Heart Disease Expert Forum
Colonoscopy
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Colonoscopy

I had a pacemaker and defibrillator implanted 17 months ago. This week I will have a colonoscopy. Is it required that the pacemaker/defibrillator be turned off while this procedure is taking place?  If so, can you explain why?
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We typically don't turn them off.  The pacemaker is never a problem.  However, the defibrillator might be because if they choose to use cautery in case there is a polyp that needs to be removed, the cautery could interact with the defibrillator making it think that there is an arrhythmia going on.  Because colonoscopy is relatively far away from the location of the device, the likelihood of that happening is extremely low.  This is why we don't turn either of them off.  
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