Heart Disease Expert Forum
Pacemakers and Tanning Beds
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Pacemakers and Tanning Beds


  Hi,
  I had a dual chamber pacemaker implanted approximately 8 weeks ago. My leads were checked for healing in late December and this was OK. I own a tanning bed and usually keep a light year round tan but I have not gotten in since the pacemaker was inserted. I am under the impression that tanning beds pose no threat to pacemakers since they don't have an electromagnetic
  field or anything else that can interfere. However, my hairdresser who only fairly recently graduated from cosmotology school says that she was taught in her college training that anyone with a pacemaker should not lie in a tanning bed. When asked why she stated that her textbooks indicate that any type of metal (leads,and whatever) can possibly become hot enough on the inside of your body to damage surrounding tissue. This was said to be especially true of bed types where the lid closes over you within inches of your chest. I have a bed of this type but my exposure never exceeds the 30 minute maximum. I would like to know what information you may have concerning the safety of the combined two. Thank you kindly.
  Keeping The Rhythm!
  Sonya
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Dear Sonya,
Thank you for your question.  One of the things I love about this forum is that every possible question comes up - and I'm sure you're not the only one who has wondered.  Most pacemaker patients are  older so this issue does not arise very often.  
Now for the definitive answer - there is no contraindication for someone with a pacemaker to use a tanning bed.  If tanning beds were truly getting hot enough to heat metal underneath the skin the pacemaker would not be the only thing getting cooked!   As far as the risk of aging of the skin and skin cancer with tanning beds that is another story.  
I hope you find this information useful.  Information provided in the heart forum is for general purposes only.  Only your physician can provide specific diagnoses and therapies.  Please feel free to write back with additional questions.
If you would like to make an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center, please call 1-800-CCF-CARE or inquire online by using the Heart Center website at www.ccf.org/heartcenter.  The Heart Center website contains a directory of the cardiology staff that can be used to select the physician best suited to address your cardiac problem.





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