A pacemaker is a small battery-operated device that senses when the heart is beating irregularly or too slowly. It sends a signal to the heart to make it beat at the correct pace.
Learn more about Arrhythmias
Newer pacemakers weigh as little as 1 ounce. A pacemaker usually has two parts:
A generator containing the battery and the information to control the heartbeat
Leads or wires that connect the heart to the generator and carry the electrical messages to the heart
A pacemaker must be implanted under the skin. This procedure usually takes about an hour.
The procedure involves making a small incision, usually on the left side of the chest below the collarbone. The pacemaker generator is then placed under the skin at this location.
Using live x-rays to see the area, the physician puts the leads through the incision, into a vein and then into the heart. The leads are connected to the generator. The skin is closed with stitches. Most patients go home within one day after the procedure and return to normal activity levels quickly.
After the Procedure:
When patients leave the hospital, they will be given a card to keep in their wallets. This card lists the details of the pacemaker and has contact information for emergencies. Patients should always carry this card with them.
Texas Health is committed to providing quality care to heart and vascular patients throughout North Texas and beyond. While various technologies and services are discussed here, not all of our hospitals offer every treatment and diagnostic technology highlighted. Call 1-877-THR-WELL to learn more about heart and vascular services at a Texas Health hospital near you.
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