What is pacemaker implantation?
Insertion of pacemaker machine repair into the chest to help the heart beats with regular rhythm. It is usually performed in patients with arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), especially bradycardia (slow heart rate; less than 60 beats per minute)
What are the benefits of pacemaker implantation?
- Relieves symptoms of bradycardia or heart block such as fatigue, blackouts, and fainting.
- Helps control the rhythm in complex arrhythmias such as when both bradycardia and tachycardia (fast heart rate) are present.
What are the types of pacemakers?
- Endocardial Lead most common
- Epicardial Lead used post-surgery or in child patients
Steps of implantation
- Inserting the leads into the heart chambers through the great veins
- Connecting the pulse generator with the electrodes
- Placing the pacemaker in the chest
How does the machine work?
- The machine monitors electrical conduction in the heart. If slow conduction or fibrillation is detected, the machine will stimulate the heart to pump at the normal rhythm.
- The machine also records any tachycardias for the benefit of long-term care.
Are there any risks or possible complications?
- In the short term, there may be bruises near the surgical wound , especially in patients who take anticoagulants
- The leads are moved out of place (uncommon)
- Arrhythmias as a result of the implantation (uncommon)
What to do after the implantation?
- Visit the cardiologist to monitor the machine and the surgical wound. The first few visits will take place every 2 weeks. Then 3 months after the implantation of the machine and recovery of the surgical wound, the visits will be every 6 months.
- Avoid being near places with high-intensity electromagnetic fields such as large loudspeakers, high-voltage posts or the x-ray object scanner at the airport.
- Seek medical attention if there is pain or swelling around the surgical wounds , or any other symptoms that indicate malfunction of the machine.