Small electrical devices called pacemakers are inserted into the chest or abdomen. Some irregular cardiac rhythms (arrhythmias) that might cause your heart to beat too slowly or skip beats are treated with it.
Your natural pacemaker is the sinus node in your heart (found in the upper right chamber of the structural heart, known as the atrium). Your heart beats thanks to an electrical impulse that is sent. A pacemaker’s task is to artificially fill the gap if your sinus node isn’t functioning correctly.
What varieties of pacemakers are there?
A battery-powered electrical circuit called a pulse generator and one or more electrode leads make up a pacemaker:
- Single chamber pacemakers have one lead.
- Dual-chamber pacemakers have two leads.
- Biventricular has three leads.
Why is it done?
A pacemaker of the heart is installed if your heartbeat is sluggish after a heart attack, surgery, or drug overdose but is otherwise anticipated to improve; your doctor may advise getting a temporary pacemaker.
A pacemaker’s functions
Pacemakers only function when necessary. The pacemaker gives electrical instructions to your heart to adjust the rhythm if it beats too slowly.
A pacemaker has two parts:
- Pulse generator. The electrical circuitry that regulates the frequency of electrical pulses sent to the heart is housed in this tiny metal container with a battery.
- Leads (electrodes). The electrical pulses necessary to modify heart rate are delivered by one to three flexible, insulated wires individually inserted into one or more structural heart chambers.
How long will the pacemaker installation take?
One is typically fitted in one to two hours, but if you’re having further heart surgery simultaneously, it can take longer.
A strong, fist-sized pump, the heart contains four chambers: two on the left and two on the right. Your heart’s electrical system works with the right and left atria and right and left ventricles.
The heart’s electrical system controls your heartbeat by making the heart contract and pumps blood. It starts in a group of cells at the top of the heart called the sinus node and travels to the bottom. Age, heart attack damage, certain medicines, and some inherited disorders can all contribute to an irregular heartbeat.
What to anticipate before the process?
You’ll probably be conscious during the several-hour procedure to implant the pacemaker. A specialist will place an IV in your hand or forearm and administer a sedative to help you unwind. A specific soap is used to wash your chest.
What to anticipate throughout the process?
One or more wires are put into a significant vein under or close to your collarbone and led to your heart. The right location in your heart is where one end of each cable is fixed, and the other is connected to the pulse generator, often implanted under the skin just below your collarbone.
What to anticipate after the process?
You’ll probably spend a day in the hospital after having a pacemaker put in. Your pacemaker will be set up to match your requirements for cardiac rhythm. You’ll need to make arrangements for transportation home from the hospital.
What potential advantages exist?
Pacemakers are designed to enhance your quality of life and shield you from disturbances brought on by heart issues.
The several benefits comprise of:
- Reducing the number of cardiac rhythm disorder symptoms, including disorientation, nausea, palpitations, chest discomfort, and more.
- Preventing uncomfortable symptoms brought on by arrhythmias, such as fainting.
- Preventing your heart from stopping and saving your life.
How long will someone who has a pacemaker live?
A pacemaker user’s life expectancy is influenced by several variables, including age at the time of installation and overall health. People tend to live longer and are more likely to have an average or nearly-normal life expectancy when they have fewer or less serious health issues.
It’s essential to monitor your health and pay attention to how you feel if you have a pacemaker inserted.
- Take your medication. Your doctor may prescribe medication designed to complement your pacemaker.
- See your healthcare provider as recommended. To ensure your pacemaker is functioning properly and to check on your general health, your healthcare professional will arrange follow-up appointments.
- Pay attention to your body. To ensure your pacemaker is functioning correctly and to check on your general health, your healthcare professional will arrange follow-up appointments.
o If you experience any breathing difficulties.
o If you unpredictably put on weight or get leg or ankle edema.
o If you have spells of disorientation, dizziness, or fainting.
o If you have symptoms similar to those you did before having a pacemaker put in.
What safety measures must one take with pacemaker?
Always keep the following safety precautions in mind. Go through the following details in detail with your doctor:
- It is frequently safe to go through the airport or other security scanners. They won’t harm the pacemaker. However, let them know you have a pacemaker before passing through security at the airport. The device could cause the alarm to sound.
- Utilize MRI machines and other equipment with weak magnetic fields sparingly. These could affect how the pacemaker is set up or functions.
- Don’t use diathermy. During physical therapy, it is the application of heat to treat muscles.
- Refrain from approaching high-voltage or radar equipment, such as radio or television transmitters, arc welders, high-tension lines, radar stations, or melting furnaces.
- The magnetic substance that may be present in MP3 player headphones when they are close to your device might impair how effectively it functions.
What are the risks involved?
Although they are rare, complications from pacemaker surgery or using a pacemaker might include:
- An infection close to the heart’s implanted device location
- A pacemaker site that is swollen, bruised, or bleeding, especially if you use blood thinners
- Thromboembolism (blood clots) close to the pacemaker location
- Damage to the nerves or blood arteries close to the pacemaker
- lung collapsed (pneumothorax)
- Blood between the chest wall and the lung (hem thorax)
A pacemaker should improve symptoms caused by a slow heartbeat, such as fatigue, light-headedness, and fainting. Your pacemaker might extend your life if you have one and have a fatal illness from a disease unrelated to your heart, like cancer. The decision to switch off a pacemaker during the latter stages of a patient’s life is debatable among doctors and researchers.