What does a cardiac device follow-up appointment involve?

A cardiac device follow-up appointment is where a specialist cardiac physiologist will check your cardiac device. It is necessary for us to regularly check on your device to ensure it is operating correctly and safely.

How will my cardiac device be checked?

The cardiac physiologist will ask you to make yourself comfortable on the examination couch. They may then place some electrocardiogram (ECG) sensors on your arms and legs to test your heart’s rhythm and electrical activity, although this is not always necessary at each check.

The physiologist will then place the wand of the programmer specific to your type of pacemaker on the device. The wand of the programmer is a small circular device that connects to your pacemaker and enables the physiologist to communicate with your pacemaker to find out how well your device is functioning.

Will I feel anything during my check?

During your pacemaker check, the physiologist will need to test the function of your pacemaker and its leads (wires). Various tests and measurements will be performed through the device. Some tests will involve slowing down the heart rate to review the underlying rhythm and increasing the heart rate to assess the lead function.

Once these tests are complete, your heart rate will return to your standard programmed rate. The checks are pain-free, but you may be aware of a change in your heart rate. Please let the physiologist know if you have been sensitive to this test in the past.

How do I prepare for my pacemaker check?

There is no preparation required before your appointment. Please wear your everyday clothing and bring a complete list of your regular medications.

What will happen after my pacemaker check?

Once the check is complete, the physiologist will give you a summary of your device check and let you know when your next device check appointment should be. Appointments are usually made six monthly or yearly either in the device clinic or remotely if you have a home monitor or remote app connected to your device.

What if there is an issue with my pacemaker?

Occasionally, the test results can be abnormal (unusual), the physiologist will let you know if this is the case. Sometimes, you may be sent for a chest X-ray, or we may make your next follow-up appointment in the device clinic a little sooner.