What is a Pacemaker?A pacemaker is a battery-operated device, it is quite small in size and weigh as little as 1 ounce. Its main function is to find out when the heart is beating erratically or too slowly and help in regulating the rhythm of the heart along with the rate at which it beats. Pacemakers usually have two parts:
- First part that contains the battery and the information to control the heartbeat is called a generator.
- Second part is the leads, the wires that carry the electrical messages to the heart and thus connect the heart to the generator.
Why is a Pacemaker required?For the people have heart problems that cause their heart to beat too slowly Pacemakers are quite useful. This condition of errtic or slow heart beating is known as bradycardia. Heart block and sinus node disease are the two most common tribulations that cause a slow heartbeat. It may also be used to control Tachycardia in this condition the heart rate is too fast or irregular.
The body and brain does not get enough oxygen when the heart beats slowly. Problems like lightheadedness, tiredness, fainting spells, and shortness of breath may be resulted by this lack of oxygen.
How is the surgery performed?Unlike Open heart surgery a Pacemaker implantation is a minimal invasive surgery. following two approaches may be used to fix a pacemaker:
The endocardial or the transvenous approach is the most common technique. To numb the area a local anesthesia is first given than usually on the left side of the chest below the collarbone an incision is made, where the leads and pacemaker are inserted. Through the incision the leads are inserted and passed onto the vein and with the aid of the fluoroscopy machine then guided to the heart. This lead tip is appended to the heart muscle, while the other end of the lead which is attached to the pulse generator is placed in a pocket created under the skin in the upper chest.
The epicardial approach as compared to adults is commonly used in children. To numb the area a local anesthesia is first given. In this the lead tip is attached to the heart muscle and the other end of the lead is placed under the skin in the abdomen in a pocket.
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