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Guidelines for Patients with Pacemakers

Listed below are general guidelines for individuals with pacemakers. Most activities do not affect your pacemaker. Please contact The Heart Center pacemaker nurse specialist or your pacemaker physician specialist, if you have additional questions. If you notice any symptoms such as dizziness, weakness, or difficulty breathing, please contact The Heart Center to report this.

It is safe to be around or use any of the following:
  1. Microwave ovens
  2. Cellular telephones
  3. Electric razors, hair dryers, electric toothbrushes
  4. Lawnmowers, weed eaters, electric drills or saws
  5. Television sets, CD players, radios
The following should be avoided and are not safe for pacemaker patients:
  1. Medical imaging with an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging scan)
  2. Magnetic devices should not be placed within six inches of your pacemaker (unless you are undergoing testing as part of your telephone follow up)
  3. The distributor or coil of a gasoline operated engine while that engine is running
  4. SCUBA diving to depths in excess of one hundred feet; you may dive to depths less than one hundred feet
  5. ARC welding (unless certain precautions are taken as directed by your physician)

It is safe to pass through airport security systems and anti-theft devices at department and retail stores. You should avoid standing inside these gates. You should move through them without stopping. If it is necessary for the security guard to pass a detection wand over you, be certain that you notify him of the presence of your pacemaker, so that he may avoid this device.

Notify any physician or dentist who provides treatment to you that you have a pacemaker. This will allow them to take special precautions for certain types of procedures. If your physician or dentist is not familiar with precautions for a pacemaker, they may contact The Heart Center Pacemaker Clinic for advice.

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