Pacemakers and defibrillators

REGULATING YOUR HEARTBEAT WITH A PACEMAKER OR DEFIBRILLATOR

 

Implantation of an electrical device to manage the speed of the your heartbeat

Heart monitoring 688000635.jpg

What medical device is used to help regulate the rhythm of your heart?

A pacemaker or defibrillator can regulate your heartbeat if you have a condition that makes your heart beat too slow or too fast.

A pacemaker can speed up your heart if it goes too slow while a defibrillator can correct a fast, life-threatening rhythm.

If you have heart failure, it can improve the pumping of your heart. The devices are small electrical devices implanted just below your collarbone, usually on the left side.

Need to know

The implantation takes place in a cardiac catheterisation laboratory. You’ll be given local anaesthetic to numb your upper chest and sedation to make you sleepy.

A pacemaker or defibrillator is much smaller than a matchbox and works like a generator. It’s placed under your skin, below your collarbone and usually on the left side of your chest.

The pacemaker or defibrillator is attached to a wire (or wires), which is passed into a vein and guided into your heart to regulate your heartbeat. The procedure usually takes one to two hours in the laboratory.

Your consultant will tell you how to prepare. It’s important to let us know if you’re taking any medication as you may need to stop taking it before your test or procedure. You’ll be asked to stop eating and drinking a few hours beforehand.

Like all tests and procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you and answer any questions you have.

You may need to stay in hospital overnight. Please arrange for someone to travel home with you. You should rest for a week after the procedure.

You can’t drive for a week after having a pacemaker fitted, and you can't drive for one to six months after having a defibrillator fitted. You must inform the DVLA if you have a pacemaker or defibrillator.

Your consultant will discuss the procedure with you, and let you know when you can get back to your usual routine and activities. They’ll also give you advice on medication, exercise, travel, diet and alcohol.

Hospital stay and procedure

Self-funding

Paying for medical treatment

You don't need medical insurance to have fast access to our top consultants, extensive range of treatments, diagnostic tests and surgical procedures at our world-class facilities.

Pacemakers and defibrillators Consultants

Professor Neil Ruparelia

Professor Neil Ruparelia

Cardiology

Dr Julian Collinson

Dr Julian Collinson

Cardiology

Dr Jonathan Behar

Dr Jonathan Behar

Cardiology

Dr Shaumik Adhya

Dr Shaumik Adhya

Cardiology

Our Pacemakers and defibrillators locations

The Harley Street Clinic

The Harley Street Clinic

35 Weymouth Street W1G 8BJ London
The Portland Hospital

The Portland Hospital

205-209 Great Portland Street W1W 5AH London
London Bridge Hospital

London Bridge Hospital

27 Tooley Street SE1 2PR London

Patient stories

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.