If you have heart failure or an irregular heartbeat, you might be a candidate for a pacemaker, an implantable device that controls your heartbeat. At Advanced Heart Care Associates, with a location in Henderson, Nevada, and two locations in Las Vegas, Nevada, highly trained cardiologists offer this service for patients who qualify to reduce their risk of serious heart problems. Call one of the offices to learn more or schedule an appointment online today.
A pacemaker is a tiny device that your cardiologist implants into your chest cavity to control the way your heart beats. Pacemaker implantation is a surgical procedure that allows the device to send electrical signals to your heart to correct abnormal beats.
Pacemakers often have two parts: leads, or electrodes, and a pulse generator. The electrodes attach to one or more heart chambers to deliver electrical pulses to it. Other types of pacemakers don’t have any leads, and placement is directly in the heart muscle.
The pulse generator is a tiny metal container that holds a battery and electrical circuits, which control the pulses sent to your heart.
Your Advanced Heart Care Associates specialist could recommend a pacemaker if you have a slow heartbeat because of a heart attack or if you have ongoing problems associated with an irregular heartbeat. You might also need a pacemaker if you have heart failure.
Your Advanced Heart Care Associates provider lets you know if you need a pacemaker after reviewing your medical history and symptoms, checking your vital signs, and completing a physical exam. They may order heart-function tests, such as an electrocardiogram (EKG), Holter monitoring, stress test, or an echocardiogram.
Follow your cardiologist’s instructions prior to receiving a pacemaker. Avoid foods, drinks, and taking certain medications before the procedure if your specialist asks you to, and arrange for someone to drive you home afterward.
Before you receive a pacemaker, your provider numbs the treatment area and offers a sedative to help you relax. They may also give you general anesthesia to make you fall asleep.
Your surgeon then cleans your chest and inserts wires into your heart using X-ray guidance. They implant a pulse generator under your skin beneath your collarbone or, sometimes, directly in your heart muscle.
Follow all post-surgery instructions after getting a pacemaker. You might have to stay in the surgery center for a day or so. Your cardiologist programs the pacemaker based on your personalized heart rhythm needs. Have a family member or friend drive you home.
Avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise until your doctor gives you permission and take all medications as directed.
You might have to make lifestyle changes, such as keeping a cell phone a certain distance away from the pacemaker, avoiding airport security systems, and letting other medical professionals know that you have a pacemaker. Stay at least several feet away from power-generating equipment.
Your cardiologist might check your pacemaker every 3-6 months, and they can often evaluate it remotely. Contact your cardiologist if you notice any new or unusual symptoms. Pacemaker batteries usually last 5-15 years and need replacement after they wear down.
To learn more about pacemakers and find out if they’re right for you, call Advanced Heart Care Associates or schedule an appointment online today.