What are the different kinds of Heart Pacemakers ?
Heart Pacemaker can be : -
Permanent (internal) Heart Pacemaker : - This kind of Heart Pacemaker is implanted in a small pocket under your skin and is meant to be left in there for the rest of your life.
Temporary (external) Heart Pacemaker : - This is used for initial stabilization of the patient during a cardiac crisis.
Temporary Pacemaker :
Temporary pacemaker insertion is necessary for short term treatment of a slow heart rate which is causing symptoms, such as dizziness or a drop in blood pressure. It is a small catheter with a pacing electrode on the tip which is inserted through a vessel in the groin or neck.
The pacing catheter is advanced into the heart and programmed to stimulate the heart to beat at a more regular rhythm. This is a temporary measure, and in some cases precedes a permanent pacemaker implant.
Demand Heart Pacemaker - This kind of Heart Pacemaker has an inbuilt sensing device which senses when the heart beat is too slow and turns the signal on. Once the heart beat is above a certain level, it automatically turns the signal off.
Single Chamber Heart Pacemaker - This kind of device has one lead to carry signals to and from one chamber of your heart, either the right atrium or, more commonly, the right ventricle.
Dual Chamber Heart Pacemaker - This kind of Heart Pacemaker has 2 leads and can monitor and deliver impulses to either or both of the heart chambers.
Adaptive-Rate Heart Pacemaker or Rate-responsive Heart Pacemaker - This kind of Heart Pacemaker automatically increases the pacing rate to meet the body's changing need.
Which type of pacemaker will be suitable for me ?
The type of pacemaker depends upon your medical history, physical condition, the nature of your heart condition, and the level of activity you normally incorporate into your lifestyle. Your doctor's goal in treating your heart rhythm disturbance is to provide the best possible therapy for you.
How is the pacemaker implanted ?
Pacemaker surgery is often done using a local anesthetic and the person returns home the same day. Occasionally, a patient might be admitted to the hospital for a day.
The surgical procedure includes these steps : -
An incision is made for the pacemaker. (This may be on either side of the chest or in the abdomen.
The leads are inserted into a vein and guided to the heart.
The leads are connected to the pacemaker.
The pacemaker and leads are tested.
The incision is closed.
The pacemaker is programmed.
Why is a Heart Pacemaker required ?
A Heart Pacemaker is used to stabilize dangerously slow heart beats (bradycardia) (less than 60 beats per minute). Slow heart beats can result from metabolic abnormalities, blocked arteries to the heart's conduction system, Sick Sinus Syndrome or SA node dysfunction (commonly caused by congenital heart defects, illnesses, cardiotoxic drugs, the natural aging process, or scar tissue from a heart attack), heart block or cardiac surgery. Because of this, the heart is not able to meet the body's demands, resulting in symptoms such as dizziness, extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, or fainting spells. Whatever the cause of symptomatic bradycardia, a pacemaker can keep the heart beating at a rate that allows to continue living a normal life.
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