Managing your cardiac device

Heart devices, such as pacemakers and defibrillators, are a reliable and effective treatment for many heart rhythm issues. While complications are uncommon, they can occur and range from a lead malfunction to an infection.1 Learn what signs and symptoms to look out for and discover life-saving resources to help you become an active part in the shared decision-making process with your doctor.

    It’s important your device is maintained and managed properly as there is a connection between your device and your ongoing health. Here are some quick tips for living with your heart device.

    Battery icon

    Heart device batteries typically require replacement every 6-12 years

    Heart with leads icon

    If your device has leads, they may also require replacement

    Doctor icon

    Contact your doctor if you are experiencing infection symptoms such as fever or fatigue and have received multiple rounds of antibiotics

    Pain icon

    Redness of the skin at the device site and pain/tenderness are also red flags

    Life after lead extraction

    Carl smiling in doctor's office

    How lead extraction has led one man to a life of zero restrictions

    Carl received his first pacemaker at age 24 and since experienced fractured leads that, at the time, were unable to be removed. After seeing Dr. Manyam, Carl has had all fractured leads replaced. He is now completely MRI safe and has avoided the long-term risks of lead abandonment.

    Carl, pacemaker patient

    Jerry's wife

    Jerry’s wife, Helane, knew something wasn’t right.

    When Jerry, a pacemaker patient, experienced a sudden negative turn in his health, he and his wife Helane sought out answers. After working with multiple doctors and trying different treatments, it was finally determined Jerry had an infection of his heart device.

    Jerry, pacemaker patient

    Woman with young child playing with stethoscope

    Signs of infection

    Did you know more than 60,000 patients globally will develop an infection of their heart device this year?And of those, most will be given multiple rounds of antibiotics instead of full system extraction, which is the only way to completely remove the infection.3

    Learn what signs and symptoms to look out for so you can help physicians identify the treatment you need, faster.

    Man smiling at woman

    Shared decision-making

    Each heart device patient and journey is different. Becoming a self-advocate and learning how to talk with your doctor will help you be an active part in the shared decision-making process. Check out this informative brochure about cardiac leads and discuss ongoing management with your doctor.

    Doctor smiling at camera

    What is lead extraction?

    If it is decided the best decision for your health is the removal of your heart device or leads, a trained doctor will perform a lead extraction procedure.

    During the procedure, your doctor will advance a flexible tube (sheath) over the lead, gently freeing the lead by removing scar tissue. Some of these sheaths can deliver laser energy to the scar or use precise surgical blades designed to safely remove the lead. Your doctor will continue this process until all targeted leads are safely extracted.

    Search for an experienced doctor near you

    Visit and select the ‘Lead Management’ clinical expertise to find specialists that meet your geographic criteria.

    1. Kusumoto, et al. (2017). 2017 HRS expert consensus statement on cardiovascular implantable electronic device lead management and extraction. Heart rhythm, 14(12),e503-e551. 
    2. iData, MRG, Euromed, EHRA White Book, Product Performance Reports (Biotronik, Boston Scientific, Medtronic, and St. Jude Medical), and internal estimates / analysis on file.
    3. Pokorney, et al. Low Rates of Guideline Directed Care Associated with Higher Mortality Among Patients with Cardiac Implanted Electronic Device Infection

    Our mission is to bring you life-saving information about symptoms and treatment options for heart device infections and other implications. Patient education and initiatives on CIED infection are created in partnership with Arrhythmia Alliance and Mended Hearts.

    The resources found on this site may be printed and brought to your doctor appointment so you can discuss treatment options that best meet your needs. For additional information, visit and

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