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Pacemaker: What is a Pacemaker and How it Works?

Dr. Garima Sharma 90% (447 ratings)
MBBS
General Physician, Fatehabad  •  9 years experience
Pacemaker: What is a Pacemaker and How it Works?

There are various types of cardiac problems like coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis, congestive heart disease or arrhythmia that can impact your well-being. Arrhythmia, also known as irregular heartbeat, is a common condition and your doctor will suggest a pacemaker implantation for treating it.  

What is a pacemaker?

A pacemaker is a small device that operates with the help of a battery, and regulates the heartbeat. It is implanted near the chest or the abdomen, with the help of a surgery. Conditions in which pacemaker implantation is required are:

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Slow heartbeat

  • Cardiac arrest or heart attack

Tests that determine implantation of pacemaker

To undergo pacemaker implantation, your doctor will suggest a few tests to check the working of heart. Here is a list of tests:

  • Echocardiogram: It helps to measure the thickness and size of the heart muscle

  • Electrocardiogram: It helps to measure the pace at which the heart is sending the signals

  • Holter monitoring: It helps to monitor the heart rhythm for 24 hours

  • Stress test monitor: It helps to check the heart rate under conditions like exercising

How does a pacemaker work?

Pacemaker works on sensors. It senses your heart’s activity, breathing rate, and body movements. On this basis it sends a signal if you have missed the rhythm or pulse.  It consists of two parts a pulse generator and leads, which vary from one to three, depending upon the type of pacemaker. The pulse generator operates with the help of a battery and has a small circuit, which is connected to the leads, that send an electrical impulse to the heart.

Pacemakers are considered life saving and can significantly improve your quality of life. Your doctor will suggest, the kind of pacemaker that is required as per your condition. A regular follow up after every six months is recommended, to check if the pacemaker is functioning properly.

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