Monday, April 20, 2009

What To Expect During Pacemaker Surgery

Placement of a pacemaker requires minor surgery, which is usually done in a hospital or special heart treatment laboratory. You will be given medicine right before the surgery that will help you relax and may make you fall nearly asleep. Your doctor will give you a local anesthetic so you won't feel anything in the area where he or she puts the pacemaker.

First, your doctor will place a needle in a large vein, usually near the shoulder opposite your dominant hand. The doctor will then use the needle to thread the pacemaker wires into a vein and to the correct location in your heart.

An x-ray "movie" of the wires as they pass through your vein and into your heart will help your doctor place the wires. Once the wires are in place, your doctor will make a small cut into the skin of your chest or abdomen. He or she will then slip the pacemaker generator/battery box through the cut, place it just under your skin, and connect it to the wires that lead to your heart.

Once the pacemaker is in place, your doctor will sew up the cut. The entire surgery takes a few hours.


A pacemaker is a small device that's placed under the skin of your chest or abdomen to help control abnormal heart rhythms. This device uses electrical pulses to prompt the heart to beat at a normal rate.

Pacemakers are used to treat heart rhythms that are too slow, fast, or irregular.These abnormal heart rhythms are called arrhythmias (ah-RITH-me-ahs). Pacemakers can relieve some symptoms related to arrhythmias, such as fatigue (tiredness) and fainting. A pacemaker can help a person who has an abnormal heart rhythm resume a more active lifestyle.

Thursday, April 16, 2009