Your pacemaker needs to be put into special MRI settings for you to safely undergo an MRI scan. There are two ways your doctor might do this. The first way is for your doctor to program your pacemaker to the special MRI settings ahead of time and store those settings in the pacemaker. This programming happens during a follow-up appointment. Then, when you need an MRI scan, the MRI settings are enabled by a clinician, who places a small hand-held device over your pacemaker. The hand-held device uses radio waves to communicate with your pacemaker and enable the preprogrammed MRI settings. Activating the MRI settings is painless and takes only moments. The second method involves programming your device to MRI settings when it is determined you need an MRI scan. With this method, your doctor uses the programmer to temporarily set your device to MRI settings before your MRI scan. You can then safely under the MRI procedure.
After the MRI scan, your device needs to be returned to its regular settings. In other words, your MRI settings need to be disabled. This can be accomplished in the same two ways in which your MRI settings were enabled. With the first method, the hand-held device is placed back over your device to disable MRI settings and enable your pacemaker to go back to its permanent settings. With the second method, the programmer is used to program your device back to its regular settings after the scan. With either method, your device is placed back to its regular settings.
Your MRI conditional pacemaker is designed to give your heart the support it needs, in addition to ensuring you can receive the best in diagnostic imaging in the future should that need arise. Your doctor is the best source of information about your total overall health. It is important to discuss any questions or concerns you might have with him or her.