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What are the risks of pacemaker surgery?

Your chance of having any problems from pacemaker surgery is very low. If problems do occur, they may include:

  • Swelling, bleeding, bruising, or infection in the area where the pacemaker was placed
  • Blood vessel or nerve damage
  • A collapsed lung
  • A bad reaction to the medicine used during the procedure

This answer from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has been reviewed and/or edited by Dr. William D. Knopf.

Possible risks of pacemaker include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • bleeding from the incision or catheter insertion site
  • damage to the vessel at the catheter insertion site
  • infection of the incision or catheter site
  • pneumothorax -- air becomes trapped in the pleural space (outside the lung but within the chest wall); this can cause breathing difficulties and in extreme cases may cause the lung to collapse
If you are pregnant or suspect that you may be pregnant, you should notify your physician. If you are breastfeeding, you should notify your physician.

Patients who are allergic to or sensitive to medications or latex should notify their physician.

For some patients, having to lie still on the procedure table for the length of the procedure may cause some discomfort or pain.

There may be other risks depending upon your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your physician prior to the procedure.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.