Heart Disease Expert Forum
Microwave use with Pacemaker present
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Microwave use with Pacemaker present

  Thanks for taking this message:  My father who has a pacemaker and who recently suffered CHF is coming for a vacation visit.  I have two older microwaves and I wonder if I should not use them while he is here.  Is there a safe distance to use them from someone with a pacemaker or is the danger so great that I should just unplug it while he is here.  Thank you,  
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Dear Harper, thank you for your question.  Pacemakers that have been used in the
last 15-20 years are well-insulated and therefore, are not affected by microwaves.
Older model pacemakers were affected by microwave energy so patients used to
be advised to avoid microwaves if they had a pacemaker.  Thus, your father's episode
of heart failure when he visited you probably wasn't related to a failure of his
pacemaker.  Your father should be having his pacemaker checked regularly by his
cardiologist to monitor the battery's power and the lead function.  If any problems
exist, they should be picked up during these checks.  Exacerbations of heart
failure can be caused by many different precipitants: heavy salt ingestion,
forgetting to take medications, or a natural progression of heart failure. You
should speak to your father's cardiologist if you have concerns about his heart failure.
I hope you find this information useful.
Information provided in the heart forum is for general purposes only.  Specific
diagnoses and therapies can only be provided by your physician.

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