The treatment of heart disease has come a long way and one of the more important and fairly common devices used to correct rhythmic problems of the heart is a pacemaker. A pacemaker is a device which is put inside the chest or sometimes even the abdomen to send electrical pulses to the heart to keep it beating at a normal rate.
Pacemaker for heart failure
However, the implications in case of heart failure make the usage of the pacemaker much more complicated. In such cases, the device used is a special type of pacemaker which is also called a bi-ventricular pacemaker. This device sends electrical signals to pump the ventricles of the heart so that they can pump at the same time.
There are many factors to be aware of before undergoing this treatment. Some of the factors to consider are mentioned below.
- Requirement for a pacemaker in case of heart failure - When a patient has heart failure, their ventricles or lower chambers of the heart aren't able to pump enough blood into it. This could be due to physical problems with the heart or problems with the electrical system within it which cannot function normally. The doctor will perform multiple tests to determine whether a patient is the right candidate for a pacemaker for heart failure.
- The procedure - In most cases the device is fitted into the chest and it is done without an open heart surgery. Precautions and post operative care for a minor surgery should be followed. The doctor makes a minor incision on the chest and then inserts the device along with three leads which are connected to the ventricles to ensure they keep pumping properly. Sometimes another device known as the ICD or the implantable cardioverter-defibrillator may be put in to shock the heart back to a normal rhythm in extreme cases where the change of sudden death from high heart rate is a possibility.
- Immediate post operative care - As mentioned above, the surgery involved in putting a pacemaker is a minor one and the patient is usually discharged in next 2-3 days or may be more depending on the comorbidities & complexity of the scenario. However, in most cases, people can go home the next day fairly easily although some monitoring is done for the next few days with daily reporting.