Everything You Need To Know About Pacemaker Implants

A pacemaker is an electronic implant that is inserted in the chest, just below the collarbone, to help control your heartbeat. Offered at all the leading heart treatment hospitals in Mumbai, a pacemaker implant is an amazing procedure that aims at supporting the heart in carrying out its functions.

It is the heart's electrical system that controls your heartbeat. This begins in a group of cells, present at the top of the heart, commonly referred to as a sinus node, and spreads to the bottom. The muscles present in your heart cause it to contract and pump blood. Sometimes, these muscles may become weak and are not able to carry out their functions properly, thereby resulting in the lack of oxygenated blood in the body. This is likely to trigger symptoms like fatigue, lightheadedness and fainting. If left untreated for long, it can even lead to life-threatening complications. In such cases, doctors usually recommend a pacemaker, to assist the heart in carrying out its functions effectively.

A pacemaker can be implanted temporarily or permanently, depending on the specific requirements of the patient. Temporary implantation is done to treat a slow heartbeat after a heart attack, surgery or medication overdose, whereas, permanent implantation is done when there is a need for permanent pacing. You can find some of the best cardiac surgeons in Thane, who hold specialization in both procedures.

A pacemaker mimics the action of the heart's natural electrical system when, due to some reason, the heart is unable to perform it by itself. A pacemaker has a pulse generator, a small metal container that regulates the rate of electrical pulses sent to your heart, and leads (also known as electrodes), which are flexible, insulated wires. These are placed in a specific chamber or different chambers of the heart according to the needs and requirements of the patient and serve as a medium for carrying electrical pulses to adjust your heart rate.

One good thing about pacemakers is that they only work when needed. For example, when your heartbeat is low, the pacemaker will detect it and start to work. New peacemakers have sensors that detect whether the physical activity is taking place or not, by monitoring breathing and movements.

Just like any surgery, implanting a pacemaker also comes with certain risks. Though these risks are not very common and do not generally arise, it is pertinent to be aware of them.

These include:

1. Infection at the generator site, where the pacemaker was implanted

2. A collapsed lung

3. Swelling, bruising or bleeding at the site, especially if the patient is on blood thinners

4. Damage to the blood vessels or nerves near the place where the pacemaker is fixed

5. Allergic reaction to the dye or anaesthesia used during the procedure

Various tests like an electrocardiogram, Holter monitoring, echocardiogram and stress tests are performed to find out the reason behind your irregular heartbeat and also to check whether the person actually requires a pacemaker or not.

Pacemaker implantations are usually done using local anaesthetics, so as to numb the area of the incision. To perform the surgery, one or more flexible, insulated wires are inserted into a major vein under or near your collarbone. They are then guided to the heart using X-ray images, and one end of each wire is secured to an appropriate position in the heart, whereas the other one is attached to the pulse generator, which is usually implanted under the skin beneath the collarbone.

Though most pacemakers can be checked remotely and the pacemaker can transmit and track information, like your heart rate and rhythm, knowing how your pacemaker works are very important.

A pacemaker's battery usually lasts from five to fifteen years, depending on how heavily it was used. The battery can be replaced by another surgery which is much simpler than the actual implementation surgery and also requires less time to heal.