Frequently Asked Questions
What about the future?
Once your pacemaker has been implanted, you are likely to require annual checks to ensure that it is working correctly and that the battery life is good. As the battery approaches its end of life, the hospital personnel will recommend a change of the pulse generator. The leads do not need to be changed. There are rare cases when both the pulse generator and the leads need to be changed.
Below are some questions that patients ask us after they have pacemakers implanted.
How long does the battery last?
The battery life of most pacemakers ranges between 5 to 10 years. This is constantly monitored by a hospital personnel.
Can I participate in sports and similar activities?
If you are an active individual who participate in sporting activities, you may be reassured to know that pacemakers do not interfere with your daily activities. If you wish to participate in athletic activities or aerobic activity such as running, swimming and cycling (after getting the all clear from your doctor), then you can do so.
What about sexual activity?
Once the pacemaker wound has healed and the initial checks have confirmed the pacemaker to be working properly, there should be no problem re-commencing normal sexual activity.
What happens after death?
If an individual with a pacemaker is terminally ill or has died, the cells within the heart muscle can no longer conduct the electricity that is generated by the pacemaker. Consequently, a working pacemaker will not generate heart contractions. In such a situation, the it will be switched off or deactivated. Contrary to popular belief, pacemakers do not prolong life if a patient is terminally ill.
There may be rare cases when patients are so ill that having a working pacemaker may be prolonging their suffering. Doctors may discuss turning off the the device with family members and the patient if such a situation arises.