What is a pacemaker?
A pacemaker is a device that is placed under the skin near the heart which sends electrical impulses to the heart muscles which helps to regulate the beating of the heart. These pacemakers can help in adjusting the heart rate when it is too slow or too fast or even if it’s irregular.
Types of Pacemaker:
Single chamber pacemaker – Uses only one lead either in the upper or lower chamber of the heart. Dual chamber pacemaker – Uses one lead in the upper chamber and one lead in the lower chamber of the heart. This form of pacemaker controls and coordinates both the atria and the ventricle which allows a good pacing of the heart. Biventricular pacemaker – Thee leads are used, one is placed in the right atrium, the second one is placed in the right ventricle and third one in the left ventricle. This kind of pacemaker is very useful when the heart muscles are very week.
When does one require a pacemaker?
A pacemaker is required when problems occur with the electrical conduction system of the heart. When the electrical stimulation from the heart to heart muscle and the subsequent response of the heart’s pumping chamber is disturbed, that is when a pacemaker is needed to ensure the heart rate is maintained at decent levels.
What to expect during the procedure?
The surgery to implant the pacemaker is done when the patient is awake and takes only a few hours, but a slight sedation will be given and the area where the pacemaker will be inserted will be numbed. During the surgery one or more insulated wires are inserted into the major vein near or under the collarbone area and guided towards the heart with the help of X-ray images. One end of each wire is secured at its position in the heart while the other ends are attached to the pulse generator, which is implanted under the skin beneath the collarbone.
What to expect after the procedure?
After the procedure is completed, the doctors would like to observe at least for a day on the progress and notice if there is any chest pain or tightness. The doctor would advise you to avoid vigorous exercises or heavy lifting of weights for over a month. Some special precautions need to be taken in regards to managing your health for a while but would also recommend resuming to your regular duties slowly.