What should you expect?
Before the procedure, your doctor will likely do blood tests, a chest x-ray and an EKG, a test that records the heart’s activity by measuring electrical currents through the heart muscle.
In the days leading up to the procedure, your doctor will talk to you about the medications you are taking, both prescription and over-the-counter. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to one week before the procedure. These may include anti-inflammatory drugs and blood thinners. Eat a light meal the night before the procedure. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
Local anesthesia will be used. This means that just the area that is being operated on is numbed. It is given as an injection. You will lie on a hard table. Your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing will be monitored. The doctor will make a small incision beneath your collarbone. The pacemaker will be inserted through this incision. The wires will be threaded through a vein under the collarbone to the heart. Lastly, the incision will be closed with stitches.
Immediately after the procedure, your heart rate and blood pressure will be monitored. The procedure usually lasts about 2 hours.