Cardiac pacing

What is it?

Cardiac Pacing is a surgical procedure to fit a pacemaker. A pacemaker is a small device that emits an electrical pulse to assist your heart in maintaining a regular pulse. The pulse rate of your heart can be affected by general aging, some medications, or its decreased health such as after a heart attack.

What does treatment involve?

Your Circle surgeon will usually perform the procedure under local anaesthetic, meaning you will be conscious. During the procedure, the pacemaker will be placed near your collar bone and wired to your heart through a vein.

When will I recover?

Recovery time after surgery varies for different people and different conditions, and it may take some time for you to get used to the presence of the pacemaker. The insertion procedure may leave you with some slight bruising and discomfort, but this should pass in a few days. You may have to return to have the pacemaker checked, to ensure it is working correctly.

What risks should I know about?

There is a small risk that the pacemaker may cause infection, giving symptoms such as a high fever, or pain and swelling in the surgery site. There is also a small risk that your pacemaker could malfunction for various reasons, such as a pulled lead or a faulty battery.

There are some lifestyle changes that you may need to make to accommodate your pacemaker and ensure it functions correctly. This includes keeping your mobile phone away from your pacemaker as often as possible, and staying away from doorway anti-theft device scanners in shops as often as possible. Your Consultant should discuss this with you and answer any questions you may have.

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