Pacemakers, Defibrillators & Bi-Ventriculars

Pacemakers, Defibrillators & BiVentricular Pacemaker/Defibrillators are life-saving devices that are used to treat people with electrical conduction abnormalities and weak pumping functions of the heart.


What do pacemakers, defibrillators & BiVs do?

Pacemakers and defibrillators are implanted medical devices that treat arrhythmias of the heart.

A pacemaker is a small, battery-operated device that's placed under the skin of your chest. It's connected to special wires that are threaded through your veins and inserted into the chambers of your heart. The pacemaker helps control your heart rate by sending electrical signals to your heart muscles.

A defibrillator is a device that's used to treat life-threatening heart rhythms. It's similar to a pacemaker, but it also delivers electrical shocks to the heart during a life-threatening arrhythmia. These shocks help to preserve a normal heart rhythm.

For more info, we recommend reviewing the following resources:


Preparing for your procedure

2 - 3 days before your procedure, you will receive an email containing a link to your patient portal, where you can complete a pre-op questionnaire.

Please be sure to complete this important document before you arrive at the facility.

24-48 hours before your procedure, expect a call from the center to discuss details of your upcoming procedure. In this call, we'll discuss details of your procedure like arrival times, approved medications, and other important information. If your procedure is scheduled for a Monday, a member of our team will contact you on Thursday or Friday.

Be sure to ask your doctor any questions or clarify any concerns you may have.

Inform the doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye as it may be used during the procedure. Also, inform the provider if you have any kidney or bleeding disorders.

Take your prescribed medications unless directed otherwise by your doctor.

At midnight before your procedure, do not eat or drink aside from small sips of water to take medications approved during your call with the center.

Please note that you will not be allowed to drive yourself home after the procedure so ensure you have made plans for a responsible party to drive you to and from the center on the day of your procedure.

Day of your procedure

Arrive at the designated time discussed in your pre-op phone call — typically, one hour before your scheduled procedure time.

The center is located at 1615 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd in Deltona, FL. On our Directions page, we have common routes and printable directions.

For your comfort and the safety of others, please be advised that only one family member or adult is allowed to accompany you.

Please refrain from smoking!

What to wear

  • Please wear loose, comfortable clothing with a button-front shirt and slip-on footwear.
  • Please wear your glasses, hearing aids, and dentures.
  • Please be sure to remove body piercings and jewelry.

What to bring

  • Insurance cards
  • Photo identification
  • All current medications
  • A change of clothes if desired for your car ride home

Take your blood pressure medications and any other meds your doctor approved to take the morning of your procedure with a small sip of water.

If you have diabetes, please check your blood sugar before coming to our facility.

Please be prepared to stay for at least 3 - 6 hours at the center for your procedure and recovery.

Before your procedure ("Pre-Op")

Our team will be available to answer any questions you have. We'll provide consent forms for your review and signature before heading into your private room to help you change into a surgical gown.

The preferred site for your procedure will be cleaned and prepared by our team of nurses. For your comfort and hydration, we'll place an IV to deliver fluids and relaxing medicine to alleviate any anxiety or discomfort.

After you're prepped for the procedure, your driver can stay with you until the procedure begins.

Your physician will greet you before the procedure, and you will be able to ask any further questions for clarification.


During your procedure

Our highly skilled team is here to make sure you're comfortable and will be in communication with you throughout the entire procedure to make sure you are safe and comfortable.

During the procedure, you'll be positioned on your back on our state-of-the-art imaging table.

Your family member will be able to monitor your progress from the waiting room using our confidential patient tracker.


After your procedure

After the procedure, you'll recover in one of our private recovery rooms, where one of your family members may join you.

Your physician will discuss the results of the procedure and the course of treatment, if applicable.

Recovery time is dependent on your condition and the type of procedure you had; however, typical recovery times are 1-4 hours. During your stay, we will provide you with nourishment and beverages once you can eat and drink safely.

Be sure to report any swelling, pain, or bleeding at the incision site or if you experience any chest pain or shortness of breath.

We'll provide you with electronic or written instructions on what to do at home as you recover.

Living with a Pacemaker/AICD

Pacemakers or an Internal Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) are devices implanted under the skin of your chest area. These devices assist your heart’s electrical system. The device itself is small and attached are thin wires, also known as leads, which send electrical pulses to help maintain a normal heartbeat. The pacemaker or ICD helps maintain your heart's normal rhythm while recording important information which can be used by your physician to direct your heart health. The information gathered helps your physician program your device to provide the best treatment for your condition.

Carry an ID card

When you first get your Pacemaker/ICD, the staff at the Center will give you, or your family member, an ID card with important information about the device before you leave. You need to keep this ID card with you at all times and present it to any doctor, dentist, or other providers you visit. Also, these devices may set off metal detectors, so you may need to show your card to security personnel, such as those at the airport security checkpoint.

General Instructions

  • Have a responsible party drive you home and stay with you for 24 hours after your procedure.
  • You will be given a Pacemaker Card - Keep your Pacemaker Card with you at all times (take a photo of the card with your phone and share it with a relative or friend).
  • Do NOT drive, make any important legal decisions, or consume alcohol for 24 hours following your procedure.
  • Avoid strenuous or athletic activity for 5-7 days following your procedure.
  • Do Not raise the arm above the shoulder for 6 weeks after your procedure - keep the arm sling on until otherwise instructed by your physician (this precaution is to prevent leads from being dislodged).
  • Restrict pushing, pulling, and twisting.
  • If you smoke, talk to your provider about quitting. Please do not smoke for 24 hours

When can I eat?

  • Eat light after surgery: start with liquids and progress to a normal diet as tolerated.
  • You should eat a heart-healthy diet, exercise, and follow a healthy lifestyle. Your provider can refer you to other health experts who can help you learn about exercise and healthy foods that will fit into your lifestyle.

Prescription Medications

  • You can restart your regular medications when you return home unless otherwise instructed by the provider.
  • Some post-op site tenderness is to be expected. You may take pain meds and use ice to counteract this.
  • If the pain becomes severe or is not controlled by medications please call your doctor.

Post-Op Dressing/Bandage

  • Keep the dressing clean and dry. Do not shower for 3-4 days ( as directed by your physician) after your procedure.
  • When you shower you may remove the dressing and use soap and water - no rubbing - pat dry.
  • Avoid submerging the surgical site in a pool, ocean, or jacuzzi for 14 days.
  • Always wash hands before wound care.
  • No ointments or lotions.
  • Keep the incision clean and dry.

Follow-up Appointment

  • An appointment should be made for you to be seen 7-14 days post-operatively. Call the cardiologist's office to confirm or schedule this date/time.
  • Regular follow-up visits approximately every 3-6 months to assess Pacemaker/ICD battery, leads, and settings.
  • Plan to have periodic checkups with your healthcare provider to evaluate the battery life and function of your Pacemaker/ICD every 3-6 months.
  • Depending on your device and how much you use the pacing functions of the pacemaker, you may need a new pacemaker generator implanted at some point, usually about every 7-12 years.
  • For some devices, the monitoring of the device function and battery life can be done with remote monitoring that can be set up in your home. Remote monitoring systems use cellular towers and satellites to communicate the information from your device to your healthcare provider.
  • If you had an ICD implanted and your AICD SHOCKS YOU:
    • IF your ICD shocks you ONCE and you are stable, call the office immediately to schedule a device check.
    • If your ICD shocks more than once in 24 hours, Call 911 and notify the operator you have an ICD
  • You should be transported to the nearest hospital by ambulance.
  • DO NOT drive yourself.

Call 911 and update your doctor if:

  • Call 911 if you have chest pain or shortness of breath that does not go away.
  • There is bleeding and swelling at the insertion site that does not stop when you apply pressure.
  • The incision becomes red or painful and has drainage from the site.
  • Your pulse feels irregular -- it is very slow (fewer than 55beats a minute) or very fast (over 110 to 120 beats a minute).
  • You have dizziness, fainting, or you are very tired.
  • You have problems taking any of your heart medicines.
  • You have chills or a fever over 101°F (38.3°C).