Scuba Diving

Has anyone been scuba diving with your PM? Did your Cardiologist have to bless off on it and is there a certain depth that is recommended?


Do you have a pfo?

by JaneJ - 2022-05-10 00:11:04

Do you know if you have a pfo?  It's called a patent foramen ovale?  It's a small hole in between the chambers of your heart.  I was told by a couple different cardiologist that I have one of these and had a positive bubble test during a tee.  I was told not to scuba dive, as this can potentially cause a stroke due to the changes in pressure that occur during scuba diving.  Otherwise, I don't think a pacemaker alone is a contraindication to scuba diving, but would check with your cardiologist just in case.

No issues here

by PapaMike - 2022-05-10 05:21:14

In 2015 I wanted to do the PADI Open Water qual and had the same question, so I asked those who know. I doubt safety standards have lowered since then.

My GP spoke with the locum cardiologist who happened to be a dive instructor and they gave me the thumbs up.

I then asked my PM manufacturer directly, and suggest you do this for your own. I've pasted their reply below but removed the manufacturer name from the very start for obvious legal reasons...

".....implantable cardiac device pressure testing is conducted for compatibility with hyperbaric chamber therapy.  Hyperbaric therapy is the medical use of air or 100% oxygen at a higher pressure than atmospheric pressure. Hyperbaric therapies run with pressures exceeding 4.0 ATA, approximately 30m of seawater, may affect device function or cause device damage. To avoid or mitigate risks, do not expose your implanted pacemaker to pressures exceeding 4.0 ATA.


Because your physician has personal knowledge of your particular medical situation, we recommend that activities like scuba diving be discussed directly with your physician. It is possible that your physician may suggest that the patient needs to limit certain activities, such as scuba diving, to a level that is more restrictive based on medical concerns rather than the single factor of pressure tolerance of your pacemaker. Some of the factors include the possibilities of blows to the area of the device during the time the device is under pressure stress, the number of pressure cycles the device is exposed to over the implant time of the device and the activity or exertion level of the individual during the dives."

Hope that helps.


device manufacturer

by Tracey_E - 2022-05-10 09:50:08

If you call your device manufacturer, they can tell you how much yours is rated for. Mine is good to 7atm so perfectly fine for recreational diving. 

SCUBA and pacemakers

by Selwyn - 2022-05-14 11:49:13

Yes, you can SCUBA dive with pacemakers. The depth rating is individual to the pacemaker.

I don't think I would take the depth to the limit.  I think most PMs can only go down to 20m.

Personally, I gave up diving when I had my pacemaker as I was having paroxysmal atrial fibrillation at the same time and didn't fancy getting this at depth. 

I would be careful as to how the straps on the BCD lie  just in case it aggravates your pacemaker site.


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