Heartbeat is nothing but accumulation of various muscle movements. The heartbeat and subsequent pumping of blood is fired up by the electrical impulses. Heart’s natural pacemaker gives first electrical signal that travels through an electrical bridge known as the atrioventricular node to the lower chambers. If at any point, any problem occurs in the electrical pathway, it disrupts normal heart beating process. This creates the need for pacemaker implantation that can perform the function of heart’s natural electrical system.
In simple terms, a pacemaker is needed when the heart beats at an unhealthy rate. The heartbeat is reset by the pacemaker to an appropriate pace. This ensures that various parts of the body receive an adequate amount of blood and oxygen.
An artificial pacemaker is a device that consists of a computer memory, a powerful battery and an electronic circuit that together are responsible for generating electrical signals. Thin insulated wires are used to carry these signals to the heart muscle which starts the contraction and thereby, starts functioning at normal pace.
The pacemaker is usually placed below the collarbone. The pacemaker surgery typically takes about two hours. The patients can surely lead a normal and happy life even after the pacemaker implantation. They just need to be careful of some restrictions under certain circumstances.
Restrictions After Pacemaker Implantation
Although there are no serious limitations but some precautions are required for the arm where the device is placed such as:
- Any object, including pets and children, weighing more than 10 pounds should not be lifted.
- The affected arm should not be raised above the shoulder level, as prescribed by the physician.
- Pulling and pushing of heavy objects should be avoided.
- Physically strenuous games like tennis and golf should not be played for at least six weeks after the procedure.
- Simple exercise such as walking is recommended.
Cellphones & Pacemakers
Pacemakers are designed in such a way that they can withstand the hindrance from analog cellular but digital cellular phones sometimes interfere with the device. It is advisable to keep the phones away from the area where the pacemaker is placed and should try to use headsets as much as possible.
Security Systems, Metal Detectors & Pacemakers
Serious effects are not likely to take place if an individual passes through the metal detectors after pacemaker implantation. However, if the implanted pacemaker comes in contact with the metal detectors for a long time, then it may prove to be fatal for the patient. Therefore, the patient should avoid standing or sitting very close to the security system.
Home Tools & Pacemakers
Equipment and tools that use magnets or electricity have electromagnetic fields around them. They may temporarily interfere with the functioning of the implanted cardiac device. The patient should stay at least two feet away from the electric generators and industrial welders.
Read here about: Pacemaker Implantation, Recovery & Misconceptions
Are there any medical procedures that may disrupt the cardiac device?
Some of the medical procedures such as MRI scan, electro-cauterization process carried out during surgery and shock-wave lithotrisy carried out for removing kidney stones may upset the functioning of a pacemaker and should be avoided by the patient.