© All rights reserved galwayclinic.com 2013
Galway Cardiology
Galway Clinic Facebook page
Tel: +353 (0) 91720170                         brendan.ocochlain@galwayclinic.com

What is a pacemaker?

A pacemaker is a device that sends small electrical impulses to the heart muscle to maintain a suitable heart rate or to stimulate the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles). The pacemaker has an accelerometer or motion detector that is built into it. It will speed up the heart rate with activity and restore it back as close to normal as possible. People with slow heart rates and heart rates that do not increase with activity will benefit from a

Types of pacemakers

The types of pacemakers are listed below. Your doctor will decide what type of pacemaker you need based on your heart condition. Your doctor also determines the minimum rate (lowest heart rate) to set your pacemaker. When your heart rate drops below the set rate, the pacemaker generates (fires) an impulse that passes through the lead to the heart muscle. This causes the heart muscle to contract, creating a heartbeat.

Pacemaker Implant / Biventricular pacemaker

Why do I need a pacemaker?

With ageing, the hearts electrical system can develop scar tissue leading to a slow heart rate or a failure of conduction of electrical impulses through the heart

Is the procedure safe?

A pacemaker implant is generally a very safe procedure. However, as with any invasive procedure, there are risks. Special precautions are taken to decrease any risks..

Where is the procedure performed?

In most cases, the pacemaker implant procedure takes place in either the electrophysiology lab or in the surgical theatre.

How long does the procedure last?

The pacemaker implant procedure usually lasts about an hour.

After the Procedure Will I have to stay in the hospital?

Yes. You will be admitted to the hospital and stay overnight after the procedure. Usually you will be able to go home the day after your pacemaker was implanted.

Biventricular Pacemaker

What is cardiac resynchronization therapy? Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) is used to treat the delay in heart ventricle contractions that occur in some people with advanced heart failure Heart failure means the heart’s pumping power is weaker than normal. With heart failure, blood moves through the heart and body at a slower rate, and pressure in the heart increases. A delay between the contraction of the right and left ventricles often occurs with heart failure, so the walls of the left ventricle are unable to contract at the same time. The CRT pacing device (also called a biventricular pacemaker) is an electronic, battery-powered device that is surgically implanted under the skin. The device has 2 or 3 leads (wires) that are positioned in the heart to help the heart beat in a more balanced way. The leads are implanted through a vein in the right atrium and right ventricle and into the coronary sinus vein to pace the left ventricle.

How it works:

In some patients with heart failure the electrical impulses travel slowly through the heart leading to inefficient contraction and leaking of the mitral valve. This results in shortness of breath on exertion and worsening heart failure. These patients have a condition called left bundle branch block. The biventricular pacemaker corrects the condition as there are pacemaker leads to pace the upper chambers and two lower chambers in a normal organised fashion. In patients with a dilated weakened heart (dilated cardiomyopathy), the pacemaker can lead to a significant improvement in exercise tolerance and reduced heart failure symptoms.
Home About Dr O Cochlain Hearts electrical system Site map Atrial Fibrillation Catheter ablation Supraventicular tachycardia Arrhythmia Supraventricular tachycardia Ventricular arrhythmias Palpitations Hearts Electrical system Atrial fibrillation Sudden cardiac arrest