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What happens after Defibrillator Implantation?

After the procedure you will have some bruising and discomfort in the area of the pacemaker that may persist for several weeks. This bruising can create a bluish discolouration over the upper chest and arm. This is normal.

You should avoid strenuous activities with your arm or from lifting the arm above your head for a period of 4 weeks. You should refrain from driving for 2 weeks. If you have already had a heart rhythm disturbance you may be disqualified from driving for 6 months. Your doctor will discuss this with you. You should not go swimming, play golf, or bowling for 4 weeks.

A sterile dressing is left over the pacemaker for 6 days. The dressing is waterproof and you can shower with it on. You can carefully remove this dressing yourself on the 6th day after the procedure. At this stage the wound is sufficiently healed to allow you to shower with the dressing removed.

You will be allowed to go home 1 or 2 days after the procedure.

You will be given an appointment to see the doctor 1 month after the implant. If you do not receive this appointment please call the office on 93495400 to make the appointment.

What should I do if I have concerns after the defibrillator implant?

Usually the discomfort and swelling from the wound settles gradually over several weeks. If the wound becomes increasingly tender, reddened and swollen, of if you have anything other cerns, you should contact us or your local GP.


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Melbourne Heart Rhythm is the arrhythmia service at the Department of Cardiology at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. We are comprised of a team of highly trained and dedicated health care professionals specializing in heart rhythm management. We have a strong focus on patient education and patient centered care. Our arrhythmia specialists have an international reputation of excellence in arrhythmia research and clinical arrhythmia management.