The body's natural pacemaker, the sinoatrial (SA) node, is not working properly. When the SA node is not working correctly, the heart can beat too slowly.
There are malfunctions in the atrioventricular (AV) node, the part of the heart’s electrical system that sends signals from the SA node to the ventricles. This leads to a very slow heartbeat.
Heart performance in people with severe symptoms of congestive heart failure and a weakened heart muscle (cardiomyopathy) needs to be improved. This is called biventricular pacing, or cardiac resynchronization therapy.
Cardiac surgery is being done.
Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have a pacemaker inserted, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
Rupture in the heart muscle (rare)
Inappropriate stimulation of the diaphragm (large muscle between chest and abdominal cavities)
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
Eat a light meal the night before the procedure. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
Local anesthesia will be used. This means that only the area being operated on is numbed. It is given as an injection.
Description of the Procedure
You will lie flat on a hard table. Your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing will be monitored. The doctor will make a small incision beneath your collarbone. The pacemaker will be inserted through this incision. The wires will be threaded through a vein under the collarbone to your heart. Lastly, the incision will be closed with stitches.
Immediately After Procedure
Your heart rate and blood pressure will be monitored.
How Long Will It Take?
About 2 hours
How Much Will It Hurt?
You will have pain after the procedure. Your doctor will treat your pain with medicine.
Before you leave the care center, the pacemaker will be programmed to fit your pacing needs. When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
Shower as usual. Gently wash the incision area with mild soap.
Return to normal activities as soon as you feel able. It may take about two weeks for you to recover.
Avoid strenuous activity, especially involving the upper body, for 4-6 weeks.
Avoid excessive movement of the arm/shoulder on the side of the pacemaker for two weeks. This will help you to avoid dislodging the leads. You may be given a sling to wear to help remind you.
Resume driving in about one week.
Have the stitches removed in about one week.
Now that you have a pacemaker,
you may need to avoid:
¹11/19/2008 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php: Lee S, Ransford B, Fu K, Tadyoshi K, Maisel W. Abstract 662: electromagnetic interference (EMI) of implanted cardiac devices by MP3 player headphones.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a