Pacemaker, Loop Recorder &
Once your pacemaker, loop recorder or defibrillator is inserted, it is important to maintain the follow up schedule recommended by your Electrophysiologist. After your procedure, the device will be checked by a cardiac technician in the hospital.
You will then come in to the clinic for a wound and device check within 2 weeks and again at 3 months. After these checks you will continue to be seen at least once every 12 months, but sometimes will need to be seen more regularly.
Home monitoring and Clinic visits
Your heart rhythm device will likely be monitored with a combination of remote monitoring and in clinic visits. A remote monitor, that is kept at your home, will usually be provided to you before you are discharged from hospital. You will transmit your device information using this monitor most days. If there are any transmissions that identify a problem, your doctor will be notified and we can call you in to the clinic for a consultation. Home Monitoring adds more information to your usual clinic visits.
If a monitor has not been provided, discuss this with your cardiologist at the first follow up appointment. It is generally not necessary to bring your home monitoring device with you to the clinic for your check.
In clinic checks are an important part of your device monitoring and management. During the check, a small device is used to download the information that has been recorded on your device. Sometimes, a programmer is used to review your device and can be used to make changes to the settings. The information is accessed by placing a ‘wand’ over the pacemaker to connect to the tiny computer within the pacemaker casing. You will not experience any pain or discomfort during this check. During the first check after your device is implanted, we will check the wound and change the dressing if necessary. If you are at all concerned with the wound before your first device check, please call our practice or see your GP, or alternatively present to the hospital emergency department.
We will review the results of your device check and report back to your GP with information such as device performance, any detected heart rhythm problems, and battery longevity. We will consult with you after we have the device check results and discuss any concerns you might have.
Unscheduled Device Checks
Occasionally, you may feel that you need to see us sooner than scheduled. If this is the case, please call us to discuss what problems or symptoms you are experiencing. If unsure, our reception team will check with your doctor before booking in an unscheduled pacemaker or device check. As always, if you are feeling unwell you should consult your regular doctor or present to the hospital emergency department for immediate care.
Most patients with heart rhythm devices are able to undergo an MRI scan if needed. However, a device check and questionnaire will need to be completed by your electrophysiologist before giving the final greenlight to undergo the scan safely.
Illawarra Heart Centre offer checks for the following devices:
Our electrophysiologists Dr Hany Abed and Dr Sean Gomes will be happy to be a part of your care.