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Pacemaker Generator Change

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Dec 2, 2022.

What do I need to know about a pacemaker generator change?

Your healthcare provider will replace your generator before the battery runs out. The generator may be replaced earlier if it stops working correctly.

How do I prepare for a pacemaker generator change?

  • Your healthcare provider will tell you how to prepare for the procedure. He or she may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your procedure. Arrange for someone to drive you home and stay with you after the procedure.
  • Tell your provider about all your current medicines. He or she will tell you if you need to stop any medicine for the procedure, and when to stop. He or she will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of the procedure.
  • Make arrangements at home and work, if needed. You will not be able to lift anything heavy for several days after the procedure. Someone may need to help you around the house during this time. Ask your provider when you can return to work after the procedure. You may need to arrange for time off.

What will happen during a pacemaker generator change?

  • You may be given IV sedation to make you feel calm and relaxed during the procedure. You may also be given local anesthesia to numb the procedure area. With local anesthesia, you may still feel pressure or pushing, but you should not feel pain.
  • Your healthcare provider will make an incision in your chest. He or she will remove the old generator. He or she will unplug the leads from the generator and inspect them for damage. Your provider will connect the leads to the new generator. He or she will insert the new generator through your incision.
  • Your incision will be closed with stitches, medical glue, or medical tape. It will be covered with a bandage.

What should I expect after a pacemaker generator change?

Healthcare providers will monitor your heartbeat. They will also check your pacemaker with a machine to make sure it is working correctly. You may have bruising or pain near your incision. These should get better in a few days.

What are the risks of a pacemaker generator change?

You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. The leads may move and damage your veins, nerves, wall of your heart, or lungs. You may need to have another procedure to correct the damage or to replace the generator or leads.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.