The Pacemaker Clinic is located in Cardio/Respiratory Services on Level 2 (the main level). From the main doors, turn right to the Grand Staircase, then turn right down the hallway. Cardio/Respiratory, which shares the reception and waiting room with Diagnostic Imaging, will be on the right hand side, just past Unit 2B. You can check in at the Diagnostics reception desk when you arrive.
If you ever have questions, you can get directions from one of our friendly volunteers at the Information Desk, across and to the right from the main doors.
Your first and best source of information about your health is your own primary care provider (family doctor, nurse practitioner) or your specialist. You can also call the Pacemaker Clinic for general questions about your pacemaker or the clinic itself at (807) 684-6684.
For general questions about the Health Sciences Centre, please call the Switchboard at (807) 684-6000.
Through the generosity of donors, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation has been able to continue its strong support for cardiac care at TBRHSC with $274,000 in grants to purchase new, specialized pieces of equipment such as a unit for the Cardiac Cath Lab that clears away hardened plaque from arteries and help locate veins deep inside the body for pacemaker insertion. As well, a second life-saving intra-aortic balloon pump, which opens up arteries to restore blood flow after a major heart attack or failure, ensures 24/7 coverage for patients.
Thousands of people in Canada are living normal, mostly unrestricted lives thanks to the pacemaker and similar devices. This tiny, remarkable electronic device is implanted under the skin below the collar bone. It delivers a small electrical pulse to help keep your heart beat in rhythm, and also monitors your heart function, recording your heart beats like a digital ECG. This helps your cardiologist and other health care providers detect possible irregularities, and help correct them before they become big problems.
You can learn more general information about pacemakers at the Heart and Stroke Foundation website.
Typically, your pacemaker will be inserted in the Cardiac Catheterization (Cath) Lab as an outpatient surgical procedure.
For more information about preparing for all outpatient surgeries in the Cath Lab, please visit the Cardiac Catheterization Lab page.
You will need to take some precautions during the first few weeks after surgery.
Care of Insertion Site
In the four weeks following your implant, please avoid:
Most patients may resume regular activities in 4 weeks, though please discuss with your cardiologist or primary care provider to find out what activities are safe for you.
Any symptoms you experienced that led to your implant should be reduced or may even disappear altogether. Please inform your physician about any new sensations that you have experienced as a result of your implant. Your physician may use this information to adjust your program settings to suit your individual needs.
Follow-up appointments at the Pacemaker Clinic will be scheduled. Your first follow-up visit will be in six weeks and then every six months or as required. During these sessions, the cardiologist or technologist will assess your implant’s function and battery. It is important to regularly attend these visits to ensure your pacemaker continues to work properly.
The notice of your appointment will be mailed to you. Please confirm your appointment two (2) days prior.
Carry your Pacemaker Identification Card with you at all times. This identification provides healthcare professionals with information specific to your pacemaker. Application forms for Medic Alert Bracelets will also be provided for you.
Please note that appointments at the Pacemaker Clinic do not replace appointments with your cardiologist or primary care provider (family doctor, nurse practitioner, etc.). The Pacemaker Clinic is primarily for maintenance of the pacemaker itself – you still need to talk to your healthcare providers about your own health including the medical condition that led to needing a pacemaker.
If you have any concerns, call your Family Doctor, Cardiologist, or the Pacemaker Clinic (807-684-6684). If you are having a medical emergency, please call 911.
If any healthcare provider orders an MRI for you, please inform them that you have a pacemaker. MRIs use high-powered magnets that can attract the metal in your pacemaker. In most cases, alternate arrangements will have to be made. For more information, please call MRI staff at 684-6321.