Pediatric Pacemaker Implantation

Also known as: implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) placement or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) insertion.

What is pacemaker or ICD placement?

A pacemaker and implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) are devices implanted in the chest to control your heart rate. A pacemaker keeps the heart rate steady with electrical pulses if you have arrhythmia. If you have dangerous arrhythmia, the implanted internal defibrillator shocks the heart when the rhythm becomes dangerous. The newest devices are both a pacemaker and ICD in one. Placement is the procedure in which these devices are implanted in the body.

What happens during the procedure?

To implant the device, your doctor will use a sheath to tap into a blood vessel. Then the lead wire from the devices will be threaded to the heart. The device itself is surgically implanted under the skin through an incision by the collarbone. Then the incision is closed with sutures.

Is any special preparation needed?

You may need to avoid food or drink before the procedure. You also may need to stop taking certain medications for a short period of time.

What are the risk factors?

Certain electrical devices can interact negatively with the pacemaker or implanted internal defibrillator. It’s best to avoid metal detectors, MRI, anti-theft devices in stores or high-voltage machinery. You should also keep cell phones at least six inches away from the device, and use caution with high-intensity sports.

Pacemaker or ICD placement at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital: Pacemaker or ICD placement is performed by Nicklaus Children’s Hospital’s team of top-notch medical professionals using the latest cutting edge techniques.

Reviewed by: Michael Manuel Lopez, MD

This page was last updated on: 3/13/2019 1:59:13 PM

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The Heart Program at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital provides electrocardiogram (EKG) screenings to children and young adults in the community at no cost. The use of an EKG is critical to help diagnose asymptomatic heart defects that may not otherwise be detected in a routine physical exam. Learn more.