The exposed cardiac pacemaker. Treatment by subfascial pocket relocation

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1985 Jan;89(1):136-41.


Ten patients were treated for skin erosion and exposure of chronically implanted pacemakers. The pulse generators had been implanted either subcutaneously or in the subpectoral, submammary location. All patients were treated either by primary or secondary relocation of the pulse generator to deeper subfascial planes. Pacemakers relocated primarily to subfacial planes healed without resurfacing. Those pacemakers relocated to other superficial planes resurfaced but healed in a second subfascial translocation. Bacteriologic studies on these patients revealed that the organisms cultured or antibiotics utilized did not influence the fate of the relocated pulse generator. The subfascial location was the only determinant of the ultimate healing of the exposed pacemaker. We conclude that subfascial relocation of well-functioning pacemaker generators should be considered as an alternative to complete replacement of the unit.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Electrodes, Implanted / adverse effects
  • Enterobacteriaceae Infections / drug therapy
  • Fasciotomy*
  • Female
  • Foreign Bodies / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pacemaker, Artificial / adverse effects*
  • Reoperation* / methods
  • Skin Diseases, Infectious / drug therapy
  • Skin Diseases, Infectious / etiology
  • Skin Diseases, Infectious / surgery
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative* / methods