If your cardiologist notices that your heartbeat is irregular, they might recommend a pacemaker. A pacemaker is an implanted cardiac device that can help regulate the rhythm of your heart. After a consultation like this, you may be left with questions about how this can affect your daily life. Buckeye Heart and Vascular Institute in Dayton, OH breaks down what to expect with a pacemaker.
What does a pacemaker do?
A pacemaker consists of a compact generator and several wires inserted into the body just below the collarbone. The device sends electrical pulses from the generator, through the wires, and to the heart so that it will pump at an appropriate rhythm. The device often features a sensor that monitors your heart rate so it can ascertain when to send the pulses. The pacemaker is meant to be a replacement for your heart’s natural rhythm. If your heartbeat is too slow, too fast, or irregular, your doctor might recommend a pacemaker.
What is the insertion procedure?
The insertion of the pacemaker is often an outpatient procedure, meaning you may leave the hospital once the surgery is complete. Your doctor will provide guidelines on how to prepare before the insertion. When you arrive at the hospital, you will receive an IV. Sedation medication will be given through this IV. While the sedation will relax you, you will likely still be awake for the procedure.
The surgeon will back an incision just below your collarbone, connect the wires to your heart, and implant the device just outside your heart. After the device is tested to ensure it is working properly, the surgeon will close the incision. You will be observed for a short amount of time to recover and monitor your vitals. If this was an outpatient procedure, you will be allowed to go home once you are stable.
What do I do now that I have a pacemaker?
You should be able to return to your daily routine within a few days of the insertion of your pacemaker. Your doctor might recommend avoiding lifting or pulling actions for several weeks. If you experience fever, palpitations, or pain or redness at the incision site, you should notify your doctor. You should carry a medical ID and medical bracelet with information that you have a pacemaker.
High voltage machinery, large motors, and MRI machines should be avoided, as the magnetic field can affect the function of your pacemaker. While participating in physical activity, you should protect the area around your pacemaker from potential impact trauma. Contact your doctor if you have any concerns.
Pacemakers and other cardiac devices in Dayton, OH
Buckeye Heart and Vascular Institute offers insertions for cardiac devices, such as a pacemaker, for patients in Dayton, OH. We also provide a variety of testing and ultrasound service for cardiovascular patients. To schedule an appointment with us, contact our office online or by phone at 937.203.8602.