Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists
Cardiovascular Specialists located in Mountain View, CA
If you have an irregular or slow heartbeat, a pacemaker may be the best treatment to regulate your heart rhythm. At Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists, the physician team, has extensive experience implanting pacemakers that relieve your heart symptoms and restore your health. If you develop symptoms of an arrhythmia, such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, and fatigue, call the office in Mountain View, California, or schedule an appointment online.
Pacemaker Q & A
What is a pacemaker?
Your heart has a natural, built-in pacemaker — the sinoatrial node — that normally controls your heartbeat.
The sinoatrial node starts each heartbeat by sending out an electrical impulse. The impulse travels through your heart, triggering muscle contractions in a specific order to ensure they pump blood properly.
When something goes wrong with the heart’s electrical system, a pacemaker may be the best treatment. A pacemaker is a small medical device that’s implanted in your chest.
Once the pacemaker is in place, it sends out low-energy electrical signals that regulate your heartbeat. A pacemaker can:
- Speed up a slow heart rhythm
- Regulate an irregular or fast rhythm
- Coordinate electrical signaling between heart chambers
- Prevent a serious arrhythmia called long QT syndrome
- Pacemakers also monitor and record your heart’s electrical activity and other vital factors.
What heart conditions are treated with a pacemaker?
Pacemakers are used to treat arrhythmias. An arrhythmia develops when something goes wrong with your heart’s electrical system, making your heart beat too slowly, too rapidly, or irregularly.
You can develop an arrhythmia if the sinoatrial node doesn’t fire regularly or when the normal electrical pathway through your heart is blocked.
You can also develop an arrhythmia if you have congestive heart failure. a physican may recommend a pacemaker for a slow or irregular heartbeat.
How does a pacemaker work?
A pacemaker consists of two parts: a pulse generator, which holds a battery and a tiny computer, and lead wires that run from the generator to your heart.
Depending on the problem with your heart’s electrical system, your pacemaker may contain one to three wires that are placed in different chambers inside your heart.
Electrodes at the end of the wires detect your heart’s electrical activity and send the information to the computer. When your heartbeat is abnormal, the computer tells the generator to send electrical pulses to your heart.
What should I expect during surgery to implant a pacemaker?
During pacemaker surgery, you’ll receive IV sedation to help you relax, and a local anesthetic to numb the area where the pacemaker is implanted.
Using X-ray imaging to see your blood vessels and heart, the physican guides the wires through a vein and into your heart, placing the electrodes in the targeted chambers.
The physician makes a small incision, places the pacemaker under your skin, and connects the wires. After testing the pacemaker to be sure it works, the incision is closed.
If you have questions about your heart condition or pacemakers, call Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists or schedule an appointment online.