Cardiac Pacemaker

Cardiac Pacemaker consult

A pacemaker is a small device that is placed in the chest under the skin near your heart to help control abnormal heart rhythms. There are a wide range of causes for heartbeat disruptions and arrhythmias, but, regardless of the underlying cause of the abnormal heart rate a patient is experiencing, a pacemaker may fix it.

A pacemaker can be implanted in your chest with a minor surgery. The surgery takes only a few hours, but you will remain in the hospital overnight, so your heartbeat can be monitored and your cardiologist can assure that your pacemaker is working correctly. Most people return to their normal activities within a few days of having their cardiac pacemaker installed. Avoid vigorous exercise and heavy lifting right after your surgery and until you are cleared by your doctor. Your doctor can determine what level of activity is appropriate for you post-surgery.

A pacemaker is made up of a battery, a computerized generation system and wires with sensors called electrodes. Pacemaker batteries usually last between 5 and 15 years, depending on how much your pacemaker is activated. Electrodes monitor your heart's electrical activity and send the information through the wires to the computer generator. Using low-energy electrical pulses your pacemaker keeps the heartbeat at a normal rate. If your heart rhythm becomes abnormal, the computer will direct the generator to send electrical pulses through the wires to your heart, so that its rhythm returns to normal.

We always advise that you inform all of your doctors, dentists and other medical care providers that you have a pacemaker.