Patients who have a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) fitted will need to have them checked on a regular basis. Depending on the device and individual circumstances, checks should occur on six or twelve monthly intervals. In some cases, especially after the device has been initially fitted, it may be necessary to undergo checks earlier.
The check will normally last 15-30 minutes, depending on the type of device being checked and whether any adjustments are required. ECG electrodes will be placed on the wrists and ankles and a magnet will be placed over the device, which is linked to a computer. The technician will monitor the device and then make any necessary adjustments to optimise using the programmer.
Normally batteries last 8-10 years and the technician will be able to advise on the remaining battery life and then schedule when a replacement procedure should take place.