When the electrical system of a heart gets affected due to some abnormalities or damage in the organ, the heart beat becomes too slow or too fast. This means that the heart is not able to supply adequate blood to the body. It leads to fatigue, dizziness, chest pain, damage to other organs, shortness of breath and in some cases, even death. In such a medical condition, an experienced cardiologist would recommend pacemaker implantation.
A pacemaker is an electronic device that helps the heart to function normally by controlling the heart rate. It can also record and track the heart beat and makes it possible for the doctor to better understand arrhythmia.
What is a Pacemaker?
A pacemaker is a medical device which is electrically charged and is implanted by a cardiologist under the skin to manage the irregularity of heart beats, also known as cardiac arrhythmia. Pacemaker can manage both types of Arrhythmias – tachycardia in which heart beat is too fast and Bradycardia in which heart beat is too slow.
Pacemakers are made up of 2 parts. One part consists of electronic circuits and a battery which are responsible for controlling the heart beat and the second part contains one or more leads through which electrical signals are sent to the heart.
If a person experiences a severe heart failure and is diagnosed with arrhythmia, it may be a case of cardiac re-synchronization therapy. In such cases, the use of a special type of pacemaker known as bi-vents or bi-ventricular pacemaker is made.
How to prepare for Pacemaker Implantation?
When pacemaker implantation is planned, the doctor will discuss the procedure and its implications. The doctor will explain the details of how the device will work, how the implantation will take place and so on. Some hospitals also offer an opportunity to attend a pre-operative assessment session. In this session, the nurse or the doctor asks questions about the medical history, health and other personal circumstances of the patient. Blood tests and MRSA screening help in assessments.
The patient has to sign a consent form to grant permission for the tests and implantation. The patients should notify the doctor about:
- The medicines that the patient is sensitive or allergic to. Also, notify about the medicines, supplements and herbal remedies that the patient is currently consuming.
- Pregnancy or the possibility of pregnancy before going for this procedure.
- Any heart valve diseases so that antibiotics could be prescribed prior to the surgery.
- The exact time-period when the patient needs to stop consuming medicines before reaching hospital on the day of surgery.
- Keeping in mind the medical conditions of the patient, the doctor may ask for some more specific preparations.
The patient has to fast for 8 to 10 hours prior to the procedure.
The process of implantation of a pacemaker typically takes 90 to 120 minutes. It is a simple process and does not require any open heart surgery.
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