Slow hearts sometime just need a little help and that’s where the pacemaker comes in as McLeod Electrophysiologist Dr. Prabal Guha explains.
Here’s a summary of Dr. Guha’s remarks:
A pacemaker is a small device with electrical wires that acts as a stimulator to keep the heart going at a certain rate. In some people, the heart will run very slowly. We implant a pacemaker, where small wires from the pacemaker are connected into the heart to keep monitoring it. And if it requires any intervention, the pacemaker starts giving small electrical pulses to keep the heart going at the right rate. Some newer pacemakers do not even have wires and can be placed directly inside the heart.
In that case, a pacemaker is most commonly used in people with very slow heart rate. They start getting tired and dizzy. Sometimes patients undergo surgery that causes the heart to slow down. In other cases, a patient requires medications absolutely essential for them, but the medicine itself can slow the heart down. Then we put in a pacemaker so that we can keep the heart rate up and maintain their medications.
One misconception about pacemakers is that someone who has one, they’re tied down. Their lifestyle is going to change. Yet, it’s just the opposite. Putting in a pacemaker helps a person lead a much better lifestyle. There is nothing to be scared of getting a pacemaker. It is a small surgical implant. The procedure is very safe and it is supported by experts in the field. And once we get it in, you should be able to live your normal lifestyle or even better than before.
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