Upgrading a device when the battery wears out or it malfunctions

If you have a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to correct an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia), there may come a time when the device needs to be replaced. This may happen if:

  • The battery wears out
  • The device malfunctions
  • You need a device with different features

The doctors in our Electrophysiology Program have access to the latest technologies to care for patients with even the most complex arrhythmias. We’ll work with you to determine if and when your device needs to be replaced.

Implantable electronic device replacement procedure

An IV will be inserted to deliver medication and fluids. You’ll be given a sedative to help you relax, but you will remain awake. We’ll monitor your heart and blood pressure throughout the procedure.

The doctor will make an incision above the device. It will be disconnected from the leads and removed. The leads, which attach the device to the heart and deliver an electric shock when necessary, will be tested. If they’re functional, the new device will be connected to them and placed in the same position as the old device. If the leads need to be replaced, we’ll do that before placing the new device.

The procedure will take about 2 hours—longer if the leads need to be replaced. You will need to stay at least a few hours for observation or, in some cases, overnight.

Our locations

Distance from Change locationEnter your location

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

201 E. University Pkwy.
Baltimore, MD 21218

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center

9000 Franklin Square Dr.
Baltimore, MD 21237

MedStar Washington Hospital Center

110 Irving St. NW
Washington, DC 20010

MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center

7503 Surratts Rd.
Clinton, MD 20735

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

3800 Reservoir Rd. NW
Washington, DC 20007

MedStar Montgomery Medical Center

18101 Prince Philip Dr.
Olney, MD 20832

Additional information

Electrophysiology Program

We are leaders in developing and using the latest procedures and technologies to treat heart rhythm disorders, and our cardiac electrophysiology laboratory is one of the most sophisticated in North America.

Read our Cardiovascular Performance & Outcomes Booklet

Ask MHVI

Have questions for our heart and vascular program? Email us at AskMHVI@medstar.net.