If your heart is beating too slow or pausing frequently, an implantable device called a pacemaker might be an effective treatment option. Implanting pacemakers is one of many procedures performed by Vinay Sanghi, MD and his team at Heart and Vascular Associates, LLC, in Sierra Vista, Arizona. If you’d like more information, call the office to schedule a visit, or book online in just a few clicks.
A pacemaker is a small medical device implanted into your chest to help regulate your heartbeat. Also called a cardiac pacing device, a pacemaker prevents your heart from beating too slowly.
These devices work by delivering electrical pulses that stimulate your heart to beat. Pacemakers only work when they detect an abnormally slow heartbeat. Some advanced devices sense when you are moving or breathing faster than normal and regulate your heartbeat accordingly.
Pacemakers consist of two parts: a pulse generator and leads (flexible wires) that deliver the electrical pulses to the proper area of your heart.
Your Heart and Vascular Associates practitioner performs a number of tests to determine if a pacemaker is right for you. Options include electrocardiogram, Holter monitoring, MCOT, loop implant, and echocardiogram.
Your practitioner places an IV to administer sedative medication, helping you rest comfortably. A local anesthetic numbs the pacemaker insertion area.
Your practitioner uses X-ray imaging to guide the leads through a vein near your collarbone and into your heart chambers. The other end connects to the pulse generator placed beneath your skin.
With a pacemaker, an overnight stay in the hospital is usually not required.
You’ll need to avoid strenuous exercise or placing pressure on your chest for around a month. Your practitioner will check your pacemaker every few months. Some pacemakers transmit information electronically.
Because pacemakers work to ensure a healthy heart rhythm, you should be able to enjoy normal activities after your procedure. If you experience any discomfort, let your practitioner know. In most cases, over-the-counter pain medication is all that’s needed for occasional discomfort.
An automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillator (AICD) is another type of implantable device that monitors and corrects abnormal heart rhythms. If the device detects a dangerous arrhythmia, it attempts to correct the rhythm with a burst of very fast pacing (ATP).
If unsuccessful, the device then delivers an electric shock (cardioversion) to the heart muscle to restore a normal rhythm. The device also records information about your heart’s electrical activity.
The implantation process is similar to having a pacemaker implanted. AICD devices are usually only used in people with serious, life-threatening arrhythmias or for prevention of death in patients who have a high likelihood of life-threatening arrhythmias.
When you’re ready to learn more about pacemakers, call Heart and Vascular Associates directly or click to schedule a visit.