What is pacemaker testing?
A pacemaker is a small, implantable device that regulates your heart rhythm with a carefully controlled electrical pulse.
While pacemaker batteries last for 5-8 years, you need to have routine pacemaker testing to ensure that the device is working correctly and that it continues to manage your cardiovascular health.
For example, some of the issues that can interfere with pacemaker function include:
- Broken or dislodged wires
- Weak or failing battery
- Progressing heart disease
- Other devices interfering with pacemaker function
- Changes in your weight
Depending on the type of pacemaker you have, you might need to come into one of the ECCA offices for testing, or you might be able to connect your pacemaker to a remote analysis service.
In-office pacemaker testing involves a technical analysis of your pacemaker as well as an electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) to evaluate your heart function.
Your physician uses special equipment to measure the electrical pulses produced by your pacemaker and to run diagnostics on the exit block, electrodes, and battery.
During your ECG/EKG, a technician attaches small, sticky electrodes to your chest, back, and legs. The electrodes monitor the electrical activity in your heart and transmit the information to a computer that displays and records your heart activity, allowing your doctor to see if your pacemaker is effectively regulating the rhythm of your heart.
Your physician may suggest a Holter monitor to collect 24-48 hours of ECG/EKG data if a standard in-office ECG/EKG doesn’t provide enough data.
If you can have remote pacemaker testing, your physician still needs to see you in person periodically to monitor your health.
What are the signs of pacemaker malfunction?
When your pacemaker works correctly, you should feel healthy and energetic. Some of the signs of a malfunctioning pacemaker include:
- Arrhythmia (abnormally slow or rapid heart rate)
If you have a pacemaker or a personal or family history of heart disease and experience any of these symptoms, you should schedule an appointment at ECCA for expert diagnosis and customized treatment plans to protect your heart health.
When should I talk to my doctor about my pacemaker?
In most cases, if you have a pacemaker, you should check in with your physician every 3-6 months. However, your doctor provides personalized instructions on monitoring and testing your pacemaker, and you may need more frequent visits.
If you’re looking for personalized pacemaker testing services, call ECCA or make an appointment online today.