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Learn the Ins and Outs of Pacemaker Implantation Here

Pacemaker treatment has been demonstrated to greatly increase survival rates and overall quality of life in people suffering from heart failure or cardiac arrest. 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. A pacemaker may be necessary for someone who has diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol that has persisted for a long period of time. Certain genetic disorders may also necessitate one’s use. You and your doctor should decide when and what type of pacemaker is best for you.

Pacemakers are medical devices that are surgically installed in the chest, close to the heart. They use electrical pulses to help regulate an irregular heartbeat and improve symptoms of an arrhythmia. The device can be programmed by your doctor or medical professional to detect specific types of irregular heartbeats and either send a signal to the heart or pace it with electricity in order for it to beat properly. The most common type of pacemaker is an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD).

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 induce fainting, shortness of breath, chest pain, and fatigue, all of which may necessitate the use of a pacemaker. Arrhythmias are abnormal heartbeats that can be treated with a pacemaker. If medication for an irregular heartbeat is ineffective, a permanent pacing device may be implanted. 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. This can be accomplished by either an open chest operation or a smaller incision. During surgery, your surgeon will cut a small hole in your chest to house the device, and then he or she will link cables to your heart. General anesthesia is used to keep patients comfortable during surgery and to allow them to return to normal consciousness afterwards. Most patients are able to go home the day following surgery and resume their normal routine within two weeks of having a pacemaker put. Patients must continue annual exams as part of their aftercare beyond the initial six-month post-implant period.

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