What is a pacemaker device check?

Pacemaker Clinic services include clinical evaluation and interrogation of pacemakers and defibrillators implanted in patients. In general, following pacemaker implant, the wound site is examined about 1-2 weeks after implant. A pacemaker or defibrillator check is then performed about six weeks after pacemaker implantation. Regular device checks would then be scheduled during further follow-up as advised by your doctor, ranging from 3 months to 1 year. This is to ensure that the pacemaker or defibrillator is functioning normally, and that the battery life is sufficient. If the residual battery life is below a certain level, the pacemaker or defibrillator generator will need to be replaced.

 

How is a pacemaker device check performed?

The pacemaker or defibrillator check is performed by a technician using a computer device that is linked to your pacemaker or defibrillator. During a device check, the percentage of pacing, lead parameters, function of the pacemaker or defibrillator, residual battery life, and any recorded heart rhythm abnormalities are analysed. The function of the pacemaker or defibrillator can be fine-tuned during each follow-up.

You may be asked by the technician to uncover a part of your clothing to reveal the pacemaker or defibrillator. The technician will apply 3 or 4 small stickers called “electrodes” to your chest. A special magnet will be placed over the pacemaker or defibrillator on your chest. The computer device then communicates with the pacemaker or defibrillator and analyses how it has been performing. The technician can adjust the settings on the pacemaker or defibrillator during the session. Generally patients do not feel any symptoms during the check. The technician may ask you various questions during the check to enquire how you are getting on. The check-up may take up to 30 minutes, depending on how complicated your particular pacemaker or defibrillator is.

 

How do I prepare for a pacemaker device check?

In general, you do not need to prepare anything in particular for this test. However, patients are recommended to carry with them at all times a card stating the kind of pacemaker or defibrillator implanted. Regular follow-up is important after a pacemaker or defibrillator implant. This is to ensure that the device is functioning properly. Your doctor will tell you how often you will need to have it checked. During a check-up, the doctor will determine if the device is functioning normally, whether battery life is sufficient, and if there are any detected heart rhythm abnormalities.

How do I arrange for a Pacemaker Device Check?

You can arrange for a pacemaker check through our cardiologists, for more details please call (03) 9898 3366