During the Pacemaker Surgery Procedure
Placing a pacemaker is often done under local anesthesia. This means you will still be awake but the area where the pacemaker will be placed is numbed. Your doctor will give you some medication to help you relax.
The upper chest is cleaned and the hair clipped before the procedure.
The doctor makes a 2-3 inch incision in the upper chest, under the collarbone. Next, the doctor guides the pacemaker leads through a large vein to the heart. The doctor uses a special type of x-ray called fluoroscopy to position the leads in the proper place on the heart muscle. After making sure that the leads are in the correct spot, the doctor creates a small space under the skin for the pulse generator. The leads are connected to the pulse generator and the pulse generator is placed in a “pocket” under the skin. Finally, the doctor closes the incision and covers it with a dressing. The whole procedure usually takes about an hour.