Single and dual chamber pacemaker checks
Pacemakers are implanted into patients who have heart rhythms which are different from healthy functioning hearts, either too slow or too irregularly. An implanted pacemaker can be either single or dual chamber depending on the underlying cardiac rhythm of the patient.
A pacemaker check is carried out at the time of implantation and also needs to be checked at regular intervals thereafter. The test is performed by a Cardiac Physiologist who analyses the data collected by the pacemaker in between checkups and uses the data to improve the efficiency of the pacemaker or to adjust the programmed settings according to the patients changing needs.
Most pacemaker batteries last between 5 and 10 years, at the check the Physiologist will also be able to assess the battery status of the pacemaker and advise the Cardiologist when a new battery is required.
A battery change involves changing the pacemaker box, but leaving the leads in the heart. The check takes about 15 - 30 minutes depending on the type of device. It is a quick and painless procedure which involves lying on a couch with ECG electrodes connected to the patients' wrists and ankles and having a small communication device placed over the pacemaker site. Following the check the physiologist will make a further outpatient appointment and send the results of the test to the Cardiologist