Can I Tell That A Pacemaker Is Working, Will I Feel It And Is It Uncomfortable?

Dr. Myerburg answers the question: 'What Does A Pacemaker Feel Like?'

ByRobert Myerburg, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Physiology, University of Miami School of Medicine
November 20, 2008, 3:54 PM

— -- Question: Can I tell when a pacemaker is working, will I feel it and is it uncomfortable?

Answer :When a pacemaker is pacing the heart, in most circumstances, the patient is unaware of the tiny electrical impulse that is delivered to the heart to pace it. So in most instances, you do not feel an electric shock or any indication that electrical activity is being delivered.

However, patients do perceive changes in heart rate or rhythm as a result of pacemaker activation. So if an individual is at one point in time using their pacemaker and at another point not using their pacemaker, they may notice the difference, particularly when they transition from not using it to using it. These are not in any sense painful or uncomfortable, but patients do become aware of that changing sensation.

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