Implantable Cardiac DevicesAn Overview
In most cases, an arrhythmia occurs as a result of an electrical disturbance of the heart. In certain cases, a patient may need a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to help control abnormal heart rhythm.
Our team at Buckeye Heart & Vascular Institute can work with patients to determine if an implantable cardiac device is right for their specific needs. Our cardiologist may perform one or more series of tests to determine which type of implantable cardiac device best suits each patient’s needs.
Implantable Cardiac Device Checks: Our board-certified electrophysiologist also offers in-office device checks to ensure devices are functioning appropriately.
Implantable Cardiac Devices What to Expect
A cardiac pacemaker is an implantable device that sends electrical pulses to the heart to return it to the normal rhythm. A pacemaker is typically implanted in the chest just below the collarbone. A pacemaker can be used to address the electrical signal in the heart that causes arrhythmias.
Pacemakers can be used to:
- Address a slow heartbeat
- Control a fast or irregular heart rhythm
- Prevent dangerous arrhythmias
A pacemaker can be temporary or permanent. Temporary pacemakers are typically used during emergency situations. Permanent pacemakers can help patients manage and control a wide range of heart rhythm concerns.
Why is a pacemaker recommended?
A pacemaker may be introduced to a patient with heart block, bradycardia, atrial fibrillation, syncope, long QT syndrome, or other arrhythmia related concerns.
A doctor will perform a series of tests to determine if pacemaker implantation or another treatment is right for your needs. To determine if a patient needs a pacemaker, a doctor may order an EKG, echocardiogram, Holter or event montoir, stress test, or an electrophysiology study.
Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator
An ICD is a small, battery-powered device that is placed underneath the skin just below the collarbone. When the heart rate exceeds the normal pace, the ICD delivers an electrical pulse to slow down or speed up the heart rate. When the heart is beating erratically, the ICD can detect the abnormal heart rhythm and delivers an electric shock to return the normal heartbeat rhythm. An ICD also records the heart’s rhythm and electrical activity. Information from the recordings can help your doctor tailor your device to meet the demands of your heart
ICD’s are generally used for patients with life-threatening arrhythmias. When the heart beats too fast, too slow, or too irregularly, patients can develop a multitude of symptoms.
Why is an ICD recommended?
An ICD may be recommended to restore normal rhythm and reduce the risk of severe cardiac events. An ICD is programmed to respond to the type of arrhythmia the heart has developed. A doctor may recommend an ICD to children, teens, and adults who have an abnormal heart rhythm. An ICD may also be recommended if:
- A patient has survived a heart attack and cardiac arrest
- A patient has poor heart function
- A patient who has been diagnosed with bradycardia
- A patient who has a genetic condition that affects the heart rhythm
A physician will perform a series of tests to determine if an implantable cardioverter defibrillator is right for your needs.