Heart and Vascular Center

Pacemaker Center

Pacemakers and ICDs are devices that are implanted under the skin and attached to the heart muscle with leads to regulate the heart’s rhythm. To ensure your pacemaker or ICD is working properly, you will need to visit the Center or your doctor periodically throughout the year.

The St. Joseph Hospital Pacemaker and Arrhythmia Center provides life-long follow-up monitoring support for patients who have received an implantable pacemaker or cardiac defibrillator (ICD). The Center also provides patient-activated event monitors for recording a patient’s heart rhythm when symptoms are noted.

The staff of the St. Joseph Hospital Pacemaker and Arrhythmia Center consists of telemetry technicians who have received specialized training and registered nurses certified by the International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners and who have received intensive instruction in the operation and programming of both ICDs and pacemakers of various manufacturers.

Every six months or less your pacemaker will be “interrogated” or evaluated thoroughly using an external programmer in the clinic by the nurses. This evaluation can assess many aspects of the pacemaker, including battery life, lead function, the occurrence of arrhythmias during the previous months, and determination of the elective replacement time. The staff also test patients for exercise tolerance and can tailor the settings to provide optimal functioning for all aspects of the patient’s daily activities. Any changes that are necessary can be programmed into your device at that time.

In addition to pacemaker clinic evaluation, telephone monitoring is a convenient method of transmitting EKG tracings via a telephonic transmitter without leaving your home. These are done monthly or every other month and allow for a review of pacemaker function. This includes the application of a magnet that helps assess battery life.

The Center’s staff works closely with cardiologists and electrophysiologists to provide patients with optimal programming from their devices for both longevity and quality of life.

Hours of operation

The St. Joseph Hospital Pacemaker and Arrhythmia Center is open:

  • Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Friday 8 a.m. to 12 noon