A pacemaker is a small, battery-operated device that keeps your heart beating at the right tempo. If you have a heart problem, Amer Zarka, MD, and the team at Good Heart Medical Group, Inc., can determine if a pacemaker is right for you. Located in Santa Ana and Garden Grove, California, the practice specializes in comprehensive, research-based cardiology. To speak with a specialist about your heart health, call or book your appointment online today.
A pacemaker is an effective way to regulate your heartbeat. Your heartbeat is controlled by electrical impulses that cause your heart to contract and pump blood throughout your body. Problems with your heart can affect these electrical impulses and throw off your heart’s rhythm.
An abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia) can lead to serious complications like blood clots, strokes, and heart failure. A pacemaker replaces your heart’s natural electrical system, helping your heart beat more regularly.
A pacemaker consists of a pulse generator and several electrodes. The electrodes are placed near the affected areas of your heart and deliver electrical impulses from the generator.
Modern pacemakers use sensors to detect your body’s motion and breathing, so it only sends out electrical impulses when needed. Pacemakers are implanted under your skin and require a brief surgical procedure.
In most cases, your cardiologist uses a pacemaker to address a slowed heartbeat (bradycardia). Pacemakers can also help if you experience a rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) or heart failure.
In some cases, your doctor may implant a pacemaker temporarily to regulate your heartbeat after a heart attack or surgery. To determine if a pacemaker is right for you, your cardiologist performs an in-depth examination, including a physical exam and discussion of your symptoms.
Typically, your cardiologist conducts several additional tests like an echocardiogram or stress test to determine the source of your heart problem and the most appropriate treatment.
In most cases, your doctor uses local anesthesia during the pacemaker procedure, so you’ll be awake during your surgery. After numbing the surgical area, your doctor uses X-ray images to guide flexible wires through a vein in your collarbone to your heart.
Once your doctor secures the wires to your heart, they attach the other ends of the wires to the pulse generator. Your doctor places the pulse generator beneath your skin near your collarbone and closes your incisions.
You’ll need to stay in the hospital for a day or two to ensure the pacemaker works correctly.
After the procedure, your cardiologist may recommend avoiding vigorous exercise or heavy lifting for a few weeks. You and your cardiologist discuss any special precautions you should take to prevent complications with your new device. Most people with pacemakers lead healthy, active lifestyles.
To find out if a pacemaker is right for you, call Good Heart Medical Group, Inc., or book your appointment online today.