Implantable Heart Devices: Debunking the Myths

“ Beware of the microwave oven if you have a pacemaker ! ”
If you ’ ve listen that warning and believed it, you ’ rhenium not alone. Over the years, I ’ ve hear barely about every myth there is about implantable kernel devices like pacemakers and defibrillators. so many of them are either wholly or by and large false .
In world, these devices are one of the great achiever stories of medicine. They have saved countless lives, and millions of people walk around with them every day, absolutely condom .
The myths persist, however. here are some of the ones I hear most much, and what I tell my patients :

Myth #1: Stay away from microwave ovens.

This myth was actually true…decades ago. today, thanks to advances in technology, it ’ mho perfectly safe to be around microwaves if you have a heart device. then survive ahead, pop that popcorn !

Myth #2: These devices are just for old people.

Although pacemakers and defibrillators are surely more park in older adults, the heart problems they regulate affect people of all ages .
I tell my young patients that if a person needs a heart device, it doesn ’ t mean they ’ rhenium ‘ old ’ and doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate predict their future longevity. People normally live decades with these devices, including some who get them as children .

Myth #3: They will leave big ugly lumps or scars in my skin.

This may have been a business in the by but not anymore. Today ’ second devices are smaller than always and can much be implanted through identical small incisions that leave much less scarring .
We can besides achieve well cosmetic results by ‘ hiding ’ these devices in certain places, such as behind a muscle .

Myth #4: I don’t need a device if I don’t have any symptoms.

I hear this a set. But not all abnormal heartbeats have obvious symptoms. We can frequently predict future dangerous heart rhythm that haven ’ t even happened even. That means some people have a higher hazard of a future dangerous emergency and not even know it .
In many cases, the problem is picked up by another test, like an EKG, a heart admonisher or a heart ultrasound ( echocardiogram ). If we find an issue on a heart test, I tell my patients that they shouldn ’ triiodothyronine merely wait until something goes identical improper .
rather, I recommend further investigation. sometimes we proactively implant a device then that the patient is protected if a trouble does occur.

Myth #5: I won’t be able to travel or go through airport security.

Don ’ t cancel your vacation plans !
It ’ mho true that pacemakers and defibrillators ( because they ’ re made of alloy ) may be picked up by a metal detector or millimeter wave scanner. Don ’ t worry — walking through detectors or scanners won ’ metric ton price these devices or cause them to malfunction .
Most people just carry a wallet card that they can present to security informing them of the device, and allowing them to use a quick pat-down screening serve rather of the metallic element detector or millimeter wave scanner .

Myth #6: I won’t be able to drive.

This is a very park concern, but most people can still drive with a pacemaker or defibrillator vitamin a long as they haven ’ triiodothyronine been having faint spells .
sometimes doctors will restrict driving for a workweek or therefore after implantation, while the new device starts to heal in plaza. This is chiefly because of the prescription pain medicine the patient is taking. And it ’ s true that people with implant defibrillators can not hold a commercial driver ’ mho license .
But in all other cases, studies show that people who have a pacesetter or defibrillator are at no greater risk of having an accident than the general public. This may or may not be reassuring !

Myth #7: I’ll have to be cut open frequently to change the batteries or change the device settings.

The batteries in today ’ s kernel devices normally last up to 10 years or longer. ( We can only dream of our mobile telephone batteries lasting as long ! ) This greatly reduces the need for device surrogate for a low battery.

besides, changing the settings on a device can be done cursorily in the agency through a wireless connect. This means there ’ s no need for an incision or routine of any kind .

Myth #8: I’ll always be anxious and won’t want to go anywhere.

This is a common fear. But I ’ ve found most people feel less worry and more comfortable going out and traveling after they get a heart device .
That ’ randomness because they know the device is always monitoring them and will automatically treat a trouble if it occurs. This gives them great peace of mind .