Often referred to as an integral part of cardiac resynchronization therapy, a pacemaker is a small device that is implanted near the heart to help control the heartbeat. Patients may require pacemakers for many reasons, but arrhythmias are the most common reason for pacemaker implantation.
Heart muscle may suffer damage after a heart attack. Otherwise, normal aging of the heart can result in a disrupted heart rate, gradually slowing to beat at an inadequate speed. In other cases, some medications can negatively affect the heart rate. In some cases, genetic conditions are the root of an abnormal heart rate. No matter what causes an abnormal heart rate, a pacemaker is often the possible cure.
A pacemaker regularly sends electrical pulses to your heart to keep it beating at a regular, steady rate. Having a pacemaker fitted to regular your heartbeat can greatly benefit your qualify of life, and can even be a lifesaver. The pacemaker contains a battery that may last up to a decade, a pulse generator, and a very small computer circuit that turns battery energy into electrical impulses that then flow through wires to your heart, making it contract.
Minor surgery is needed to implant a pacemaker into the chest, and the procedure is a fairly straightforward process. The implantation area will receive local anesthetic, leaving you awake during the process. The generator is usually placed beneath the skin near the left collarbone. It is then attached to a wire that connects to the heart through a blood vessel.
The procedure is fairly short, taking only about an hour. The majority of patients recover quickly enough to be discharged from the hospital a mere day after the procedure.