doctor.
  • The pacemaker is placed under the skin in the upper chest area (usually on the left side). The lead is advanced into the heart through a vein near your collar bone.
  • Once the lead is in place, it will be attached to the pacemaker generator. The incision on your chest will be stitched closed and covered with a dressing.
  • You will be transferred into the recovery area when your procedure is finished.

After the Procedure

  • After the pacemaker has been implanted, you will be monitored for about 3 hours. You will have a chest x-ray and electrocardiogram to check the pacemaker.
  • For the first few hours you may feel drowsy from the medication given during the procedure. You may be able to eat or drink one hour following surgery.
  • The first time you get up to use the bathroom please call for assistance even if you feel fine. Once the freezing begins to wear off you will probably feel some soreness at the pacemaker site.
  • Please ask for pain medication before the soreness is unbearable as the medication takes 30 – 40 minutes before it begins to take effect.
  • Your blood pressure, pulse and dressing will be checked fairly often for the first few hours.
  • You will be discharged home with specific instructions from your doctor and the nursing staff.


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