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Discharge advice for patients with a pacemaker device box change

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What happens before I go home from hospital?

Your device will be checked by a cardiac physiologist immediately and before discharge and they will arrange for you to have a device check approximately six to eight weeks after the procedure date.

You will be given a new pacemaker identification card with the details of your device. Try and keep this with you all the time.

The nurse should give you two dressings to take home. Please ask if this does not happen.

How should I care for my wound when I get home?

Always wash your hands before caring for your wound.

  • Keep an eye on the wound site over the next five days. If you have any bleeding or discharge, or notice any redness or swelling, opening of the wound or excessive tenderness please contact the Cardiac Care Unit.
  • Leave the dressing on for the first two days and then replace the dressing and keep covered for a further two days. After this you may leave the wound without a dressing.
  • Showers are recommended after 24 hours, but do not wash the wound directly. Do not immerse the wound site in water for seven days. No baths or swimming.
  •  Avoid using soap or a flannel, which may harbour infection.
  • Talc, deodorant and perfume should not be used near to the wound.
  • Avoid lifting any heavy objects or strenuous physical activities for the first two to three days to prevent bleeding.

How can I prevent pacemaker related infection?

As well as wound care, long term it is important to have good dental hygiene, have regular check-ups with your dentist and to avoid body tattoos or body piercings.

When can I drive?

By law you cannot drive a car or motorcycle for one week after your procedure. However, for some patients this may be longer due to other conditions or medical history. If you are unsure please check with your Nurse or Doctor.

If you hold a LGV or PCV licence then you cannot drive for six weeks.

You must inform the DVLA that you have had the box changed, and they can give further advice on any driving restrictions:

Is it safe to go through airport security systems?

Airport screening systems may, very rarely, cause problems with your device. Always carry your pacemaker identification card with you and inform security that you have a pacemaker.

Some countries may ask you to go through the security system anyway. If this happens, it is important that you move quickly through the gateway.

When can I go back to work?

You should refrain from work for one week. If your job involves any strenuous activity, for example heavy lifting, then it is advisable to avoid this for one week.

You should discuss your return to work with your employer and your Doctor.

What happens next?

A detailed report will be sent to your GP which will be copied to you.

Feel free to talk to your nurse about any concerns you may have or any health education you feel you may benefit from. Please help yourself to any of the information booklets available on the ward.

Cardiac Care Unit contact details.

If you have any concerns about your wound site, or concerns about your cardiac procedure during your first week at home, please contact us.

The Cardiac Care Unit, telephone 01273 696955 extension 4484. You can call at any time.

For more general concerns please speak to your GP.

Other useful contacts are:

The Cardiac Device Team, telephone 01273 696955 extension 4090. Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.


Arrhythmia Nurses, telephone 01273 696955 extension 7041. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 8am to 4pm.


Patient advice and liaison service (PALS).

We recognise that coming to hospital can sometimes be difficult and we are here to help, should you need it.

If you have any issues or concerns about your care it is always best to speak initially to the person in charge of the ward or department. If you’re not happy with their response, please do get in touch with PALS.


The information in this leaflet is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.

Publication Date: June 2020

Review Date: March 2023

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