Magnet over pacemaker during surgery

i got my PM 2 months ago and I have a minor cosmetic surgery scheduled next January.  My plastic surgeon asked me to get approval from my cardiologist which he willing did in a letter to approve the surgery.  He noted that a magnet should be placed over my PM during surgery.  I was surprised because I thought PM wearers should avoid magnets.  What am I missing?


Magnet over pacemaker

by Lurker # 4375 - 2023-09-19 00:09:55

Not to worry. All that magnet is going to do is turn all functions off and set it to a real nice steady 60 bpm while your undergoing surgery. 
When the  magnet is removed, the pacemaker goes back to what it does best. Making your  life happy. 
Everthing will fine. No worries. 

Doc DX


same here

by dwelch - 2023-09-19 02:39:06

during a surgery if they needed to cauterize they would use the magnet to put the pacer in a mode, perfectly normal.  It is one of the reasons for magnet mode.  Not like you are climbing stairs and the pacer being at a fixed rate will make you pass out and fall down the stairs and break your neck.  You are just laying there.

This is perfectly normal part of having a pacer and how they work, operating rooms tend to have a magnet just for this reason.  (the right magnet not some randon fridge magnet)


by piglet22 - 2023-09-19 05:22:40

Another reason for having the magnet mode is that it provides a convenient way to regulate your heart rate, if necessary, in a very simple way.

It means that it can be done without the involvement of a technician and all the programming equipment.

The important thing to remember is that the mode switch only operates with the magnet in place.

It's called momentary switching and not latching switching. It's the difference between the door bell with a push switch and a light switch that can stay in either the on or off state.

Common sense says don't try this at home.


by Tracey_E - 2023-09-19 12:07:36

Once upon a time when I got my first pacer, they sent me home with a magnet. It was used like a bookmark so if I had symptoms I'd hold the magnet over the device and it would let my doctor know where to look. The puck they put over it to interrogate is a magnet. We don't want to do this accidentally, hence the warnings. Magnets won't hurt us. 


by Gotrhythm - 2023-09-19 13:44:06

Yesterday, I was at the EP's office for some tweaking of my settings.

It was a real let's-try-this-and-see-what-happens kind of session. At one point he used a magnet (a gizmo diifferent from the "puck") so he could just erase all the changes he had made, and start over. 

Magnets and Surgery

by Marybird - 2023-09-19 19:01:59

I'm guessing the use of a magnet over a pacemaker during surgery is done when they anticipate the surgical tools will be used closer than 6 inches away from the patient's pacemaker?

I'm asking because although I've informed the players with any surgery I had of the pacemaker, they assured me that there was no need to take any precautions. The surgeries have included carpal tunnel surgery on my right wrist ( after a broken wrist) in 2020, and a colon resection in 2022. The surgeons ( and the anesthesiologist with the colon surgery) said that the distance from the pacemaker and operative sites was enough that the pacemaker would not be affected by any surgical tools. Far as I know they were right.

I had an in-office pacemaker check a couple weeks ago, and learned something ( well, a number of things, actually). The pacemaker technician had always used one of those "hockey pucks" ( magnet?) over my pacemaker to interrogate it and I assumed that was required. But this last time, the technician did not use the hockey puck, he was able to interrogate the pacemaker wirelessly as I sat in the hot seat. He didn't make any settings changes, but I asked him if settings adjustments can also be made wirelessly, and he said they could be.


by Tracey_E - 2023-09-19 21:24:54

They are moving to bluetooth so newer ones don't necessarily need the puck.

The puck is a magnet.

I think the type of surgery, the type of anesthesia, the tools they use all affect whether or not they change the pacer settings for a procedure. 

You know you're wired when...

Your pacemaker receives radio frequencies.

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