Device Clinic services include clinic evaluation and interrogation of pacemakers and defibrillators that have been implanted in patients.
A complete pacemaker check should be done six weeks after a pacemaker is implanted. A pacemaker should then be checked every three/six months to evaluate battery function.
Regular follow-up is important after a pacemaker implant. Your doctor will tell you how often you will need to have it checked. During check-ups, the doctor will determine if the device detected or treated any abnormal heart rhythms and will check the battery. These visits are very important.
When the battery function becomes low, it will become necessary to change your pacemaker (pacemakers usually last about four to eight years). Once a year, you will need a more complete exam at a hospital or doctor's office.
After implant, a pacemaker's functions need to be checked and sometimes adjusted. Your physician can do this using an external computerized device called a programmer/recorder/monitor (PRM). The PRM device communicates with the ICD in the body via radio waves from a wand held over the implant site. It works much like using a garage door opener or clicking a remote control to change channels on a television. The doctor or nurse uses the PRM to program and test the device after implant. When you come in for a check-up, the PRM is used to read the information stored in the pulse generator's memory since the last visit. The procedure is quick and painless.
Patients with pacemakers will also need to see a cardiologist at least once a year.