Will I have to stay in the hospital?
Yes, you will be admitted to the hospital overnight. Usually you will be able to go home the day after your device was implanted, unless the epicardial approach was used during the procedure.
What should I expect during the recovery?
In your hospital room, a special monitor, called a telemetry monitor, will continually monitor your heart rhythm. The telemetry monitor consists of a small box connected by wires to your chest with sticky electrode patches. The box displays your heart rhythm on several monitors in the nursing unit. The nurses will be able to observe your heart rate and rhythm.
You will also have a holter monitor a small recorder attached to your chest with sticky electrode patches. The holter monitor records your heart rhythm for 12 hours to ensure that the pacemaker is functioning properly.
What tests will be done after the procedure?
A chest X-ray will be done after the device implant to check your lungs and the position of the device and leads. Before you are discharged, the holter monitor will be removed, and the results will be given to your doctor. You will then go to the Device Clinic.
What happens at the Device Clinic?
- You will sit in a reclining chair. Small sticky patches (electrodes) will be placed on your chest and connected via wires to a computer. A nurse will place a small device called a programmer directly over the CRT device. The programmer allows the nurse to change the device settings and to check the device and lead function. You may feel your heart beat faster or slower. Although this is normal, please tell the nurse what symptoms you are experiencing. The results of the device check are reported to your doctor, who then determines the appropriate settings for the device. The holter monitor results also are reviewed.
- Home-going instructions including incision care, activity guidelines and follow-up schedule also are reviewed.
- An echocardiogram may be performed as part of the Device Clinic evaluation or at your next follow-up appointment.
- If an echocardiogram (echo) is performed at your pacemaker check, the pacemaker nurse will be there during your echo and will change your pacemaker at least 3 times. The echo will be repeated with each change to evaluate heart function. The pacemaker will keep the settings that demonstrated your best heart function.
How will I feel?
You may feel discomfort at the pacemaker implant site during the first 48 hours after the procedure. The doctor will tell you what medications you can take for pain relief. Please tell your doctor or nurse if your symptoms are prolonged or severe.