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Everything You Need to Know about Getting a Pacemaker

Whether you have heart failure or cardiac arrest, the pacemaker procedure can be life-saving and help you live longer, healthier lives. Before opting to have a pacemaker, learn about its purpose, how to prepare for operation, potential risks and effects, and the nature of regular check-ups with your doctor. This resource is designed to give you all of that information so that when you go into surgery, you feel prepared and know everything you need to know about getting a pacemaker.

Pacemakers can be implanted if you have an irregular or slow heartbeat that doesn’t respond well to medication or if your heart stops beating altogether. A pacemaker may be necessary for someone who has diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol that has persisted for a long period of time. Certain genetic disorders may also necessitate one’s use. Talk with your doctor about what type of pacemaker is best for you and when it should be implanted.

Pacemakers are surgically implanted in the chest, near the heart. Electrical pulses are used to treat the arrhythmia by restoring normal cardiac rhythm and alleviating its accompanying symptoms. Your doctor or medical practitioner can program the gadget to detect particular arrhythmias and then either transmit a signal or pace the heart with electricity to restore normal rhythm. The most common type of pacemaker is known as an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator or ICD.

Pacemakers are sometimes needed when the heart’s natural rate and rhythm are irregular or disrupted. These disruptions can be caused by a number of factors, including ischemic heart disease or a lack of blood flow to the heart, cardiomyopathy, and other conditions. When the heart beats too slowly (bradycardia), it can induce fainting, shortness of breath, chest pain, and fatigue, all of which may necessitate the use of a pacemaker. Arrhythmias are irregular heartbeats that can be mitigated using a pacemaker. If medicine for an irregular heartbeat is ineffective, implantation of a permanent pacing device may be necessary. When deciding whether or not to perform pacemaker insertion surgery, doctors will consider all relevant risk factors in the patient’s medical history.

Implantation of the device takes place in the subclavian region, close to the breastbone. An open chest procedure or a smaller incision can be used to accomplish this. During surgery, your surgeon will cut a small hole in your chest to house the device, and then he or she will link cables to your heart. Doctors may use general anaesthesia so you will not feel any pain during this surgery and are fully awake when they finish. Most patients are able to go home the day following surgery and resume their normal routine within two weeks of having a pacemaker put. Routine follow-ups are also required after implantation and can last up to six months before dropping down to annual visits.

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