Adjusting to Life with a Pacemaker

Premier Cardiology Consultants’ mission is to offer comprehensive and personalized cardiac care to people of all ages in New York City and its surrounding counties. We have four beautiful facilities — in New Hyde Park on Long Island and Forest Hills, Rochdale, Jamaica, and Richmond Hill, in Queens, New York — for your convenience.

Patients value the medical expertise and greatly appreciate the compassionate care our team provides for various cardiovascular issues, including conditions requiring pacemaker placement.

Read what our talented specialists say about pacemakers, the benefits they provide, and what you can expect during the adjustment period.

Why would I need a pacemaker?

A pacemaker is a small device that’s implanted just under your skin, usually in the upper chest near the collarbone, and connected to your heart region by electrical leads. The device is designed to regulate your heartbeat.

A healthy heart beats at a steady rate of 60-100 times a minute at rest. This is typically regulated by your heart’s own electrical system. Certain conditions, however, can interfere with your natural system and cause irregular (arrhythmia) or slow heartbeats.

Cardiac pacemakers essentially help your heart’s faulty electrical system function better by sending an electrical pulse to the heart as necessary to restore a normal beat.

Conditions that might lead to pacemaker placement include:

Pacemakers are individually calibrated to sense your heart rhythm and rate, and the electrical pulses delivered by the pacemaker are completely painless.

What health benefits do pacemakers offer?

Symptoms associated with irregular and slow heart rates include:

Our patients generally report exceptional relief from these symptoms and significant gains in their overall quality of life once the pacemaker is placed.

What should I expect during the adjustment period?

Your specialist provides detailed instructions regarding aftercare for the incision site, as well as specific instructions on activity restrictions and pacemaker programming details.

Generally, however, we typically recommend you avoid placing pressure on the site and avoid wearing restrictive clothing until the pacemaker has a chance to settle, which usually takes several weeks. Women may be advised to apply padding under their bra strap for a time.

Otherwise, once the sutures have healed, you can shower, bathe, or swim as desired. We typically recommend you return to routine activities and regular exercise shortly after the procedure and provide detailed guidelines regarding that.  

Certain devices and medical treatments can interfere with pacemaker function. Keep a written list of those items on hand, available from your provider, and avoid them as directed. You can, for instance, use a cell phone, but you shouldn’t carry it in a shirt pocket and should otherwise keep it at least six inches away from your pacemaker.

Note that security metal detectors will not affect your pacemaker but may cause an alarm. We recommend you wear a medical alert bracelet or carry a card that identifies your pacemaker.

Your pacemaker also requires periodic monitoring, for which you receive specific instructions. The process is done remotely, and it takes just a few moments for your pacemaker to transmit information regarding your heart rate and rhythm, how the device is functioning, and its remaining battery life to our office.

It may seem like a lot to remember initially, but most of our patients adjust to their pacemaker within a few days of the procedure.

Schedule a visit at Premier Cardiology Consultants today for all your cardiology needs, including more information about the life-saving benefits of pacemakers.

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