Learn the Ins and Outs of Pacemaker Implantation Here

When performed on patients suffering from heart failure or cardiac arrest, pacemaker treatment has been shown to significantly improve survival rates and overall quality of life. Understand the purpose of the pacemaker, how to be ready for surgery, potential risks and consequences, and the nature of regular follow-ups with your doctor before deciding to have one. This guide is intended to provide you with all of that information so that you can go into surgery with confidence and knowledge of the pacemaker operation.

A pacemaker may be implanted if you have a slow or irregular heartbeat that does not respond to treatment, or if your heart abruptly stops beating. Ongoing medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol may also make it necessary for someone to get a pacemaker. Certain hereditary abnormalities may need its use as well. You and your doctor should decide when and what type of pacemaker is best for you.

Pacemakers are surgically implanted in the chest, near the heart. Electrical pulses are used to treat the arrhythmia by restoring normal cardiac rhythm and alleviating its accompanying symptoms. Your doctor or medical practitioner can set the device to alert you to certain arrhythmias and then either send a signal to the heart or pace it with electricity to restore normal rhythm. Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) are the most frequent form of a pacemaker.

When the heart’s normal rate and rhythm are disturbed, a pacemaker may be necessary. Ischemic heart disease, in which blood flow is restricted to the heart, cardiomyopathy, and other disorders can all contribute to these disturbances. When the heart beats too slowly (bradycardia), it can cause fainting, shortness of breath, chest pain, and weariness, all of which may require the implantation of a pacemaker. Arrhythmias are irregular heartbeats that can be mitigated using a pacemaker. If medicine for an irregular heartbeat is ineffective, implantation of a permanent pacing device may be necessary. Doctors will take into account any risk factors in your medical history before making their decision about whether you need a pacemaker implantation surgery or not.

The device is implanted under the collarbone, near the breastbone. An open chest procedure or a smaller incision can be used to accomplish this. During surgery, your surgeon will make a small incision in your chest to house the device and then connect cables to your heart. General anesthesia is used to keep patients comfortable during surgery and to allow them to return to normal consciousness afterwards. Following having a pacemaker implanted, most patients are able to go home the day after surgery and get back to their regular routine within two weeks. After the initial six-month post-implant period, patients must begin annual checkups as part of their aftercare.

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