Patient Info

Permanent Pacemaker Implant

A pacemaker is typically used to correct slow or irregular heartbeats called arrhythmias. These arrhythmias may cause you to feel light-headed, breathless or even experience black-outs. The pacemaker is made up of a long-lasting battery and an electronic circuit in a metal case that sits under your skin. This produces an electrical impulse, which is sent directly to the heart muscle by one or two leads. When the impulse reaches the heart muscle, it causes the heart to contract or beat. This can prevent symptoms like black-outs.

The pacemaker leads are inserted into a vein below your collarbone and passed along this vein into your heart. The leads are then attached to the inside of the heart wall. The leads are tested and connected to the pacemaker. The pacemaker is then implanted under your skin, below your left or right shoulder. The procedure usually takes about one hour, although this can vary. You will stay in hospital for a day or overnight.

You cannot eat or drink immediately prior to the procedure and your doctor will advise you of the duration.  Be sure to check with your doctor several days before your procedure as you may be asked to stop taking certain medications for up to a week prior to the procedure. This can help get more accurate test results. Also bring a list of all the medications you are currently taking. It is important for the doctor to know the exact names and dosages of any medications that you take.

The cost of this procedure is not fully covered by most health insurances; most cover the cost of the procedure, but not the pacemaker hardware itself. Our secretaries will advise you if there is a cost to you at the time of booking.  The outcome of the procedure will be discussed with you and a report will be sent to your cardiologist and general practitioner. Technical follow-up of the pacemaker is ordinarily undertaken by highly skilled Cardiac Physiologists at your local public hospital, the details of this will be provided to you at the time of your procedure.

Pacemaker implant procedures are carried out at the Intra Epsom site in the Mercy Hospital on Mountain Road. 

For further information please phone The Heart Group 09 623 6377