After your cardiac device is implanted, whether it is a pacemaker or an ICD (implantable cardioverter-defibrillator), your doctor will program your device to meet your specific needs and will regularly monitor the device to ensure it is still programmed properly, is working accurately and isn’t causing any complications. The device provides your doctor with information regarding your heart rate and heart rhythm and will record any abnormalities or irregularities which your doctor will then use to make modifications to your device’s programming if necessary. In addition, the battery is examined to make sure it does not need to be charged. Monitoring of your device can be done at the office or remotely via a telephone or the internet for your convenience.
During in-office monitoring visits, surgery is not required to check on your device. Your doctor will place a unique programming tool directly on your chest and the tool will wirelessly send the information it has been storing since your last visit. In addition, your doctor may examine the area around your implanted device for any signs of infection.
Remote monitoring is done in-between your regular office visits for your convenience, eliminating the trip to your doctor’s office or cardiac clinic as well as saving you the cost per visit. Your doctor will provide a special transmitter for you to use which connects to a phone line within your own home. Once the information is captured by the transmitter, you can send the information to your doctor via telephone or internet. Some devices can send the information automatically to your doctor while you sleep for additional convenience. All information is stored securely and only your doctor will have access to the data. Speak with your physician to determine the best option for you.