Heart Pacemaker Surgery

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Today's Technology Has Lowered Heart Pacemaker Surgery Complications

A pacemaker is a small medical device that is placed in the chest or abdomen to regulate the heartbeat of people who have abnormal heart rhythms. When using a pacemaker, the heart will beat at a normal rate prompted by electrical pulses coming from the unit. Because of the advancement of medical equipment and increased knowledge pertaining to the procedure, heart pacemaker surgery is now considered a minor surgery.

The heart has its own electrical system that controls the contraction of the heart muscle and keeps it performing efficiently. However, there are individuals who at times have abnormally slow, or abnormally fast heart beats called arrhythmias. If the heart is beating too slow it is called a bradycardia arrhythmia, and if it is beating too fast it is called a tachycardias arrhythmia. Pacemakers are used to coordinate the bradycardia arrhythmias. The reason for this is if the heart is beating to slow, it may not pump enough blood for the body to function. This can lead to dizziness, fatigue, fainting, and even death. Once heart pacemaker surgery is done, these problems no longer exist.

A pacemaker is made up of two parts; the generator and the leads. The leads are actually only two insulated electric wires. One wire goes from the generator to the right atruim, and the other goes to the right ventricle. If the heart rate becomes too slow, the pacemaker will detect this and transmit an electrical signal to the heart causing it to contract. There are also pace makers with only one, or as many as three leads. The surgical procedure may vary slightly according which unit is being used.

As stated earlier, with the current medical knowledge, aided by the sophisticated equipment modern technology has to offer, heart pacemaker surgery is now considered a minimum invasive operation. This mean there are a lot less risks involved, as well as a much reduced chance for heart pacemaker surgery complications.

During heart pacemaker surgery, the patient will remain awake. First a local anesthesia will be given to numb the area where the pacemaker is going to be implanted. Next a sedative will be presented through the intravenous line to help the patient relax.

After the local anesthesia and sedative have been given, the surgeon will make a small incision just below the collarbone. After the incision is made, one of the leads will be inserted into a vein and slowly advanced to the heart. This procedure is watched closely on a screen which the surgeon uses to watch the progression on the lead as it nears the heart. Once the lead has reached the heart, it is attached to part of the tissue so it can be tested to be certain it is operating correctly. This is done by sending small electric signals to the lead and observing how the heart reacts.

Once the surgeon is confident the lead is working properly, it is attached to the heart. After this is done the surgeon makes an incision just large enough to put the generator portion of the pacemaker. The is then connected to the generator and it is placed in the incision just below the surface of the skin. The new pacemakers are only around ½ inch long and ½ inch wide, so it will not be that noticeable or bothersome. After the pacemaker is in place, the incision is closed and the patient will be hooked up to a heart monitor for observation for the next few hours. Heart pacemaker surgery only takes one to two hours and the patient is able to go home the next day. Most modern pacemakers are good for 8-10 years.

After your surgery there may be a few days of discomfort, but nothing serious. You will be given prescriptions for you medication and a list suggestions for the care of your pacemaker and your body in general. Your doctor will answer any questions you may have concerning your recovery period.

After you have recovered fully from your surgery, you will have implant checkups on a regular basis. During your checkups, your doctor will make sure your pacemaker is functioning properly and assess any changes which may be needed in medications. Be sure and follow all diet, exercise and any other instructions your physician has given you as it will help avoid any heart pacemaker surgery complications.

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