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Pacemaker Care After Your Discharge

Getting a pacemaker can seem like an incredibly worrisome thing. After all, the procedure is one that involves placing very thin wires, called leads, into the heart muscle. However there are other factors to consider as well. Once the device is in your chest and working for you, you'll also need to take care of the incision. Even after you heal, you'll need to know what steps to take to ensure that you remain healthy with the device in place. It may be easier to do this than you realize, though. There are a few things you need to keep in mind.

Leaving for Home

In some cases, you can get a pacemaker and head home the same day. The procedure does not take long and it does not often require general anesthesia, though you will be asleep and you will not feel pain. You will have an incision to take care of. This is often right above the chest at the shoulder. You'll need to allow that incision to heal.

During the first few days, you may feel weak and unable to function as you normally would. This is often due to the fact that your body needs to get used to the new device. Depending on if the device is pacing or if it is just in place to work when it is needed, you may feel anxious about it being in your body. However, this is rarely something you'll need to worry about.

Caring for your incision is important. Your doctor will tell you when you need to clean it, how to do so, and if you need to come back for the removal of stiches. Most often, this is not necessary. You will have some limited range of motion in that arm for up to six weeks. You need to heal not just the incision but also the muscle surrounding it. That's why it is critical to follow your doctor's orders here.

Living With It

If you are going to the airport, you need to alert the attendants of your device since you cannot go through regular screenings. If you are going near any type of large magnet, you'll need to be mindful. You will not be able to have some types of screenings due to your device. You may also need to wear a medical bracelet alerting others that the device is in place. Other than this, you may not think twice about the device once it is in place.