Skip to content

Discharge advice for patients with a permanent pacemaker (PPM)

Download and print as a PDF


What will happen before I leave hospital?

Your pacemaker will be checked by a cardiac physiologist, who will then arrange for you to have a further pacemaker check approximately six to eight weeks after the implant date. They will give you a pacemaker identification card with the details of your device. Keep this card with you at all times.

You will have an X Ray taken which is checked by a doctor.

The nurse will clean the wound and apply a new dry dressing. You should be given two new dressings to take home: please ask the nurse if this does not happen.

How should I care for my wound at home?

Always wash your hands before caring for your wound. Leave the dressing on for the first two days, then replace the dressing and keep covered for a further two days. After this you may leave the wound without a dressing.

Should I limit my activities?

  • Avoid lifting anything heavy and avoid strenuous physical activities for the first few weeks.
  • Avoid lifting your arm above your head on the side of the implant until you have your pacemaker device checked approximately six to eight weeks after your implant.
  • Do not immerse the wound site in water for the first seven days. No hot baths or swimming. Showers are recommended after 24 hours. Do not wash the wound directly.
  • Talc, deodorant and perfume should not be used near to the wound.


  • You must not drive a car or a motorcycle for one week.
  • If you hold a LGV or PCV licence then you must not drive for six weeks.
  • You must inform the DVLA that you have a pacemaker and they can give further advice on any driving restrictions: visit


  •  Always carry your pacemaker identification card with you and inform security that you have a pacemaker. Airport screening systems may, very rarely, cause problems with your pacemaker.
  • Some countries may ask you to go through the security system. If this happens, it is important that you move quickly through the gateway.


  • Refrain from work for one week, sometimes longer, depending on your condition and type of job you do.
  • If your job involves any strenuous activity, i.e. heavy lifting, then it is advisable to avoid this for longer.
  • You should discuss your return to work with your employer and your doctor.

What signs should I look out for?

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.

How can I prevent a 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.

What happens next?

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

If the hospital doctor would like to see you again in the outpatients clinic, an appointment will be sent out to you through the post.

Please help yourself to any of the information booklets available on the ward.

Feel free to talk to your nurse about any concerns you may have or any health education you feel you may benefit from.

Contact details for the Cardiac Care Unit.

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

Telephone number: 01273 696955, extension 4484. You can call this number at any time.

Other useful contacts are:

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


For more general concerns, please contact your GP.

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: July 2020

Review Date: April 2023

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This