Posted October 8, 2022 by Anusha ‐ 3 min read
Pacemakers are devices that can be placed in your body, usually by surgery, to support the electrical system in your heart. They can stabilize abnormal heart rhythms and prevent problems that can disrupt or endanger your life.
Working of Pacemaker
Your heart has its own electrical system, which tells your heart’s chambers when it’s their turn to squeeze.
When your heart’s electrical system malfunctions, your heart’s chambers may squeeze in the wrong order or squeeze too weakly to provide enough blood to your body.
Pacemakers use electrical impulses to correct these kinds of malfunctions.
Types of Pacemaker
Depending on the heart problem, a specific type of pacemaker with anywhere from one to three wires (called leads) may be used. Types of pacemakers include:
Leadless pacemaker: A small pacemaker (about the size of a large pill) inserted using a catheter-based procedure. This device is attached to an inner wall of your heart, which means it doesn’t need to use any wires.
Single-chamber pacemaker: Uses a single wire attached to one chamber of your heart.
Dual-chamber pacemaker: Uses two wires attached to two chambers of your heart.
Biventricular pacemaker: Uses three wires, two of which attach to the lower chambers (called ventricles) of your heart, and a third connected to the right upper chamber (the right atrium). This is also known as cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT).
Uses of Pacemaker
Conditions that are treatable with a pacemaker include (but aren’t limited to):
Certain heart arrhythmias (malfunctions of your heart’s normal beating process).
Disruptions of your heart’s electrical system (such as heart blocks).
History of heart attack.
Benefits of Pacemaker
Pacemakers are meant to improve your quality of life and prevent disruptions caused by heart problems. Benefits include:
Alleviating many of the symptoms caused by heart rhythm problems, including chest pain, confusion, palpitations, nausea, confusion and more.
Preventing unpleasant symptoms like fainting that are caused by arrhythmias.
Saving your life by preventing your heart from stopping.
Side effects of Pacemaker
Allergic reactions: These may happen because of a medication you’re given or you may be allergic to one of the materials used in the pacemaker itself.
Blood clots: Your healthcare provider may prescribe blood-thinning medications to reduce the risk of developing a blood clot.
Malfunctions of the pacemaker or its leads: In some cases, a pacemaker lead may get jostled out of position or might break free. Your healthcare provider will recommend limiting your activity for a while after your procedure to avoid this.
Malfunctions caused by sources outside of your body: Your healthcare provider will give you instructions on devices or machines to avoid so you don’t have pacemaker problems caused by outside electrical interference. Fortunately, advancements in pacemaker technology mean these situations aren’t common.
Unexpected heart rhythm problems: Some people develop heart rhythm problems in rare instances because of the pacemaker. Your healthcare provider can talk to you about these risks and help you avoid them.