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Pacemaker device support

Recovering from your procedure

What to expect from recovery

Some people stay in the hospital overnight after receiving their pacemaker implant. Before you leave, your doctor will program your pacemaker to your specific needs. Your overall recovery process may take anywhere from a few days to a few months—each case is different and your doctor will guide you throughout the process. Below you’ll find general tips on recovery, but be sure to speak with your doctor before making lifestyle changes or going back to your usual activities.

Man with his doctor in a hospital

Post-recovery guidelines

After your procedure, be sure to ask your doctor any questions you may have about your device, heart rhythm, or medication. In addition, your healthcare team will give you post-operative directions, which may include:

  • Call your doctor if you have any swelling, redness or discharge around your incision, your heart rate drops below the minimum set for your pacemaker or you have a fever longer than two or three days
  • Keep tight clothing and jewelry away from the skin over your device
  • Avoid rubbing your device or the surrounding chest area
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions for exercise and bathing
  • Continue medications as instructed by your doctor
  • Tell your other doctors, dentists, and emergency personnel that you have an implanted device and show them your Medical Device Identification Card

Activities and exercises

Your doctor will help you decide what level of activity is best for you. Some general guidelines include:

  • Avoiding rough contact that could result in blows to your implant site
  • Asking your doctor if it is safe for you to do activities that could hurt you or others if you lose consciousness, like driving, swimming alone or climbing a ladder
  • Avoiding supporting your weight with your arms during sexual activity while your incision is healing
  • Avoiding strenuous activity, especially lifting and other activities that use your upper body. This gives the lead(s) time to firmly attach to your heart tissue and allows the incision time to heal
  • Avoiding rough contact that could result in a blow to your implant site
  • Limit certain arm movements that could affect your incision site
  • Avoiding lifting heavy objects until your doctor tells you it is okay

Medical Device ID Card

Whether you’re going away for the weekend or running a quick errand, it’s important to carry your Medical Device Identification Card with you at all times. Your Medical Device ID Card contains your name, your doctor’s name and phone number, and the model numbers of your device and leads. In an emergency, the card will alert medical and security personnel that you have an implanted device. You will be given a temporary Medical Device ID Card when you receive your pacemaker. Your permanent card will be mailed to your home approximately six to eight weeks after your implant.

Boston Scientific Medical Device ID Card

Moving or selecting a new doctor

Please tell us if you move or get a new doctor. You can use our online patient portal or call us at 1-800-728-3282 to update your record, and we will send you a new ID card.

Regular follow-up visits

Many pacemakers can be checked by the doctor’s office remotely using wireless technology. This allows your doctor to access data about your heart rate and rhythm, how your pacemaker is working, adjust settings if necessary and check its battery life.

Remote technology may mean fewer trips to the doctor. But, you’ll still need to be seen in person for follow-up visits so your doctor can adjust your pacemaker to best meet your needs. A typical follow-up visit takes about 20 minutes.

When to call a doctor

Your doctor will provide guidelines for when you should contact him or her. In general, call your doctor if you:

  • Have a heart rate that drops below the lowest rate set for your pacemaker
  • Develop symptoms of an abnormal heart rhythm and have been told to call
  • Notice swelling, redness or drainage from your incisions
  • Start a fever that lasts longer than two or three days
  • Have questions about your device, heart rhythm or medications
  • Plan to travel or move so you can form a care plan for while you are away
  • Notice anything unusual or unexpected, like new symptoms or symptoms you had before your pacemaker

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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