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Heart Pacemaker

What is Heart Pacemaker - Purpose, Procedure & Risks

author Dr. Anurag Sharma | calender November 01, 2019

A Heart Pacemaker is a medical device, charged electrically that is implanted in the heart by the surgeon to regulate the arrhythmias (uneven heartbeats). However, their implantation is either temporary or permanent. In the former case, that is temporary implantation, they are inserted to cure the slow heartbeats post the heart attack, surgery or overdose of medication. Whereas in the latter, permanent implantation, they are placed to rectify the slow heartbeats (bradycardia) or in certain cases to address the heart failure.

So, without any further ado, let’s get down understanding the purpose of the pacemaker comprehensively, also the procedure of its implantation and the risks involved following it.

What is the Purpose of A Pacemaker?

As mentioned above, a pacemaker is an electronically charged medical device that treats different heart conditions, such as inconsistency in the rhythm of the heart. The heart consists of four chambers in total: two upper and two lower. The upper chambers contracts while pulling the blood into the lower chambers of the heart.

However, when the ventricles contract they extrude the blood out of the heart so that it can flow across the entire body. This contraction is termed as heartbeat and the occurring electrical signals are responsible for monitoring the rhythm. Furthermore, the cells present in the upper chambers produce these electrical signals that further move down the heart and regulate its activities. Thereupon, arrhythmia interrupts the electrical signalling, which further results in the irregular heartbeats.

Probing further, in tachycardia the heart beats too fast, whereas in bradycardia the heartbeat is too slow. Moreover, there are also many other ways in which the heartbeat is uneven. Perhaps, arrhythmias obstruct the process of blood supply. This can further lead to the below-mentioned symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Fainting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Chest Pain

And in severe cases, it can result in elongated damages to the internal organs or cardiac arrest. In these cases, pacemakers are implanted, that help in lessening these symptoms with the aid of electrical pulses that persuades the heart’s rhythm. Pertaining to the problem, the pacemaker stabilizes the heartbeat by either slowing it down or speeding it up. At the same time, the pacemaker resolves specific issues like atrial fibrillation. In this type of arrhythmia, the ventricles fail to pump sufficient blood out of the heart as the upper chambers do not function properly.

Subsequently, the pacemaker enables the upper chamber to contract appropriately. If the pacemaker is resolving the arrhythmia, it is generally permanent. According to Dr Anurag Sharma, the pacemaker help in monitoring the various conditions and the devices implanted records different health indicators and other heart activities that are crucial. The pacemaker for the heart responds to the recorded information with the appropriate modifications of the electrical pulses of the heart. If this is not the case, the patient is treated with temporary heart pacemaker that usually responds to acute heart trauma such as a drug overdose or heart attack.

What is the procedure for implanting the pacemaker?

As a matter of fact, surgery is inevitable to implant a pacemaker into the chest. Dr Anurag Sharma, the best cardiologist in Panchkula the right method to prepare for the procedure is by assessing the patient’s medical history and complete blood tests prior to following the procedure. He also recommends the person to fill out the informational forms and also to fast while prepping up for the procedure. Further, just before the surgery, a healthcare provider inserts a perfusing drip into the hand or arm’s vein. This, in turn, conveys the sedatives or any other important medication. Following which the doctor cleanses the site of the injection that is near to the shoulder.

Later a needle is introduced into the vein that is right beneath the collarbone. This needle connects the wires that further guides the pacemaker through the veins and ultimately to the heart. However, the number of wires depends on the kind of pacemaker being used. Continuous X-ray imaging and fluoroscopy are used for the correct guidance. Once the wires are connected, they are tested before moving on to the next step. Then the doctor puts a small cut on the patient’s chest to insert a small box-like generator and battery for the pacemaker. Lastly, the incision is sealed and an electrocardiogram is put to use to check the device’s working. Being an experienced heart specialist in Chandigarh, Dr Anurag has performed innumerable surgeries, where he has always recommended the patients to stay overnight in the hospital so that the team of expert doctors and nurses can ensure the proper functioning of the pacemaker.

Risk Factors involved in Pacemaker implantation

IIt is believed that insertion of the pacemaker is comparatively a safe procedure. Although the person feels some pain or sensitivity in the zone of insertion, it is natural. Additionally, there are some other risks involved, such as:

  • Infection
  • A collapsed lung
  • Swelling or bleeding at the area of insertion
  • Damages blood vessel or nerve
  • Reaction to medications

Best Cardiologist in Chandigarh - Dr Anurag Sharma

With over quite a number of years of experience as a heart specialist in Chandigarh,, Dr Anurag believes that the process of inserting a pacemaker for the heart is direct and safe. One should make sure that post surgery, rest is necessary even when he is discharged from the hospital within a few days. Moreover, during the initial 8 weeks, the patients should restraint from indulging in the sudden movements of the arms away from the body. Although an arrhythmia is a lifetime condition that can worsen with time, pacemakers are the most effective forms of treatment that can help people suffering from this condition, lead their regular lives.