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Pacemaker device support

Medical and dental procedures

Peace of mind for your procedures

Some medical and dental procedures may damage or affect your pacemaker. Learn about these procedures below and be sure to tell your dentist and physicians that you have a pacemaker so they can take necessary precautions.

Doctor speaking with a patient in the doctor’s office

Procedures that may affect your device

The following medical and dental procedures can affect your implanted device and/or injure you. If you must have any of these procedures, be sure to talk with your heart specialist and the doctor performing the procedure about what can be done to protect you and your device.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

An MRI is a diagnostic test that uses a powerful magnet and radio waves to produce images of the human body. People with pacemakers often need magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), but it is sometimes not possible because the magnetic fields could damage certain device. You may be able to have an MRI scan if you have a Boston Scientific ImageReady MR Conditional pacing system. Talk to your physician about your particular pacemaker.

If your pacemaker is not compatible with MRI, you should not have the MRI. Always ask your doctor to make sure that you are able to have this scan. Hospitals keep MRI equipment in rooms marked with signs that say that magnets are inside. Do not go inside these rooms unless your physician has confirmed that you are cleared to have an MRI.

Talk to your doctor before having these procedures


Diathermy should not be performed as it uses an electrical field to apply heat to tissues in the body and could damage your device or injure you.


Electrocautery is used during surgical procedures to stop vessels from bleeding. Ask your doctor before undergoing this procedure.

Electrolysis and Thermolysis

These dermatology or hair removal procedures pass an electrical current into the skin. Talk with your heart doctor before having either of these treatments.

External defibrillation

Typically used in medical emergencies, this procedure uses external equipment to deliver an electrical shock to your heart to restore a rapid and irregular heart rate to a normal rhythm. External defibrillation can affect your device, but can still be performed if necessary. Be sure to contact your physician as soon as possible if you receive external defibrillation to verify that your device is functioning properly.


Used to break up stones in the urinary tract, such as kidney stones, lithotripsy can damage your device if certain precautions are not taken.

Therapeutic radiation treatment for cancer

This procedure for cancer can affect your device and will require special precautions. If you need radiation treatment, talk with your heart doctor and the doctor performing the procedure.

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) Unit

This device prescribed by physicians or chiropractors to control chronic pain can affect your device. 

Procedures that will not affect your pacemaker

Most medical and dental procedures will not affect your device. Some examples include:

  • Dental drills and cleaning equipment
  • Diagnostic X-rays
  • Diagnostic ultrasound procedures
  • Mammograms
    Note: Mammograms will not interfere with your pacemaker. However, your pacemaker could be damaged if it gets compressed in the mammogram machine. Make sure the doctor or technician knows you have an implanted device.
  • EKG machines
  • CT scans

Talk to your doctor

If you need medical or dental treatment, tell your dentist or doctor you have a pacemaker and show them your Medical Device Implant Card. Your care team can contact your heart specialist and work together to find a treatment that works best for you and your device.

We’re here to help

Our patient services team is here to support you throughout your journey.

Important Safety Information

A pacemaker system is designed to monitor and treat your heart rhythm problems, greatly reducing the risks associated with them. These devices are sensitive to strong electromagnetic interference (EMI) and can be affected by certain sources of electric or magnetic fields.  With all medical procedures there are risks associated.  In regard to an implanted pacemaker, the risks include but are not limited to inappropriate heart rate response to exercise, lead moves out of place, loss of stimulation capability, allergic reaction, fluid underneath the skin, and infection.  In rare cases device failure or death can occur.  Be sure to talk with your doctor so that you thoroughly understand all of the risks and benefits associated with the implantation of this system.  To obtain a copy of the device Patient Handbook for more detailed device safety information, go to,  or you can request a copy by calling 1-866-484-3268 or writing to Boston Scientific, 4100 Hamline Ave. N., St. Paul, MN  55112. 

Device Quality and Reliability 

It is Boston Scientific’s intent to provide implantable devices of high quality and reliability. However, these devices may exhibit malfunctions that may result in lost or compromised ability to deliver therapy. Refer to Boston Scientific’s CRM product performance report on for more information about device performance, including the types and rates of malfunctions that these devices have experienced historically. While historical data may not be predictive of future device performance, such data can provide important context for understanding the overall reliability of these types of products. Also, it is important that you talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits associated with the implantation of a device.

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