A pacemaker is a small device that's placed in the chest or abdomen to help control abnormal heart rhythms. This device uses electrical pulses to prompt the heart to beat at a normal rate. Get the answers you need to take control of your health from our up-to-date, complementary cardiac pacemaker resources from your local cardiologists.
Loading the player...What Is A Pacemaker and Is It the Right Treatment For You? <p><a href="https://heartfailurenow.com/local/cardiologist-1">Cardiologist</a><a href="https://www.healthchoicesfirst.com/practitioner-type/cardiologist">,</a> discusses pacemakers.</p>
Loading the player...Pacemaker Technology and Insertion <p><a href="https://heartfailurenow.com/local/cardiologist-1">Cardiologist</a><a href="https://www.healthchoicesfirst.com/practitioner-type/cardiologist">,</a> talks about how pacemakers work and how they are implanted to treat patients with irregular heart rates.</p>
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Loading the player...Pacemaker and Defibrillator Therapy <p><a href="https://www.healthchoicesfirst.com/practitioner-type/nurse">Nurse,</a> talks about pacemakers and defibrillators, how they are inserted and their functionality.</p>
Nurse, talks about pacemakers and defibrillators, how they are inserted and their functionality.
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What is a Pacemaker?
A pacemaker is an electronic device used to manage abnormal heart rhythms. It is commonly recommended for patients who experience fainting or blackouts, as well as those who have symptoms such as shortness of breath or fatigue due to a slow heart rate.
The main purpose of a pacemaker is to regulate the heart's electrical activity and ensure that it beats at a normal rate. It achieves this by delivering electrical impulses to the heart muscle, prompting it to contract and maintain an appropriate rhythm.
Patients who have heart rates that are consistently low, typically in the range of 30s or 40s, or who experience significant gaps in their heart rhythm (known as heart block), are often considered good candidates for a pacemaker. By providing the necessary electrical stimulation, the pacemaker helps maintain a regular heart rate and prevents the occurrence of prolonged pauses or delays in the heartbeat.
It's important to note that the decision to implant a pacemaker is made by healthcare professionals, typically cardiologists, based on a thorough evaluation of the patient's symptoms, medical history, and diagnostic tests. If you suspect you may require a pacemaker or have concerns about your heart rate or rhythm, it is essential to consult with a qualified healthcare provider who can provide you with appropriate guidance and recommendations.
A pacemaker is actually a rather miniaturized device these days. The older devices were much larger. They’re put in through a small incision just under the collarbone. The lead is then fed down through a vein to the right side of the heart, and it provides electrical signal, and it acts very much like a thermostat. So when the heart rate drops too low the pacer will kick in and elevate the heart rate much as a thermostat would elevate the temperature in your house. A pacer's typically the batteries last ten to 15 years.
The operation usually is done as a day stay or a simple overnight stay, and patients with pacemakers typically can expect to have the battery replaced again in an operation that’s really pretty simple and usually again just requires a short stay in hospital for a few hours. Typically when a patient has a pacemaker inserted the biggest thing that it’s helping do is preventing fainting because fainting can be a real big problem. Can you imagine if you’re driving a car and you lose consciousness? So the primary focus of a pacemaker is to prevent faints, but in addition to that certainly helping the patient’s fatigue, breathlessness is an important thing that a pacer can do for many patients, not all. This is only fixing the electrical part of the heart. We’re not fixing the plumbing. We’re not fixing the valves. So it’s not really affecting the pump function, but it is certainly restoring the timing to a more natural rhythm so that patients can have better quality of life. Often seeing a local family physician or a pharmacist in conjunction with a registered dietitian, a local athletic therapist is a great option to take control of dehydration. In conjunction with healthy eating, exercise.
How is a Pacemaker Placed in the Body?
The pacemaker consists of leads that are inserted through a vein and into the heart, and the generator (which includes the battery and computer) is implanted under the skin, usually below the collarbone.
Regarding the battery life of a pacemaker, it indeed depends on how frequently the pacemaker is used. If the pacemaker is required all the time to maintain a regular heart rate, the battery will have a shorter lifespan compared to a pacemaker that is only needed occasionally. In cases where the pacemaker is rarely activated, the battery could last for 10 to 15 years or even longer. However, if the pacemaker is continuously pacing the heart, the battery life will be shorter, typically around 5 to 7 years.
It's important for individuals with pacemakers to regularly follow up with their cardiologist or healthcare team to monitor the battery life and overall functioning of the pacemaker. They can provide guidance on when a battery replacement may be necessary. It's also important to consult with healthcare professionals for other aspects of heart health, such as a family physician, pharmacist, registered dietitian, and local athletic therapist, as you mentioned, to maintain overall well-being.
Pacemaker and Defibrillator Therapy
There are two different types of implantable cardiac devices. One is called a pacemaker. A pacemaker is designed for patients that have a slow or sluggish heart rate, or require the ability to increase their heart rate with activity when their own natural heart rates will not do that. The other type of a device is called an implantable cardiac defibrillator, or an ICD. An ICD is a larger device, and it’s designed with all of the pacemaker capabilities built inside, as well as the ability to identify a lethal heart rhythm such as ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation, and apply therapies to break that rhythm to prevent sudden cardiac death. There are two different types of pacemakers. One is the traditional transvenous type of pacemaker. With this pacemaker, it is implanted under the skin, under your collarbone, and a lead is thread through the vein into the right atrium, the right ventricle and/or sometimes the surface of the left ventricle. The other type of a pacemaker is called a leadless pacemaker. That pacemaker is implanted into your right ventricle, through a large catheter through your groin. Once your pacemaker or ICD is implanted, you will be seen by a nurse from the heart rhythm program right after the implant process. You will also be seen one week in the device clinic, at three months in the device clinic and every six months after that. During this visit, the nurse from the heart rhythm program will be able to communicate with your ICD or pacemaker to determine if there’s any fast heart rates, slow heart rates, any arrhythmias that we need to be concerned about, and to ask you how you’re feeling with your new device. Now Health Network Local Practitioners: Nurse