If you have an irregular heartbeat, a pacemaker can control your heart rate to protect your health. At Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center in Tomball, Texas, Waqar Khan, MD, MPH, FACC, FSCAI, Alexander Trujillo, MD, and Steven Napierkowski, MD, provide expert pacemaker implantation procedures. If you need a pacemaker, call Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center, or schedule a consultation online today.
A pacemaker is an implantable device that uses electrical pulses to control your heart rhythm and correct arrhythmias. The device corrects faulty electrical signaling in your heart that causes rapid, slow, or irregular heart rhythms. A pacemaker can also:
Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center often recommends pacemakers if heart disease or aging disrupts the electrical activity in your heart and leads to an arrhythmia such as atrial fibrillation or bradycardia.
The doctors at Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center provide thorough exams and diagnostic testing to evaluate your cardiovascular health and identify the best treatment to restore and protect your health, such as a pacemaker. Common symptoms a pacemaker corrects include fainting, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
Your doctor usually uses an electrocardiogram to monitor the electrical activity in your heart. They might recommend a Holter monitor to collect information about your heart activity for 24-48 hours.
They also provide electrophysiology studies, echocardiograms, and stress tests to assess your heart activity.
The physicians also provide implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs). An ICD is similar to a pacemaker but uses higher energy electrical impulses to treat specific dangerous arrhythmias. For example, your doctor might combine a pacemaker and ICD to correct rapid rhythms.
Pacemaker implantation is a minor surgery that only takes a few hours. Your physician provides anesthesia to help you relax or sleep through the procedure. They also use a local anesthetic to numb the implantation site.
Your physician begins by using a needle to insert the pacemaker wires into the correct location of your heart. They use X-rays to guide the needle and ensure the right placement.
Then, your doctor makes a small incision in your chest or abdomen. They insert the pacemaker device and connect it to the wires leading into your heart. Once the pacemaker is secure, your doctor closes the incision with sutures.
You typically need to stay overnight after pacemaker implantation so your doctor can monitor your heart rate and ensure your pacemaker is programmed and working correctly.
You might have some tenderness or swelling at the implantation site as your body heals. Your doctor can recommend over-the-counter anti-inflammatories to relieve any discomfort.
It would be best if you also avoided vigorous activities for about a month, but can get back to your regular responsibilities within a few days. Your doctor also provides information about staying away from devices that generate magnetic fields or electrical interference that could affect your pacemaker.
Call Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center, or make an appointment online today, if you’re concerned about a heart arrhythmia or want to find out if a pacemaker is right for you.