The heart beats at 70-80 beats per minute and these beats are generated from an electrical system of the heart. They start in the right atrium of the heart and are transmitted by different circuits to the rest of the heart. Sometimes they can be blocks or breakdown in these electrical circuits and result in a slow heart rate that can be dangerous to life requiring a Pacemaker or a device that generates the electric current for the heart. They are battery operated and are implanted by your cardiologist alongwith help for the surgeon. They are many different type of pacemakers and the best one for you is decided by your heart doctor or cardiologist.

Pacemaker implantation is a minimal invasive surgery done under local anesthesia and takes about 1 hour. A small incision is about 3 inches long is made under the collar bone and a "pocket" is fashioned in the tissue overlying the muscle. The leads are inserted through a vein near the site of the pocket, and advanced into the heart using fluoroscopy (x-rays) for guidance. The leads are then attached to the generator, the generator is placed in the pocket, and the incision is closed.

Once a pacemaker is implanted, it is programmed to the precise needs of the patient. Pacemakers can be programmed non-invasively, with a handheld device that communicates with the pacemaker through the skin. The programming can be repeated as often as necessary if the patient's underlying heart rhythm problem changes.

Hospital stay of would typically be for about 3 days.

Tips Of Recovery

The incision completely heals in about 2 - 4 weeks and the patient can largely return to a completely normal life. Periodic pacemaker checks are necessary, to measure the function of the device and the amount of energy left in the battery.

When the battery begins to get low, the doctor schedules an elective pacemaker replacement. This procedure is similar to the implantation procedure, except that usually the pacemaker leads do not need to be replaced.

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