CardioSpecialists Group, Ltd.
About Your Pacemaker

What Is a Pacemaker?

A pacemaker is a small device that is placed under the skin of your chest or abdomen to help control abnormal heart rhythms, called arrhythmias.  Pacemakers send electrical impulses to either the atria (upper chambers), ventricles (lower chambers), or both to maintain a normal heart rate and rhythm. 

Pacemakers can help to prevent symptoms and complications of the arrhythmia, such as fatigue, fainting, shortness of breath, and even death.

Pacemaker

The photo above shows a pacemaker.

How Is the Procedure Performed?

Pacemakers may either be temporary or permanent.  The pacemaker is implanted under the skin of the patient’s chest (usually) or abdomen during a minor surgical procedure.  You will stay in the hospital for a short time to make sure the pacemaker is functioning properly, and you may also be prescribed “antiarrhythmic” medications to help maintain a normal heart rhythm.  Once in place, the pacemaker runs on batteries that last about 5 to 10 years.

Is It Safe?

Yes; a pacemaker helps to improve heart function and can prolong a patient’s life.  However, as with any invasive or minimally invasive procedure, there are risks. Your physician will discuss with you the risks attendant to the implantation of a pacemaker.

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