Pacemaker

Overview

A pacemaker is a medical device inserted near the heart to support the heart's electrical system. The heart has its electric system, which allows it beat at regular intervals. However, the electrical system of the heart malfunctions; the heart is unable to pump blood to the body, which disrupts the blood flow. So, to stabilise the electrical system, a pacemaker is used. There are different pacemakers, including Leadless pacemakers, single-chamber pacemakers, dual-chamber pacemakers, and biventricular pacemakers. Generally, the average life span of a pacemaker is around 10 to 15 years.

Who Are the Best Candidates for Pacemaker surgery?

The following conditions may need a pacemaker, including:

  • • Certain heart arrhythmias
  • • Heart failure
  • • History of heart attack
  • • Irregular heartbeat
  • • Heart palpitations
  • • Unexplained confusion
  • • Heart block
  • • Congenital heart conditions

Who Should Not Consider Pacemaker surgery?

The following reasons may not make you a good candidate for septoplasty:

  • • Multiple medical conditions
  • • Bleeding disorder
  • • Unable to tolerate anaesthesia
  • • No heart blockage
  • • Healthy individuals with a stable heartbeat

How to Prepare for Pacemaker Surgery

The doctor will explain the whole process in detail and ask for any allergies or family history of medical conditions. The doctor will also ask to stop taking any over-the-counter drugs or blood-thinning medicines before the surgery. The surgeon will also perform specific tests, including Electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, stress test, and Holter monitoring. The patient is provided with a pre-operative care package, and the medical team will give some specific instructions before the surgery. These may include:

  • • Stop eating and drinking at least a few hours before surgery
  • • Take proper rest
  • • Avoid taking anti-inflammatory drugs
  • • Stop smoking
  • • Wear loose clothes during the hospital visit
  • • Arrange a ride home after the procedure

How Pacemaker Surgery Is Done

The procedure is generally performed on an outpatient basis, though in some cases, one may need to stay in the hospital to keep a check on the vitals. Before the procedure, the patient is taken to the operating room, and the nurse will insert an intravenous (IV) line in the arm or arm to inject medications. The patient is then connected to an ECG monitor those records vital signs. Sedative medication is then administered to help the patient relax. Depending on the type of pacemaker, there are different approaches for inserting the device, including:

  • Endocardial approach. This is one of the most common techniques used to insert a pacemaker. During the process, an incision is made in the chest where the leads and pacemaker are inserted. The leads are inserted into the vein and then guided to the heart. The tip of the lid is attached to the heart muscle, while the other end is attached to the pulse generator.
  • Epicardial approach. This is a less common approach, which requires general anaesthesia. The surgeon makes an incision in the chest and inserts the lead(s) into the surface of the heart. The surgeon then connects the lead(s) to the pacemaker, which is inserted into a pocket under the skin.

Possible Complications

Just like any other surgery, pacemaker surgery may result in the following complications:

  • • Infection near the incision site
  • • Blood clots
  • • Damage to blood vessel
  • • Allergic reactions
  • • Malfunctions of the pacemaker or leads
  • • Collection of fluid

Taking Care of Yourself After Surgery

The patient will likely stay in the hospital for one day after the pacemaker is placed. In some cases, the patient may return on the same day. The doctor will provide a post-operative care package that will include medications and special instructions that need to be followed for a speedy recovery. These may include:

  • • Maintain 6 inches distance from electronic devices like mobile phones and more
  • • Don't keep your cell phone in the pocket
  • • Avoid exposure to metal detectors, high-voltage transformers, electric fences, and more
  • • Take medication on time
  • • Avoid strenuous exercise or heavy weightlifting