Pacemaker Insertion

This is a procedure to insert an artificial pacemaker. A pacemaker is a small, battery-operated device. It helps maintain a normal heartbeat by sending electrical impulses to the heart.

  • Call Your Doctor

    After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
    • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site
    • Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given
    • Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
    • Heartbeat irregularities
    • New symptoms

    In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition

    This is a procedure to insert an artificial pacemaker. A pacemaker is a small, battery-operated device. It helps maintain a normal heartbeat by sending electrical impulses to the heart.

    Pacemaker Insertion
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  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure

    A pacemaker can be inserted when:

    • The body's natural pacemaker, the sinoatrial (SA) node, is not working properly—this can cause the heart to beat too slowly
    • There are malfunctions in the atrioventricular (AV) node, which is the part of the heart’s electrical system that sends signals from the SA node to the ventricles—this leads to a slow heartbeat

    • Heart performance in people with severe symptoms of congestive heart failure and a weakened heart muscle, known as
      cardiomyopathy, needs to be improved—his is called biventricular pacing, or cardiac resynchronization therapy
    • Cardiac surgery is being done

  • Possible Complications

    Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have a pacemaker inserted, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

    • Excess bleeding
    • Infection
    • Pacemaker malfunction
    • Rupture in the heart muscle—rare
    • Inappropriate stimulation of the diaphragm, which is the large muscle between chest and abdominal cavities

    Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

    • Obesity

    • History of
      smoking

    • History of excess
      alcohol
      consumption
    • Bleeding or blood-clotting irregularities
    • Regular use of some medications
    • Chronic disease

    Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the procedure.