How is the leadless pacemaker implanted?

The pacemaker is put in place using a long, thin tube called a catheter. The catheter is inserted into the femoral vein through a very small incision in your groin. Your doctor will numb this area with local anesthetic (pain-relieving medication). Your doctor will use an X-ray machine to guide the catheter to your heart. Once the catheter is inside the right ventricle, your doctor will place the pacemaker into position in the heart. The device is tested to make sure it is attached to the wall and programmed correctly. Then, the catheter is removed and the incision site is closed by applying pressure to the area.

The procedure takes about 30 minutes to complete, although this can vary patient-to-patient based on individual anatomical consideration.

Learn more about what to expect before and during a permanent pacemaker procedure

What happens after the procedure?

You will need to lie flat and keep the leg straight for two to six hours after the procedure. This prevents bleeding from the access site. Do not try to sit or stand. A sterile dressing will be placed on your groin area to protect it from infection. You will spend the night in the hospital and will be able to go home after your device check and a chest X-ray.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/01/2019.

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