A pacemaker is a small, battery-powered device used to regulate the heart beat in cases where a patient’s heart beats too slowly (bradycardia). A pacemaker weighs only an ounce and is about the size of a large wrist watch. Pacemakers have two parts: the leads and a pulse generator.
The leads are wires that are carefully threaded through the veins into the heart and touch the heart muscle. The pulse generator is implanted into the body just below the collarbone. When the pacemaker senses that the heart is beating too slowly, it delivers an electrical impulse to the heart muscle, causing it to contract – and the heart to beat faster.
Getting a pacemaker does not require open-heart surgery because the device is implanted in a small pocket made by the physician in the skin under the collarbone. Once implanted, routine monitoring and follow-up care are necessary to ensure the device continues to function properly.
To learn more about pacemakers or other implantable devices available as part of Summa's cardiac care, call us at (888) 496-7168.