A pacemaker operation is a common procedure for a cardiologist to carry out, but it is still understandably daunting as a patient. All patients will have a preoperative assessment and be checked for surgery. Any questions and concerns can be discussed during this initial assessment too. You may have additional tests such as x-rays and blood tests at this stage to avoid any delay when it’s time for surgery.

Most patients will go through their medical history again, being sure to cover any reactions to anaesthetics and will also be informed of any nil by mouth requirements before the surgery appointment itself.

Pacemaker Operation Process

Dr Begley is an experienced cardiologist who has fitted many pacemakers. Most pacemakers are fitted via transvenous implantation. This is most common process and it is carried out by a trained cardiologist who specialises in heart rhythm disorders.

Transvenous Pacemaker Implantation

Transvenous implantation is a relatively fast and trouble-free procedure. The cardiologist makes a cut just below your collarbone, usually on the left side of the chest, and inserts the wires of the pacemaker into the vein. The wires, or pacing leads, are guided through the vein to the right chamber of the heart using x-rays. They are the lodged into the tissue of the heart. The pacing leads are then connected to the pacemaker. This is fitted under the skin of your upper chest in a pocket-like position.

Transvenous implantation for pacemaker operation procedures is carried out using local anaesthetic. You remain conscious during the procedure, but the area is fully numbed. Patients may feel a burning or pricking sensation when the local anaesthetic is given. For most people this soon passes, and the area is numbed. Some patients say they feel a pulling sensation during the operation, but it varies from person to person.

The average pacemaker operation takes around one hour. However, it can vary dependent on the type of device and the number of leads needed. Most patients will stay in hospital overnight to monitor the pacemaker and to ensure they recover well. A day or two’s rest is often recommended after the procedure too.

Making an Appointment

If you want to make an appointment with Dr Begley to discuss pacemaker surgery or other treatment for a heart rhythm condition, you should phone or email his secretary directly. Dr Begley’s private secretary Ruth Littlechild can be contacted on 01223 850 423 or via ruth@drbegleycardiology.co.uk.