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Cardiac device implant aftercare

Incision care:

  1. When you leave the hospital, you will have either a surgical adhesive over the incision or you will have staples. The surgical adhesive will fall off on its own. If it begins to peel, then do not pick at it. All sutures (stitches) that were placed will be absorbed by the body on their own.

  2. If you have surgical adhesive over your incision, then you will be able to shower daily with soap and water. Do not scrub directly over the incision, as this might remove the surgical adhesive. Gently pat the incision site dry.

  3. If you have staples over your incision, then keep the incision clean and dry for five days. It is okay to take sponge baths while working around the area during those five days. You will be able to take a shower five days after you are discharged, but have the water run directly on your back and not over the incision. Gently pay the incision site dry. The staples will be removed in two weeks when you follow up at the office.

  4. You will be given an antibiotic when you are discharged. Make sure to complete the entire duration until the prescription is completed.

  5. Do not put any creams, powders, lotions, or deodorants over the site unless instructed by the doctor that implanted the device.

  6. Do not submerge the incision in a pool, hot tub, or lake for 4 weeks.

Activity restrictions:

  1. Do not raise your elbow above your shoulder on the side where the device was implanted for four weeks. This is to prevent the movement of the wires that were placed in your heart. Avoid heavy lifting, pushing, and pulling with that arm over that time frame. However, make sure to use that arm on a regular basis to avoid developing a frozen shoulder or arthritis.

  2. Avoid golfing, hunting, swimming, weight lifting, and tennis for two months.

  3. Avoid driving for approximately two weeks after the device was implanted (unless directed by your doctor).

  4. If you are an active sleeper, use a sling on the affected arm for the first week while you sleep.

  5. Avoid strong magnets, such as commercial generators or MRI units (unless you have an MRI-compatible device). Avoid commercial-type electrical units and welding.

  6. Home appliances such as microwaves are okay if they are properly grounded and in good working order.

  7. Cellular phones are safe but do not carry them in a pocket that sits over the device and while talking, hold the phone at least 8-10 inches from the device.

  8. When traveling through the airport, alert the security team that you have a device and present them with your card.  If they use a security wand, it must be at least 12 inches from the device.


  1. Follow-up in two weeks for an incision check at Woodlands North Houston Heart Center. If you have staples over the incision, they will be removed at this appointment.

  2. Follow up with your electrophysiologist in three months for a full evaluation.

  3. You should be seen in the office every six months for a full evaluation of your device.

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Woodlands North Houston Heart and Vein Center offers the technology and expertise to go far beyond current standards of care in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular and vein diseases. If you need help treating symptoms or preventing symptoms from occurring, our experts are ready to serve your heart and vein care needs.