Pacemaker change

I used to get my pacemaker checked once a year, but now it's every 3 months, on my last check up they say I've got about 12 month battery left. How long before it runs out do I have the operation? 


3-6 months

by Tracey_E - 2021-10-04 09:01:11

12 months is still a guess! That's why they check more often now. It really goes from check to check at this point. Either you're good for another 3 months, or they'll say it's time to schedule. It won't be an emergency, you should have a good 2-3 month window to schedule at your convenience.

There are two modes at the end, each lasting approx 3 months so when they say it's time to replace there should be about 6 months left. The first mode (ERI, elective replacement)  is like the gas light on the car, everything works normally but you know you need gas soon. The second mode (EOS, end of service or EOL, end of life) also lasts about 3 months, at this point it paces at a steady rate and turns off the extra features to save battery. Some insurance requires it to be in EOS mode before they'll replace. I'm on my 5th and have never gone into EOS.

Once they told me 12 months but then at my next check 3 months later it had already switched to ERI. Another time it said 12 months for 18 months. The other two were about what the estimate said. It's really all just a guess but there should (in theory) always be a 3-6 months left when they change it. They never cut it so close that it could completely turn off. 

End of battery life

by Selwyn - 2021-10-04 10:17:56

Hi Regnik,

In the UK under the NHS, they will just continue to monitor you until there is about  3 months left. The rate of decline of the battery depends on the demands  ( eg. how much pacing is being done, and the current used, for example if your lead was not conducting so well, that would increase battery consumption.).

Once the battery gets to the required exhaustion you will get a brand new, state of the art, unit.  Batteries are not replace, only whole PM units. This at least will ensure you get the latest electronics.  If you have an appointment with your cardiologist, you may want to discuss which make of pacemaker you would like as there is some negotiation to be had even within the NHS!

I was having 3 months checks, then it went to 6 months, and now I am back to 12 months as my pacing requirements are not excessive and they have an idea of the rate of decline of my battery. 


Which .make

by AgentX86 - 2021-10-04 12:41:03

Be aware that changing pacemaker manufacturers will make a pacemaker setup non-MRI compliant. The PM and leads come as a package. In reality, they'll probably be fine but you won't find any manufacturer or radiologist who will go near you. There is a good reason; the "probably" above. It won't have been a tested configuration. No one will put their license on the line.

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