The body's natural pacemaker, the sinoatrial (SA) node, is not working properly—this can cause the heart to beat too slowly
There are malfunctions in the atrioventricular (AV) node, which is the part of the heart’s electrical system that sends signals from the SA node to the ventricles—this leads to a slow heartbeat
Heart performance in people with severe symptoms of
and a weakened heart muscle, known as
cardiomyopathy, needs to be improved—his is called biventricular pacing, or cardiac resynchronization therapy
Heart surgery is being done
Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review possible problems such as:
Inappropriate stimulation of the diaphragm, the large muscle between the chest and abdominal cavities
Talk to your doctor about your medicines. You may need to stop some up to 1 week in advance.
The night before, eat a light meal. Don't eat or drink anything after midnight.
Local anesthesia is used to numb the area.
Description of the Procedure
You will lie flat on a table. A small cut will be made beneath the collarbone. The pacemaker is placed through the cut. The wires (called leads) will be threaded through a vein from the collarbone to the heart. Lastly, the cut will be stitched closed.
Immediately After Procedure
Your heart rate and blood pressure will be monitored.
How Long Will It Take?
About 2 hours
How Much Will It Hurt?
The anesthesia will prevent pain during the procedure. Medicines will help with pain afterward.
The pacemaker will be programmed to fit your pacing needs. Once everything is working properly and you have no problems, you can go home.
Avoid strenuous activity, especially involving the upper body, for 4-6 weeks.
Avoid excessive movement of the arm and shoulder on the side of the pacemaker for 2 weeks. This will help you to avoid dislodging the leads. You may be given a sling to wear to help remind you.
Now that you have a pacemaker,
you may need to avoid:
Pacemaker. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Arrhythmia/PreventionTreatmentofArrhythmia/Pacemaker_UCM_448480_Article.jsp#.W0O4YtVKhQI. Updated December 21, 2016. Accessed July 9, 2018.
Pacemaker insertion. Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/test_procedures/cardiovascular/pacemaker_insertion_92,p07980. Accessed July 9, 2018.
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