A couple uses a laptop in their kitchen
Hospital  >  Care Programs  >  Schulich Heart Program  >  Patient and family education  >  Tests and treatments  >  Care of the cardiac device incision

Care of the cardiac device incision

How can I help healing?

  • Follow a healthy diet
  • Restrict arm movement on side of incision for 4 – 6 weeks if you have received a new lead
  • Keep your hands off the incision as much as possible
  • Follow the instructions you have been given for exercise and activity
  • Persons living with diabetes are advised to ensure adequate control of your blood sugar

Step 1

Wash hands with soap and water before and after touching incision.

Dealing with discomfort:

  • Take medications as needed.
  • Pain should decrease every day.
  • Itching, tightness or numbness along your incisions is normal.

Step 2

Remove dressing 3 days after procedure. Shower.


  • Most wounds do not require the removal of stitches as they will dissolve on their own.

Steri Strips

  • Small strips of non-allergic tape are put across the incision to hold the edges together. They will fall off on their own or gently remove after 7 – 10 days.

Step 3

Examine daily after shower. Pat dry.


Do not use any lotions or ointments over the incision.

Step 4

Remove steri strips if they have not fallen off after 7 – 10 days. Leave open to air.

Call your clinic (416-480-4471) if:

  • Increased drainage, swelling or oozing from incision
  • Opening of the incision line
  • Increasing pain and redness around the incision
  • Increasing warmth along the incision line
  • Bleeding that does not stop with pressure
  • Increasing body temperature greater than 101℉ or 38℃

Stop smoking.