What are the Risks of Pacemaker Insertion?
Pacemaker implantation is a very common and low risk procedure and should a complication arise, it will be dealt with at once.
Although most people undergoing pacemaker implantation do not experience any complications, you should be aware of the following risks:
Haematoma (large bruise) - this may occur at the pacemaker insertion site. This may be uncomfortable and can take several weeks to settle.
Pneumothorax – During the procedure it is necessary to insert the pacemaker leads into your heart via a small vein under the collar-bone. This vein runs very close to the lung and there is a small chance that a small hole could be inadvertently made in the lung (Pneumothorax). Should this occur, it would usually heal by itself. However, occasionally a small tube may need to be inserted to drain out the air. This can be uncomfortable and means spending several extra days in hospital.
Lead Dislodgment. – Although a great deal of care is taken in placing the pacemaker leads inside your heart, occasionally one of them moves and will need to be repositioned. This usually occurs in the first 24 hours after the procedure and is detected by testing the pacemaker.
Infection – There is a very small chance that the pacemaker will develop an infection. Should this occur, it is usually necessary to remove the pacemaker in order to clear the infection.
Cardiac perforation – Very rarely, one of the leads can make a small hole in the heart causing blood to accumulate around the heart. If this occurs the problem will be dealt with immediately. This is a very rare occurrence.
If there are any questions about your procedure please contact us.