Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Home > Patient Education Repository > 01055--Pacemaker Generator Change Discharge Instructions

patient education : 01055--Pacemaker Generator Change Discharge Instructions

Taking care of yourself after pacemaker generator change including follow up appointments, incision care, infection and bruising, pacemaker problems, and environmental hazards

Handout File:

PDF document icon PE01055 PacemakerGeneratorChangeDischarge.pdf — PDF document, 43 KB (44904 bytes)
  1. document content:

    PACEMAKER GENERATOR CHANGE DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS

    IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS

    Cardiologist:            __________________________________________________________

    Electrophysiologist: __________________________________________________________

    Heart Center Centralized Scheduling: 434-243-1000, Monday- Friday, 8am-5pm.  Ask for your Electrophysiology doctor’s care coordinator.

    Daytime Emergency Number:

    Monday- Friday, 8am-5pm; call 434-924-0000. Ask for the “on call Device RN” on pager # 1502.

    Evening and Weekend  Emergency Number:

    Call 434-924-0000, ask the operator to page the Doctor on call for the Electrophysiology Service.

    FOLLOW-UP APPOINTMENTS

    You will be scheduled to been seen in the Device Clinic at UVA in 2 weeks. At the 2 week appointment the Device Clinic Nurse will confirm and schedule your 3 month appointment.  If you don’t receive an appointment, please call 434-243-1000 to schedule.

    • UVA Device Clinic is in the UVA Primary Care Center, 2nd Floor, Hallway C.
    • UVA has Device Clinics in Culpeper, Orange, Fishersville, and Zion Crossroads.  Talk to your pacemaker doctor if one of these locations would be more convenient for your pacemaker follow up.

    Please bring a current list of your medications to each visit.  During the follow-up visit we will examine your incision site, and assess the pacemaker function.

    If you have been doing remote pacemaker follow-up please check with the clinician at the 2 week visit to see if your current monitor is compatible with your new device or if a new transmitter needs to be ordered.

    INCISION CARE

    • If you go home with a dressing in place, remove that dressing the day after the procedure and then leave the incision open to air.For pain relief at home, you may use a covered ice bag over the incision at home for 20 minutes at a time.  Protect the incision from getting wet from the ice bag.
    • Do NOT get the incision area wet for 3 days.
    • Take a sponge bath the 1st 3 days. You may shower after 3 days
    • If the doctor put STERI-STRIPS (thin strips of paper tape) over the incision, you may wash over these after 3 days, but do NOT remove them. They will be removed at the 2 week follow-up visit. 
    • If the doctor used staples to close your incision, they will be removed at the time of your 2 week follow-up visit.
    • Do not manipulate, rub, or put any ointments or salves on the incision.
    • After 3 days, wash over the incision site gently with soap and water only.
    •  If you find that your clothing irritates the incision, a dressing or light pad may be worn over the incision site.
    • You may experience some discomfort, tenderness, and bruising around the incision site. This discomfort should get better with time. You make take non-aspirin pain relievers containing acetaminophen (Tylenol®) in the recommended dose.

    INFECTION AND BRUISING

    • Signs and symptoms of infection are redness, increasing pain, swelling, drainage, and bleeding. Notify the Device Service if these symptoms occur or if you develop a temperature > 100.4 F.
    • Some bruising around the device site is normal. If you develop a large amount of bruising, or the area becomes swollen, please notify the Device Service.
    • Routine antibiotics may be prescribed for several days after you leave the hospital.
    • Try to avoid dental procedures, including cleaning within three months of your device implant.  However, if you need dental care during that time, contact your pacemaker doctor’s care coordinator nurse directly for recommendations for needed antibiotics.

    PACEMAKER PROBLEMS

    Signs of a problem with the pacemaker may present as rhythmic hiccupping, fainting, dizziness, weakness, or return of the symptoms you felt prior to having the pacemaker implanted. Contact the Device Service if you experience any of these symptoms.

    ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS

    Certain machines or appliances create electrical or magnetic fields that can interfere with your pacemaker function.

    • Household appliances will not interfere with your pacemaker as long as they are grounded and in good working order.
    • Microwave ovens are NOT a hazard if they are newer than 15 years old.
    • When using a cellular phone, hold it to the ear opposite from the pacemaker. Carry the phone on the side away from your pacemaker. Never carry it in a chest pocket, even when it is turned off.
    • Avoid standing in the entryway of a store with shoplifting detectors. However walking past such equipment at a normal pace will not interfere with the function of your pacemaker.
    • You may stand next to a running car engine but don’t lean over one. 

    Airport Security:

    • Airport metal detectors may detect your pacemaker, but they will not harm the pacemaker.
    • You may need to show security personnel your identification card.
    • Hand-held security scanning devices may be passed over the pacemaker, but they should not be held in place over it.

    MAKE SURE YOUR DOCTOR KNOWS THAT YOU HAVE A PACEMAKER IF YOU ARE SCHEDULED FOR ANY OF THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURES OR TESTS:

    • MRIs:  MRIs are approved for use with certain pacemakers.  Please check with your pacemaker doctor if you are told that you need to have an MRI.
    • Radiation Therapy
    • Diathermy
    • Electrocautery ( used in most surgical procedures)
    • Lithotripsy
    • Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulator ( TENS unit )

    Contact your pacemaker doctor if there are any questions regarding these procedures.

    If you are scheduled for surgery, let your surgical team know you have a pacemaker.

    ALWAYS CARRY YOUR PACEMAKER IDENTIFICATION CARD WITH YOU

    We recommend that you get a medical alert bracelet or necklace.

    ACTIVITIES AFTER YOUR PACEMAKER IMPLANT

    • Your arm or shoulder may be sore for several days. Move the shoulder on the affected side back and forth to prevent frozen shoulder.
    • You may drive in 3 days. There may be specific driving restrictions depending on your health situation. If your healthcare provider advises you not to drive, please follow that advice.
  2. related or referenced content:

TO ORDER MULTIPLE COPIES:
  1. Search for and choose the link to your document. (Left click)
  2. Right click the document PDF in the record. Choose "Copy shortcut" from the drop down menu.
  3. Open your email to send a "New E-mail".
  4. Right click in the body of the email to paste the link into the email.
  5. Send email with your name, PTAO, quantity and contact/delivery information to .