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Before having a pacemaker fitted, you'll have a preoperative assessment.

Preoperative assessment

The team looking after you will check that you're fit for surgery. You can discuss the operation and ask any questions at the assessment.

You'll have blood tests and x-rays arranged at this stage. This is so there are no delays when you're called into hospital.

Your doctor will ask you about:

  • your general health
  • heart problems
  • any other medical problems
  • any problems or reactions you or your family have had with anaesthetics

Preparing for the operation

Take steps to improve your health and fitness before the operation.

You should:

This should help speed up your recovery time and reduce the risk of complications.

You'll have to stop eating or drinking before surgery. Your specialist will tell you when during the preoperative assessment.

Your specialist

A heart specialist (cardiologist) will fit your pacemaker. They will have a special interest in pacemakers.

Types of pacemaker

There are several different types of pacemaker.

The main types are:

  • single-chamber pacemaker
  • dual-chamber pacemaker
  • biventricular pacemaker

The type of pacemaker you need will depend on your specific heart problem.

Single-chamber pacemaker

A single-chamber pacemaker has 1 wire.

It connects to either:

  • the right atrium (upper heart chamber)
  • the right ventricle (lower heart chamber)

Dual-chamber pacemaker

A dual-chamber pacemaker has 2 wires. These connect to the right atrium and right ventricle.

Biventricular pacemaker

A biventricular pacemaker has 3 wires. These connect to the right atrium, right ventricle and left ventricle.

Content supplied by the NHS and adapted for Ireland by the HSE

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This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 123.

Page last reviewed: 29 July 2021
Next review due: 29 July 2024