A pacemaker is a small device that senses your heart rhythm and sends electrical signals (impulses) to your heart as needed. This helps maintain a safe heart rate (pulse).

Leadless Pacemaker
This pacemaker is smaller than a normal pacemaker and has no leads. It is about the size of a large multivitamin. To place this pacemaker, a vein in your groin is used to get to the lower part (right ventricle) of your heart where the pacemaker is placed.

The Day Before Surgery
A nurse will call you the day before surgery (or the Friday before a Monday surgery). The nurse will review your instructions and tell you what time to arrive. If you do not hear from us by 4 pm, please call: 608-263-1530.

If you feel sick or have a fever over 100°F the day before surgery, call the clinic.

The Day of Surgery
Before the procedure starts blood may be drawn for labs. You will have an IV placed in your hand or arm. If needed, a small area around the surgical sites will be shaved. Your skin will be cleaned with a special soap. You may receive antibiotics through your IV to help prevent infection.

Your doctor will decide whether you will have general anesthesia or conscious sedation.

Sterile drapes will cover you from your neck to your feet so that only the surgical site is exposed.

The Procedure
A long, thin tube called a catheter is placed into a large vein in your groin through a small incision. This catheter contains the leadless pacemaker. It is threaded up the vein into the lower right side of your heart (right ventricle) using x-ray. Once it is in the correct position, the pacemaker is attached to the heart muscle. The pacemaker is tested to make sure it is in the correct location and working. The catheter is then removed, and the incision is closed with a suture. The whole process takes 1-3 hours.

Going Home
You may go home the same day or stay in the hospital overnight. Your device will be checked before you leave, and you may have an x-ray. We will review discharge instructions with you.
You cannot drive yourself home. You need to arrange for someone to drive you home. You can resume driving after 1 week.

Restrictions

  • Do not lift more than 10 pounds (i.e. a gallon of milk) for 7 days.

  • Do not strain or do any vigorous activity for 7 days.

  • Avoid dental work for 1 month.

Incision Care
It is important that you take care of your incision to prevent an infection.

  • Keep the site clean and dry.

  • Do not shower for 24 hours.

  • Do not soak in a bathtub, hot tub or go into a swimming pool, lake, or river until your groin site is completely healed.

  • Remove the bandage over the implant access site before taking a shower.

Infection
Look at the site daily for signs of infection:

  • Redness

  • Swelling

  • Fever (101°F or higher)

  • Drainage

  • Tenderness

  • Warm to touch

Pain
You may take a mild pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Motrin®) for any pain. You may also apply an ice pack. Ibuprofen or other NSAID medicines increase your risk of bleeding. You may want to avoid them if you are taking a blood thinner.

Device ID Card
You will receive a temporary ID card and will receive your permanent card in about 2 months. Carry your card with you all the time. Tell your health and dental care providers that you have a permanent cardiac device.

Electrical Hazards
You will need to avoid certain types of electrical devices. For more information, call your device company.

Avoid

  • Working under the hood of a running car

  • Arc welding

Cautions

  • Therapeutic radiation machines.

  • Electrocautery: Discuss with your physician if you will need electrocautery for a procedure in the operating room or the dentist’s office.

  • Cell phones: Keep cell phones at least 6 inches from your device. Place the phone on the ear opposite of your device or use a headset.

  • Theft detection devices: These are often around the entrances of stores. Walk through them as you normally would. Do not linger near these.

  • Airport security: Tell security staff you have a device. Show them your Medical Device ID card.

  • Magnets: Magnetic snap closure (in jackets), magnetic name badges, and any equipment with a magnetic strip. Keep anything with a magnet 6-8 inches from your device.

  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). Discuss with your physician before having an MRI.

Safe Devices

  • Microwaves

  • Hair dryers

  • Electric blankets and heating pads

  • Computers

  • Radios, TVs, and stereos

Follow-up Visit
Location: __________________
Date: ___________Time: ______________
After your first visit, your device will be checked every 3-4 months either in clinic or with home remote checks.

When to Call

  • If you feel lightheaded, pass out or if your symptoms return that you had before your device.

  • You have any signs of infection.

Who to Call
UW Heart and Vascular Clinic.
Monday – Friday, 8:00 am- 4:30 pm
608-263-1530 or 1-800-323-8942

After hours, nights, weekend, and holidays this number will give you the paging operator. Ask for the cardiology fellow on call. Give your full name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.

For questions about your device call the device company.

  • Medtronic: 1-800-633-8766

If you are a patient receiving care at UnityPoint – Meriter, Swedish American or a health system outside of UW Health, please use the phone numbers provided in your discharge instructions for any questions or concerns.