These devices require regular follow-up evaluations to optimize the longevity of the battery, assess appropriate function of the pulse generator and lead(s), identify malfunctions, and to adjust settings so that each individual obtains appropriate and maximum benefit from their implanted device. Pulse generators and leads can fail but regular follow-up evaluations can often identify these impending failures before symptoms occur and avoid emergent or catastrophic events.
Pacemakers are evaluated two months post implant and every six months thereafter in the clinic setting. Telephone follow-up is used to compliment clinic follow-up, and particularly to assess the status of the battery as the age of the battery increases.
ICDs are evaluated two months post implant and every three to four months thereafter in the clinic.
Current pacemakers and ICDs store valuable diagnostic information regarding arrhythmias that have occurred. This information is useful in assessing the cause of symptomatic events and to guide us in the ongoing management of patients with known tachyarrhythmias or who are at risk for such arrhythmias.