Pacemaker

Explanation

An artificial permanent pacemaker is an electronic device that produces an electrical current to stimulate regular contractions of the heart muscle. The pacemaker's generator and batteries are placed under the skin, usually in the left chest wall, and wires are passed to the heart.

A pacemaker, which is part of a pacing system, restores one of the most essential rhythms of life - the rhythm of the human heart. When someone needs a pacemaker, it is actually a pacing system that is needed: a pacemaker and one or two pacing leads. A pacemaker consists of electronic circuitry and a battery. A pacing lead is what connects the pacemaker to the heart.

A pacing system relieves many of the symptoms of a medical condition called "bradycardia," which is a condition that causes the heart to beat irregularly or too slowly.

A pacing system stimulates the heart muscle with precisely timed discharges of electricity that cause the heart to beat in a manner very similar to a naturally occurring heart rhythm.

Needing a pacemaker is more common than most people know. Since the late 1950s, when pacemakers were first successfully implanted, more than 2 million people have benefited from this remarkable invention.

The development of new pacing technologies since 1985 has lead to significant improvements in pacemaker wearers' quality of life by permitting greater tolerance for exercise and participation in activities. Thanks to the pacemaker, people with heart rhythm disturbances can lead normal, healthy lives.

Pacemakers are smaller, lighter and more streamlined than ever before. This is a result of using miniature electronic circuits and sleek, lightweight metals. Pacemakers are versatile and can be adjusted in a Pacemaker Clinic Check-Up or physician's office to adjust the therapy to your needs.

Surgery

Pacemaker surgery is a relatively safe and quick procedure that can take less than an hour. In fact, many pacemaker implants can be done on an outpatient basis and do not require hospitalization. Most patients receive a local anesthetic and remain awake during the procedure. There are certain types of pacemaker implants that may require general anesthesia and a brief hospital stay. If hospitalization is required, you will likely be home in just a few days. Please feel free to ask your physician for specific details.

The information provided is general in nature. A patient's medical condition, age and other factors determine the type of pacemaker and lead that will need to be implanted. Please speak with your physician to review the factors used to determine the appropriate lead and pacemaker that should be used and for specific instructions before and after surgery.

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