Below is a list of questions that will help you discuss your device with your doctor or nurse. However, general information about devices can also be found in the Devices section.
What are the risks associated with having the device implanted?
When you discuss having a device implanted with your doctor, he/she will be able to tell you the risks involved. For most patients, the benefits of having a device far outweigh any risks.
Will I need a general or local anaesthetic in order to have the device inserted?
A general anaesthetic involves you being put to sleep but with a local anaesthetic you will be awake but the part of your body being operated on will be made numb. Your doctor will be able to tell you whether you need a local or a general anaesthetic so that you can be prepared. You may be asked not to eat or drink for up to 6 hours before either a general anaesthetic or most procedures.
Will I need to stay overnight in hospital when I have my device inserted?
This often depends on whether you will be having a general or local anaesthetic as recovery time will be longer for a general anaesthetic. When arranging your appointment, your doctor will tell you if you need to stay overnight – if your device is being inserted early in the morning you will probably need to go into hospital the night before.
How often will I need to come back to have my device checked?
Your doctor will be able to tell you how often your device needs to be checked. It is very important to attend these appointments so you should make sure you plan ahead. Remember to inform the hospital if you have holidays planned so your appointments can be arranged around these. Your device may need replacing at some point and your doctor will be able to give you an idea of when you might expect this. Traveling is not a problem as most hospitals will have the equipment to check your device and adjust it if required.
Will I be able to travel by aeroplane, drive a car and perform other normal activities?
Following the insertion of your device you should still be able to fly and drive a car and your doctor will be able to advise you on what you should avoid doing. There may be some restrictions on driving following implantation of your device and this should be discussed. Your doctor or nurse will recommend a programme of gradual physical activity, to make sure that you do not put too much strain on your body too quickly.
Will I have to take any extra medicines following the insertion of the device?
You may need to take additional medicines, or you may need to change the medicines you were taking before you received the device. Your doctor will tell you what medicines you need to take, how often and for how long. You will then be able to add these into your daily routine and add them to a medicine chart to remind you to take them correctly.