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Living with a Pacemaker

You’ve had a pacemaker implanted in your chest. You can do almost everything you did before your surgery. Here are tips for living well with a pacemaker.

Man using cell phone.

Carry an ID Card

When you first get your pacemaker, you’ll be given an ID card to carry. This card contains important information about the device. Show it to any doctor, dentist, or other provider you visit. Pacemakers often set off metal detectors. So you may need to show your card to security personnel.

What to Avoid

  • Be careful when using a cell phone. Hold it to the ear farthest from your pacemaker. Don’t carry the phone in your breast pocket, even when it’s turned off.

  • Avoid very strong magnets. These include those used for an MRI or in hand-held security wands. Show your ID card when you go through security.

  • Avoid strong electrical fields. This are made by radio transmitting towers and ham radios. They are also made by heavy-duty electrical equipment. A running engine makes an electrical field. Don’t lean over the open hood of a running car.

  • Call your doctor if you have any symptoms. These include dizziness or palpitations.

What’s Okay

Below are some of the many things that are safe to use:

  • Microwave ovens

  • Computers

  • Hair dryers

  • Power tools

  • Radios, televisions, and CD players

  • Electric blankets and heating pads

  • Vacuum cleaners

  • Cars

Online Medical Reviewer: Friday, Karen Jean, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Glatter, Kathryn, MD
Last Review Date: 11/30/2011
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.