Advice Following Pacemaker Generator Box Change

Patient Leaflets Team

  • Reference Number: HEY-604/2019
  • Departments: Cardiology


This leaflet is intended to provide information for you after you leave hospital following your pacemaker generator box change procedure.  Most of your questions should be answered by this leaflet.  It is not meant to replace discussion between you and your doctor, but may act as a starting point for discussion.  If after reading this leaflet you have any concerns or require further explanation please discuss this with a member of the health care team caring for you.

Wound care

There may be some discomfort at first, near where the pacemaker box has been changed. You are advised to take painkillers such as paracetamol to ease the discomfort. Avoid painkillers that contain aspirin (although you should take prescribed aspirin in the normal way).

Keep the wound clean and dry and look for signs of swelling, redness or discharge. If you notice any of these or have excessive pain at the wound site you should contact your GP.

The wound is normally closed with dissolvable stitches or glue, which do not need to be removed. You will be informed by your nurse there are any stitches to be removed. The dressing should be kept on for 48 hours after the procedure, after which it may be removed. If the wound is clean and dry it may be left without a dressing.

If you have any concerns about the wound site you can either make an appointment to have it reviewed with the Practice Nurse at your GP surgery or contact the ECG Department directly on telephone number 01482 461537.

Once the dressing has been removed you may shower and bathe and female patients may wear a bra as usual.

When to contact your GP or seek medical advice

If you experience any of the following, notify your doctor immediately.

  • Difficulty in breathing, dizziness or fainting.
  • Prolonged weakness or fatigue.
  • Swelling of the legs, ankles, arms or wrists.
  • Chest pain or prolonged hiccupping.

Identification card and follow up

You will be given a new pacemaker identification card by the ECG technician when your pacemaker is checked on the ward. It is important you carry this card at all times. In case of an accident, this card will inform those attending you that you have a pacemaker. This card supplies basic information about your pacemaker.

General advice

You should not drive for 7 days after the generator box change. Avoid heavy lifting and physical activities for one week. You may return to work when your doctor feels you are fit to do so, normally after 3-7 days.

It is important you tell other doctors and your dentist that you have a pacemaker.
You do not need antibiotics for any dental or surgical procedure unless you have another problem with a heart valve. If in doubt ask your doctor.

Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this leaflet, please do not hesitate to contact:

Cardiology 5 Day Ward – (01482) 461517 / 461518 (Monday – Friday)
ECG Department – (01482) 461537 (Monday -Friday)

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and well-being and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.


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