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Pacemaker: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

A person who has abnormal heart rhythms may require a pacemaker to be placed in the heart or abdomen. It is a small device that is primarily used to treat arrhythmias, which happens when there is a problem with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat. A person who suffers from this condition either has his/her beating too fast or too slow or in an irregular rhythm. Arrhythmia is caused due to faulty electrical signaling in the heart. The pacemaker uses low-energy electrical pulses to overcome the faulty signaling.

Pacemakers can help to speed up a slow heart rhythm, ensure that the ventricles contract properly if the atria are not working properly, help to control the heart if it has an abnormal rhythm, coordinates electrical signaling between the lower and the upper parts of the heart. Some pacemakers which are used to treat heart failure are called resynchronization therapy devices and they help to coordinate electrical signaling between the ventricles. They also help to treat a disorder called long QT syndrome that can lead to dangerous arrhythmias.

Tachycardia and bradycardia are conditions that occur when the heartbeat is too fast or too slow respectively. During such conditions, the heart is unable to pump blood properly to the body and this can cause symptoms like fatigue, shortness of breath and/or fainting. If the condition gets too severe, a person’s vital organs may get damaged or he/she may even lose consciousness. A pacemaker helps a person to get relief from some of these symptoms and can also help a person with an abnormal heart rhythm to lead a better life.

How is the treatment done?

The most common causes why a person needs to get a pacemaker installed are if he/she suffers from bradycardia or blockage of the heart. A pacemaker consists of a computerized generator, a battery and wires which have sensors at their tips. The generator is connected to the heart with the help of the wires and the battery powers the generator. The heart’s electrical activity is monitored by the electrodes, which then sends the data through the wires to the computer located in the generator. The computer will direct the generator to send electrical impulses to the heart if it finds that the heart rhythm is abnormal. The pulses reach the heart through the wires and ensure its normal functioning.

Pacemakers can also monitor blood temperature, breathing pattern and can even adjust the heart rate to the changes in a person’s activities. It records the heart rhythm and its electrical activity. These recordings help a doctor to adjust the pacemaker according to a person’s own needs.

There can be up to 3 wires in a pacemaker and they are usually placed in different chambers of the heart. In a single chamber pacemaker, the wires carry pulses to the right ventricle from the generator. In a dual-chamber pacemaker, pulses are carried to the right atrium and right ventricle from the generator. The pulses also help to coordinate the timing of these two chambers’ contractions. A biventricular pacemaker or cardiac resynchronization therapy device helps to carry pulses from the generator to one atrium and to both the ventricles.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

A person suffering from either of the two types of arrhythmias namely tachycardia or bradycardia is eligible to get a pacemaker installed. These two conditions occur when the heartbeat is either too fast or it is too slow. A person who has a severe heart failure will require a special type of pacemaker called biventricular pacemaker. A person is eligible for getting a pacemaker when his/her body does not enough blood and he/she suffers from fatigue, breathlessness or damage to vital organs. However, a person becomes eligible only after a doctor has checked him/her thoroughly and decided that he/she is a good candidate.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

There are a number of tests that can detect arrhythmias like electrocardiogram, hoiter and event monitors, echocardiography, electrophysiology study and stress test. If the doctor does not find any anomaly with the functioning of a person’s heart after he/she has undergone these tests, he/she will not be eligible to get a pacemaker implanted.

Are there any side effects?

Some of the side-effects associated with a surgery to install a pacemaker are bleeding, bruising, infection at the site of the procedure, damaged blood vessels or nerves and allergic reactions to anesthesia. In rare cases, a person may suffer from a collapsed lung or a punctured heart. However, these complications are rare. A person normally experiences temporary side-effects after getting a pacemaker installed.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

A person undergoing this treatment is expected to stay at the hospital till the doctor is satisfied with the functioning of the pacemaker. A person may suffer from pain, swelling or tenderness of the area where the pacemaker has been placed. Normal pain relieving medicines can help to alleviate the discomfort. Many people are able to return to their normal daily activities within a few weeks. However, he/she will be advised against indulging in strenuous activities for a period of 1 month. A doctor may recommend a person to avoid prolonged contact with electrical devices or devices that have strong magnetic fields. This is because such devices can interfere with the working of the pace-maker.

How long does it take to recover?

Pacemakers help to deal with abnormal heart rhythms. Pacemakers can be both permanent and temporary. Temporary pacemakers are used to treat short-term heart problems while long-term pacemakers are used to control long-term heart rhythm problems. A person generally takes 1 month to recover from the surgery. However, there are certain guidelines that a person needs to follow to keep the device in a good condition. A pacemaker acts to supplement the functions of the heart. So a person who has got a pacemaker installed may need to use it throughout his/her life. There is no recovery period as such.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Normally a pacemaker costs between Rs 45000 and Rs 1.5 lakh in India. However, higher varieties may come between Rs 2.75 lakh and Rs 3 lakh.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

A person is normally required to visit his/her doctor every 3 months after installing the pacemaker. A pacemaker’s functioning is jeopardized if the wires gets dislodged or broken, it the battery gets weak or it fails, if the person’s heart disease progresses or if other devices disrupt the electrical signaling. The battery life of a pacemaker varies between 5 and 15 years and it depends on how active the device is. After the battery has run its course, a doctor will replace both the generator and the battery. Hence, installing a pacemaker may not be a permanent solution.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Magnesium helps to stabilize the heart and people in cardiac intensive care are sometimes given intravenous infusions of magnesium. Research has shown that fish oil helps to prevent dangerous heart arrhythmias. Vitamin C helps to prevent atrial fibrillation that can happen after a person undergoes coronary artery bypass grafting. N-acetyl cysteine also helps to reduce the occurrence of atrial fibrillation, which is a form of arrhythmia.

Safety: Medium Effectiveness: High Timeliness: Medium Relative Risk: Low Side Effects: Low Time For Recovery: Medium Price Range:

Rs 45000 - RS 3 lakhs

Popular Health Tips

Pacemakers - 5 Things To Know!

MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine, DM - Cardiology, Cardiac Device Specialist (CCDS - Physician )
Cardiologist, Delhi
Pacemakers - 5 Things To Know!

1. What is a Pacemaker

Pacemaker is a small battery operated device that can be used to keep the heart beating when the normal electrical conduction of heart becomes diseased. It consists of one pulse generator which contains the battery as well as software and is implanted under muscle or skin under the shoulder. And wires which are connected to the heart and act as electrical wires for conduction. 

2. What are the types of pacemakers? 
There are many types of pacemakers available today. 

  1. Temporary Pacemakers - these are used temporarily when there is a reversible cause of disease or as a bridge before the permanent pacemaker can be implanted. 
  2. Permanent pacemakers - these are small devices which can be implanted permanently in the body by making a small cut in the body. They are available in many different types. 
  3. Capsules pacemakers - These are small capsule shaped devices which can be put in heart and control the conduction from there. 

3. What are the different types of permanent pacemakers? 

Many varieties of Permanent pacemakers are available in the market and are advised depending on the type of disease. The cost varies depending on the type and models. Single chamber pacemakers - which pace only one chamber of the heart. requiring only one wire. Dual chamber pacemakers - which pace both chambers of the heart and require two wires. MRI compatible version of all these pacemakers are now available as well. 

4. How is pacemaker implanted in the body? 

The procedure is done with local anaesthesia, in a cath-lab and can take 2-3 hrs. A small cut is put under the shoulder and the device is put beneath the muscle plane. The cut is then stitched and dressing is done. The stitches are cut or dissolve (if dissolvable sutures are used) in 5-10 days and the patient is discharged the next day after implantation on some pain killers and antibiotics. A small 5 cm scar can be seen at the implant site, and in case sutures are done by a plastic surgeon even that may not be visible. 

5. Can I do normal activities after getting a pacemaker implanted?

Yes. The patient can walk and travel right from the next day after the procedure. There are few precautions that are advised for a month and after that you can do all of your routine normal activities. You can use electrical equipments, microwaves, phones etc. In fact people play tennis, do swimming and other sports after pacemaker. You will be provided with a list of precautions post procedure. And will need to get routine follow up every 3-6 months with your cardiologist for checking of device parameters and battery life. 

When the battery of device becomes low the cardiologist will advice you for a pulse generator replacement. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2134 people found this helpful

Left Ventricular Assist Device - Understanding Its Usage!

Fellowship In Electrophysiology, Fellowship In Interventional Cardiology, DM - Cardiology, MD - Medicine, MBBS
Cardiologist, Delhi
Left Ventricular Assist Device - Understanding Its Usage!

A left ventricular assist device is an electromechanical device used in cases of advanced heart failure. In later stages of heart failure when the heart is weakened and no longer able to pump the necessary amount of blood, a left ventricular assist device can be surgically implanted to assist the heart’s functions.

A left ventricular assist device is often used as a short term solution and is different from a pacemaker, which is a long term cardiac assist device. The cases in which a left ventricular assist device is often used are:

  • As a temporary solution while a cardiac failure patient is on a transplant list or otherwise waiting for a heart transplant.
  • During recovery from cardiac surgery when the heart is not strong enough to function on its own. The device would soon be removed as the patient recovers.
  • During recovery from heart attacks

Having a left ventricular assist device implanted gives the heart time to rest and recover, leading you to the point where your heart can go back to functioning on its own. However, there are cases where a left ventricular assist device can be implanted as a long term solution. This treatment is called Destination Therapy and requires implanting a left ventricular assist device for several months or several years.

How a Left Ventricular Assist Device works?
A Left Ventricular Assist Device can only be surgically implanted. It has both internal and external components with a pump attached to your heart and a controller on the outside of the body. The pump is attached to the heart with a tube that directs blood into the aorta. The pump and the controller are connected through a cable called the driveline. Since the Left Ventricular Assist Device is powered by electricity or batteries, a power source is also worn outside the body and is attached to the controller, powering both the controller and the pump.

How a Left Ventricular Assist Device can affect your lifestyle?
Many people around the world have Left Ventricular Assist Devices implanted on both a temporary and permanent basis. While a person should be resting while recovering from a heart attack or cardiac surgery, it is possible to go about your normal daily life whilst having a Left Ventricular Assist Device implanted. While certain exercises and stress should be avoided when having a heart condition or when implanted with a Left Ventricular Assist Device, with carrying cases for power sources and controller that can operate from various different power sources, it is easy to live a normal productive life. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Cardiologist.

2224 people found this helpful

Everything You Need To Know About Heart Pacemaker

FSCAI (Int Card), FACC (Card), FACP (Int Medicine), MBBS
Cardiologist, Delhi
Everything You Need To Know About Heart Pacemaker

If you had to choose between living a life of restrictions and a life of freedom, you'd choose the latter right? This is a decision most patients have to take when diagnosed with heart disease. However, thanks to medical advancements such as the pacemaker, they get to choose a life of freedom too, just like you.

In simple terms, a pacemaker is a tiny device helps people with irregular heart rhythms to quite effectively, maintain the 'pace' of their normal lifestyle. It is best suited for patients suffering from arrhythmias or the abnormal beating of the heart and heart block as well. As a matter of fact, for many people who have had a pacemaker fitted, things such as fainting, dizziness and other undesirable symptoms which have been known to be part and parcel of arrhythmias have become a thing of the past.

How it Works?

A pacemaker provides for the regular beating of the heart by providing electrical impulses which have a low intensity to the heart so as to induce it to beat in a normal manner. It is a small device which is composed of a battery whose energy works to power a computerized generator and a small albeit intricate system of wires attached to sensors, which are alternatively known as electrodes which observe the functioning of the heart.

For those who are planning to have a pacemaker implanted, it would be reassuring to know that there is a lot of due diligence which is a part of installing a pacemaker. The minor surgery which is required for it to be installed is completed in the span of a few hours.

It is to be noted that even after the installation is complete, a patient will have a day or so spent under the careful and watchful observation of the doctor and nurses so as to make sure that the pacemaker is functioning all but perfectly.

Post Op. Care:

There is a short period of recovery following which a person can resume his or her normal activities. But just as the pacemaker goes a long way in making its wearer's life easier, the wearer has a few responsibilities but there needs to be minimal concern with respect to its maintenance.

The batteries of pacemakers last about six to seven years, and for some pacemakers which are not that active, the battery need not be replaced till about fifteen years after the date of implantation.

Another precaution patients with patients need to take is that they stay out of zones of high magnetic energy, especially for sustained periods.

Besides these minor safety measures there are tremendous benefits of installing a pacemaker. It is truly life changing in every sense of the term. It helps you live life with a dose of renewed vigour, allowing you to indulge without regret!

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3249 people found this helpful

Radiofrequency (RF) - A Novel Approach To Skin Rejuvenation & Skin Tightening!

Diploma in Aesthetic Medicine, MBBS
Cosmetic Physician, Delhi
Radiofrequency (RF) - A Novel Approach To Skin Rejuvenation & Skin Tightening!

As the aging population in our society continues to grow, new technologies and procedures promising a more youthful appearance are continuously sought. The utilization of radiofrequency technology remains a novel method for the treatment of many aesthetic and medical dermatological indications. Innovative applications are constantly identified, expanding treatment options for various patient concerns including aging of the hands, cellulite, non-invasive lipolysis, and postpartum skin laxity. Non-invasive treatments are ideal for busy patients seeking minimal recovery time and so called lunch-time procedures. Furthermore, new developments in treatment devices enhance efficacy while decreasing patient discomfort. 

What is RF treatment? 

Based on the scientific term Radiofrequency (RF), radiofrequency treatment is a non-surgical means of “reshaping” the body and the face from beneath the superficial layer of the skin. This method uses sophisticated devices specifically designed to treat men and women’s most common skin aging problems like wrinkles, excess fatty tissues, or cellulite. The method utilizes radiofrequency waves which is, basically, heat energy meant for tissue remodelling and production of elastin and new collagen.

Unlike invasive procedures which primarily affect the most superficial layers of the skin, the resulting heat of the Radiofrequency treatment works mainly on the deepest layer of the skin, the dermis, without affecting the upper layers that are above it such as the epidermis.

As heat is a stimulation that promotes contraction of the underlying tissues, especially at the dermis level, soft tissues found within that area of the body compress, realign, and even produce new collagen, a process that normally takes many months to complete. With healthy new collagen present from the deepest level of the skin, exposing such soft tissues to further Radiofrequency waves help sculpt and tighten those tissues into a more youthful and elastic surface. 

Benefits of RF treatment 

By now, you may already have an idea on how an RF treatment works with regards to aging problems common to both men and women. But how exactly does anyone experiencing treatment via RF benefits from it? Following are the benefits of RF treatment. 

  1. Diminishes or Removes Cellulite 
  2. Reduction of Body Fats 
  3. Tightening of the Skin/Anti-aging 
  4. Post-operative Liposuction Smoothing 
  5. Contour Reshaping 

Risks of RF treatment 

While the discovery of the Radiofrequency treatment is one of the best things to happen for the skincare industry, it is not perfect. In fact, the treatment itself has its own risks which may be experienced by some clients who undergo this type of medical procedure. 

Common side effects of RF treatment include: 

  1. Redness on the skin 
  2. Mild swelling 
  3. Over sensitivity of treated area 
  4. Sinking in of treated area 
  5. Blistering/bruising 

Who can NOT avail RF for skin tightening? 

Basically, anyone can avail of this form of treatment with a few exceptions such as pregnant or breast-feeding mothers and those with serious heart diseases or patients with pacemakers. 

Why should you Choose RF skin rejuvenation

If you are looking for a safe, painless and a non-surgical form of treatment for skin tightening, then Radiofrequency is the way to go. The procedure does not involve surgery, re-positioning or cutting. In Radiofrequency treatment, the skin tightens due to the introduction of radio frequency energy into the skin. The process generates moderate electrical currents that cause a contraction of the collagen and reshape it, which results in the tightening of the skin. This treatment effectively tightens the dermis as well as the epidermis, while ensuring that your skin remains undamaged. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a cosmetic surgeon.

4576 people found this helpful

Urinary Incontinence in Men - Treatment Options!

MBBS, MS - General Surgery, M. Ch. (Urology), DNB (General Surgery), MBA
Urologist, Noida
Urinary Incontinence in Men - Treatment Options!

Urinary incontinence is a health condition in men, which is caused by loss of bladder control. Urinary incontinence usually occurs in cases of medical conditions such as an enlarged prostate, Parkinson’s disease and diabetes, and may also occur after a prostate surgery. Urinary incontinence is an irritating and embarrassing condition, but with proper treatment, it can be cured. There are several ways to treat this condition which include home remedies as well as medications and surgery. 

Here are several methods used to treat urinary incontinence: 

  1. Caffeine, soda and carbonated drinks cause irritation in the bladder and worsen the symptoms of urinary incontinence. Alcohol is a diuretic and increases the amount of urine too. So abstain from coffee, alcohol and soft drinks to make a difference. 
  2. Dietary adjustments are required for the treatment of urinary incontinence. Several spicy and acidic food items can make urinary incontinence worse. Hence, you should avoid having such foods for some time. 
  3. Urinary incontinence can lead to stress and you must get rid of it for better health. You can try relaxation techniques, such as meditation and breathing exercises. Biofeedback is another option by which you can observe your bladder muscle contractions on a monitor. 
  4. You should try a behavioral technique known as bladder training. This would require you to urinate every half hour, in spite of not having the urge. Slowly try to increase the time in between the bathroom breaks. 
  5. You need to flex your muscles to gain control over urinary incontinence. Kegel exercises can be practiced as they boost the strength of your pelvic muscles. 
  6. You should find the right muscles that are required to stop the passing of gas. 
  7. Pads and disposable undergarments can be used by men. These help in containing leaks and also protect the skin from irritation and odor. 

There are several medicines, which help in the treatment of urinary incontinence in men. Some of these work to relax muscles for preventing unwanted bladder contractions, while others help in blocking the nerve signals to the bladder. Drugs used for the shrinking and treatment of an enlarged prostate are also used as blocked by prostate lead to bladder irritation. Now-a-days, more than 80% cases of incontinence in males respond well to medications.

Surgery may be the ultimate option for the treatment of urinary incontinence. Options depend on the cause of incontinence. If it is because of obstructing prostate, prostate surgery by TURP / HOLEP is curative. If it is because of bladder overactivity, BOTOX injection in bladder is useful. If it is TRUE incontinence after radical prostate surgery then treatment include a male sling or artificial urinary sphincter implantation. In sling operations, a type of material is wrapped around the urethra for compressing it. In Artificial sphincter implantation, a cuff is used in order to close the urethra. Urine is released by squeezing the pump to open the cuff. A Interstim device similar to a pacemaker is used to stimulate nerves, which help in relaxing the bladder and pelvic floor. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an urologist.

2818 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Sir mujhe rights chest me swelling tha jiska hamme operation karwaya biopsy test me tuberculosis abscess nikla uske bad ham anti tuberculosis tablets khana start kiya one month se ab waha swelling kuch kam hua hai lekin body ka weight badh gaya hai body me energy ban nahi pa raha kamjori jaisa lagta hai kya kare jis se body me energy aye.

MBBS, CCEBDM, Diploma in Diabetology, Diploma in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics, Cetificate Course In Thyroid Disorders Management (CCMTD)
Endocrinologist, Hubli-Dharwad
Mr. lybrate-user, Thanks for the query. You have to continue the anti TB treatment till it is completely cured, which may be 6 to 9 months. To reduce general weakness take extra proteis in your day to day diet. If you can consume eggs then add 3 eggs per day (either boilde or fried), take a balanced diet, increase intake of green leafy vegetables and salads. Also exercise regularly to build muscle strength. Plus get your blood checked to see if you have anemia and also diabetes. Thanks.

My father (58) facing heavy cold sweating, sometimes vomiting and low pulse (around 40). This types of symptoms comes within a gap of 8 to 10 days. When it starts, it stay up to 1 or 2 days and after taking any gas medicine it goes up. After that pulse is normal around 70bits/min. Last week, he felt counsesinious and we admitted in hospital. Doctor asking to implant pace maker. Is this a right treatment, they are doing ?Please help me in this regard. Should I change hospital? We also have done angiogram and it shows no blockage. MRI also shows no problems.

General Physician, Mumbai
Mostvimportant clue will be obtained from his ECG. You must mention whatvthe ecg report says. This seems to me as episodes of bradycardia and pulsecrate 40 is possible in complete heart block. When such episode happens, you may ask him to fo very light exercises lije moving his arm abovrvthevhead and bring it down. Repeat a fewvtimes and see if his pulse rate case of complete heart block, there will be no increament of pulse rate with exercise. Waiting on this patient may be risky, so act fast. Take a secong opinion asap, in case of a complete block, a pacemaker is mandatory. Review his medicines he is taking.
1 person found this helpful

I just want to know that what is the life time of the pacemaker. After hows much time pacemaker needs to be replaced.

C.S.C, D.C.H, M.B.B.S
General Physician, Alappuzha
Pacemakers are usually designed to do several things. For the most part, the pacemaker should not need replaced ever (except the battery which will need to be changed about every 10 years). This is because the function they serve will never need to be adjusted. They are not like a cell phone in which a newer version will come out with more features.

Best brand cardiac peacemaker which is use in India and what is difference between single and double chamber pacemaker.

MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine, DM - Cardiology, Cardiac Device Specialist (CCDS - Physician )
Cardiologist, Delhi
Single chamber pacemaker paces only one chamber in heart, dual chamber pacemaker paces 2 chambers in heart. Dual chamber pacing is more similar to the pacing of normal heart and hence is better than single chamber pacing. There are different models available and the difference is same as buying a Audi, BMW or Mercedes meaning that they are all good, each has some or the other features. You can discuss with your treating doctor which will be best suited for you.
2 people found this helpful

Table of Content

What is the treatment?
How is the treatment done?
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
How long does it take to recover?
What is the price of the treatment in India?
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
Play video
Cardiac Devices
A person who has abnormal heart rhythms may require a pacemaker to be placed in the heart or abdomen. It is a small device that is primarily used to treat arrhythmias, which happens when there is a problem with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat. A person who suffers from this condition either has his/her beating too fast or too slow or in an irregular rhythm.
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice