Surgical implantation of an internal cardiac device (pacemaker, internal cardioverter defibrillator or biventricular device) is a common procedure that is performed in many hospitals throughout the United States.
Most patients check into the hospital for a stay of 1 to 3 days depending on each individual’s health status. You will be asked to arrive earlier than your scheduled surgery time. This allows preparation time for your procedure and allows for your procedure to be performed sooner if the previous case is cancelled.
Your surgery may also be delayed due to several factors:
- New developments in your health status
- An emergency case may have to be performed before yours.
- Circumstances that your physician sees as potentially placing you at risk.
Before the Procedure:
You will receive a letter with specific medication instructions prior to your procedure. A visit to our pre-assessment center may be required to perform pre operative testing such as EKG, blood work, physical assessment and medication teaching. This is also a good opportunity to have some of your questions answered.
If you are taking blood thinners (Coumadin/warfarin) to prevent clots it may be necessary to stop your medication several days before your procedure.
To protect you from developing clots you may be required in some cases to use Lovenox . This is a shorter acting blood thinner that is injected under your skin every 12 hours for 2-3 days before your procedure.
The Day of the Procedure:
Take all other medications as prescribed with a small sip of water. If you use inhalers please bring them with you. If you have CPAP machine for sleep apnea please bring it with you. Do not use any deodorants, creams or sprays that morning. You will need to report to the Admitting/Patient Registration area at Hartford Hospital, Room 128. You will then be directed to the Nursing Unit. Your procedure will be performed between the hours of 7am – 5pm.
Please keep in mind, due to emergent cases, that the order of cases can change
At times during very busy admission periods, such as the flu season, there may be a delay in room assignment.
Our staff will escort your family to the waiting room near the procedure area.
The doctor will update them after the procedure. If they plan to leave a contact number, it should be given to our staff.
After the Procedure:
You will be required to remain flat for up to 12 hours after your procedure. Once your device has been tested the next morning, you will be able to eat breakfast.
A member of our staff will give you discharge instructions that include follow- up appointments for a wound check and six week device check in our clinic.
Check the incision every day for signs of infection: fever, redness or oozing.
Keep the area dry as instructed when discharged from the hospital. You will be instructed to avoid lifting your arm on the side of the device above your shoulder for 2-4 weeks. Continue to move your arm normally (below your shoulder) on the side of the device to avoid a frozen shoulder. Do not lift more than 10 lbs. on the side of your device.
Important Points to Remember:
- Carry your device identification & list of your medications with you at all times. (Make sure you have your temporary device card before discharge).
- Always alert healthcare providers you have a device.
- You should have a follow-up wound check appointment given to you prior to discharge.
- Continue your medications as per your cardiologist.
Call our offices if you develop:
- Increased pain, redness, swelling or discharge from the incision site.
- Develop fevers or any signs of infection.
Call your cardiologist if you develop:
- Chest pain not related to your incisions.
- Increased weakness or inability to do regular activities.
- Shortness of breath.
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, passing out, fluttering (palpitations) or near fainting.
Important Phone Numbers:
- Hartford Hospital
- Heart Rhythm Management
(860) 545-3999 (fax)
Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.
An answering service is available after hours and can contact the doctor on call.