A Simple Explanation
The procedure to implant a Pacemaker, which regulates the beating of the heart, to a heart patient, who has conduction problem.
Pacemaker – The Device
A pacemaker is a small device about the size of a matchbox that weighs 20-50g. It consists of a pulse generator – which has a battery and a tiny computer circuit – and one or two wires, known as pacing leads, which is attached to the patient’s heart.
The pulse generator emits electrical impulses through the wires to the heart. The rate at which the electrical impulses are sent out is called the pacing rate.
Most of the modern pacemakers work on demand, they can be programmed to adjust the discharge rate in response to the patient’s body needs. If the pacemaker senses that your heart has missed a beat or is beating too slowly, it sends signals at a steady rate. If it senses that your heart is beating normally by itself, it doesn't send out any signals.
Most pacemakers have a special sensor that recognizes body movement or your breathing rate. This allows them to speed up the discharge rate when you're active. Doctors describe this as rate responsive.
Implantation Of the Pacemaker
The Pacemaker Implantation is done through a simple surgery using local anesthesia.
The patient will have a preoperative assessment, to check if he/she is fit for the surgery.
Blood Tests and X-rays are taken to prevent further delay.
Patient will be asked about any additional medical problems, Previous Operations that the patient might have had.
Patient’s medications, allergies and reactions to anaesthetics will be closely observed.
In order to improve health and quick recovery, the patient will be asked to stop smoking and drinking alcohol, go on a healthy diet with exercise.
Patient will have to refrain from eating and drinking before the surgery.
A small incision, approximately 2 inches long will be made in the left upper chest.
One or two leads (thin insulated wires) will be guided through a vein into the heart.
The doctor will then connect the lead(s) to the pacemaker and program the device for the patient’s medical needs.
Then the pacemaker will be inserted beneath the skin, usually under the collarbone and the incision in the chest is closed.
The doctor will test the pacemaker to ensure it is working properly to meet the patient’s medical needs
The patient usually stays in the hospital overnight and go home the next day with instructions on caring for the incision.
The doctor will advise the patient to limit the use of the arm, near the implant site.
There may be a slight bulge visible under the skin where the device is located. The leads are very thin and will not be visible.
The patient is provided with a pacemaker patient identification card to be kept closely. This card lists the details of the pacemaker and contact information for emergencies.
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