- A Visual Guide to Heart Disease
- Medical Illustrations of the Heart Image Collection
- Take the Heart Disease Quiz!
- Patient Comments: Pacemaker - Implantation
- Find a local Cardiologist in your town
- Biventricular pacemaker introduction
- What is a biventricular pacemaker?
- Who is a candidate for a biventricular pacemaker?
- My doctor recommends combination ICD and pacemaker therapy. Why?
- How do I prepare for the biventricular pacemaker implant?
- What happens during the pacemaker implant?
- A closer look at what happens during the endocardial approach
- What happens after the pacemaker is implanted?
- When will I be able to go home after getting the pacemaker?
- How do I care for my wound?
- When will I be able to perform my normal activities after getting the pacemaker?
- How often do I need to get my pacemaker checked?
- How long will my pacemaker last?
- How will I know if my pacemaker needs to be changed?
How Do I Prepare for the Biventricular Pacemaker Implant?
Ask your doctor what medications you are allowed to take before getting your biventricular pacemaker. Your doctor may ask you to stop certain medications several days before your procedure. If you have diabetes, ask your doctor how you should adjust your diabetic medications.
Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the procedure. If you must take medications, drink only small sips of water to help you swallow your pills.
When you come to the hospital, wear comfortable clothes. You will change into a hospital gown for the procedure. Leave all jewelry and valuables at home.
What Happens During the Pacemaker Implantation?
Pacemakers can be implanted two ways:
- Inside the Heart (Endocardial, Transvenous approach): This is the most common technique used. A lead is placed into a vein (usually in your groin), and then guided to your heart. The tip of the lead attaches to your heart muscle. The other end of the lead is attached to the pulse generator, which is placed under the skin in your upper chest. This technique is done under local anesthesia (you will not be asleep).
- Outside the Heart (Epicardial approach): The lead tip is attached to the outside of the heart. The other end of the lead is attached to the pulse generator, which is placed under the skin in your abdomen. This technique is done under general anesthesia (you will be asleep) by a surgeon.
Your doctor will decide which approach is best for you.