Pediatric Pacemaker Implantation

A child may need a pediatric pacemaker if he or she has an abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia). Historically, pacemakers have steadied the heart rate while implanted cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) shocked the heart during dangerous arrhythmias; however, newer pacemakers can perform both functions. 

Pacemaker in children: the procedure

To implant the pacemaker, the doctor will insert a catheter to tap into a blood vessel. They can then safely thread the device’s lead wire to the heart. The pediatric pacemaker is surgically implanted under the skin by the collarbone, where the incision is then closed with sutures. 

Before and after: life with a pediatric pacemaker

Before pediatric pacemaker implantation, the patient may need to avoid food, drink, and/or  certain medications. Following the procedure, certain electrical devices can interact negatively with the pacemaker or implanted internal defibrillator. We recommend that the patient avoid metal detectors, MRI scanners, anti-theft devices in stores, and high-voltage machinery. It is also best to keep cell phones at least six inches away from the device and use caution with high-intensity sports.

Our promise to you

Nicklaus Children’s Hospital’s industry-recognized professionals strive to provide the best level of care for young pediatric heart patients. Using the latest medical knowledge and advancements, our team stays on the cutting edge of ICD technology and pacemakers for kids and young adults. 
 


Reviewed by: Michael Manuel Lopez, MD

This page was last updated on: 6/21/2019 1:27:46 AM


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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.