What is a Pacemaker?

A pacemaker is a small device that's placed in the chest to help control an abnormal heart rhythm. The device uses electrical pulses to prompt the heart to beat at a normal rate. Pacemakers are used to treat arrhythmias.  Arrhythmias are problems with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat. During an arrhythmia, the heart can beat too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm.

Why would I need a Pacemaker?

  • Bradyarrythmias, which are slow heart rhythms that may arise from disease in the heart's electrical conduction system
  • Heart Failuire.  This type of treatment is called cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) or biventricular pacing.
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

How is a Pacemaker implanted?

Pacemakers are implanted under local anesthesia. The pacemaker is placed under the skin, beneath the collar bone. The pacemaker leads are threaded through a nearby vein and advanced to the appropriate position within the heart, and their ends are plugged into the generator.

How does a Pacemaker work?

A pacemaker helps to regulate the timing and sequence of your heart beat.

Once implanted, the pacemaker works by monitoring the heart's electrical activity, and deciding whether and when to "pace." If your heart rate becomes too slow, the device paces by transmitting a tiny electrical signal to the heart muscle, causing it to contract. 


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