The Implantable Device Clinic at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota is a collaborative effort of cardiologists and specially trained nurses within the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases. Cardiologists in the clinic evaluate and manage the care of patients prior to and following the implantation of cardiac pacemakers and automatic internal cardioverter defibrillator systems.
A cardiologist evaluates each patient to determine which implanted device would most effectively treat the patient's symptoms. Cardiologists in the clinic are experienced in implanting single and dual-chambered pacemakers and implanted defibrillators. Cardiac resynchronization therapy devices may be implanted for some patients with heart failure.
Patients receive their ongoing care through face-to-face encounters with the physicians or nurses or via the telephone. Specifically designed transmitter units are used to allow analysis of pacemaker function through the telephone in the convenience of the patient's home. If any problems are identified, the patient may be required to travel to Mayo Clinic for more extensive on-site evaluation.
Patients may also be seen in the clinic to modify or customize their pacemaker functions to meet their individual needs. Programming devices that modify pacemaker function noninvasively may be used to make adjustments.
In the clinic, nurses educate patients and their families on all aspects of heart pacing, including:
- Types and functions of pacemakers
- Short-term disability
- Lifestyle adjustments that might be required
- Follow-up procedures and requirements, including how to contact the clinic on a 24-hour basis for pacemaker-related concerns
The Pacemaker Service implants approximately 1,300 devices each year. The Implantable Device Clinic follows approximately 4,000 patients on a regular basis at least four times per year by phone. Automatic home-based follow-up systems, or home-based telemetry, may also be used to follow patients with implanted devices. Follow-up is intensified if the clinical situation warrants. The clinic provides follow-up not only for patients at Mayo Clinic, but also for patients of all Mayo affiliated clinics.