Pacemakers are small medical devices that help control your heartbeat, often used to regulate an arrhythmia or support a weakened heart. The cardiologists at Modern Heart and Vascular can help you understand your options and decide whether you need a pacemaker for your condition.
What Is a Pacemaker?
Your heart is a muscle that moves blood throughout your body. When working correctly, the heart produces electrical signals that cause its muscle to contract, pumping blood through your blood vessels to your other organs. Disruptions to this system can be serious. With an irregular or weak heartbeat, your brain and body might not receive enough oxygen-rich blood to function properly.
A pacemaker is a small device that helps control your heartbeat to avoid disruptions. Pacemakers mimic the natural conduction process, sending small electrical signals to the heart to generate muscle contractions. These implants can regulate an arrhythmia or assist a weakened heart to ensure adequate blood flow throughout the body and avoid dangerous symptoms.
How a Pacemaker Works
Pacemakers come in various styles depending on your condition and the problem they’re built to solve. They can be temporary or permanent. Short-term pacemakers are often used to regulate a slow heartbeat following surgery or a heart attack. A long-term pacemaker might be necessary to correct a lifelong irregular heartbeat or treat heart failure.
Inserting a pacemaker is a surgical procedure. Most devices consist of a pulse generator, which holds the electrical circuitry and batteries, and wire leads that connect to the heart. The pacemaker monitors your heart rate and sends electrical impulses to correct your heartbeat when needed.
Uses of a Pacemaker
Several conditions might lead you and your doctor to consider a pacemaker. One of the most common uses of a pacemaker is to correct an arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat. While some arrhythmias are harmless, others can affect your heart’s ability to pump blood. Conduction system malfunctions, birth defects, medications and other causes can pose a serious risk to your health. The purpose of a pacemaker is to manage those conditions and ensure a regular, healthy heart rate throughout your life.
Your doctor might also recommend a pacemaker when your heart is weak or cannot pump enough blood on its own. Muscle damage after a heart attack, congenital defects, congestive heart failure and other conditions disrupt your heart’s ability to contract efficiently. These malfunctions can lead to symptoms like fatigue and lightheadedness or put you at risk of a medical emergency. A pacemaker offers extra support to a weakened heart to ensure it receives the electrical signals it needs to maintain a sufficient and regular heartbeat.
Talk to a Cardiologist Today
Finding the right cardiologist to guide you through the pacemaker process is essential. At Modern Heart and Vascular, we’re passionate about helping our patients understand their options and make the best choices for their heart health. Our cardiologists use cutting-edge technology to offer patient-focused care for a range of cardiac conditions, including pacemakers for arrhythmia and heart failure.
To learn more or consult with a cardiologist about whether a pacemaker is the right option for you, contact us online and request an appointment today.
This page does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you need cardiovascular care, please call us at 832-644-8930.