Pacemaker Implants & Checks
No bigger in diameter than a dollar coin and placed in the chest cavity next to the heart, the cardiac pacemaker is designed to help regulate the rhythm of the heart. There are many reasons why a heart rhythm can be off, and therefore many reasons why pacemakers are used.
Do I need a Pacemaker?
The heart rhythm can be disrupted for a number of different reasons. In many of these cases, a pacemaker is required in order to get the heart back into a normal rhythm anytime it disrupts. Some of the reasons a pacemaker is needed include:
- Damage from a heart attack
- Normal aging
- Genetic conditions
- Slow heartbeat
In these situations, the pacemaker will help regulate heart problems to ensure that the organ continues to beat regularly.
What is a Pacemaker?
The heart muscle works through electricity. The heart has four different chambers that control blood flow in order to provide oxygenated blood throughout the body and to send used blood to the lungs for more oxygenation. If the electrical pulses are disrupted, the heart will not beat properly. In these cases, a pacemaker can take over. There are two parts to the pacemaker:
- The device itself – which is a battery operated generator capable of created pulses of electricity.
- Two electrodes – which are encased in insulation, lead from the device to the heart so that electrical pulses can be sent to the organ.
- The pacemaker detects if the heartbeat becomes irregular or too slow in order to send an electrical pulse to shock the heart back into proper rhythm.
Risks of the Pacemaker
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks to having a pacemaker implanted. Any patient should know the risks before undergoing the surgery. The risks are considered uncommon and minimal, but they should be noted. They include:
- Cardiac Infection
- Heart swelling and bruising
- Internal or External Bleeding
- Collapsed or punctured lung
- Punctured heart
- Blood vessel damage
Pacemaker Implantation Surgery
Before undergoing pacemaker implantation surgery, a number of tests will be done to check and monitor the heart. The pacemaker will be placed under the skin and the leads will be attached. The patient will need to spend a day or two in the hospital to recover.
Following Pacemaker Implantation Surgery
At home, the patient will need to spend a few days to recover and will need to get used to the process of sending information to the doctor. This will include using a telephone line and a specialty wand to gather information from the pacemaker and send it to the physician for review.
Need clarification or assistance with decisions surrounding a Pacemaker?
Call (662) 293-1000 today and schedule an appointment with the Heart and Vascular Center of Magnolia Regional Health Center.