Pacemakers

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If your heart beats too slowly or irregularly, you may need a pacemaker — an implantable heart device that works to restore a normal heartbeat. This device is implanted in your chest and delivers regular electrical pulses that help maintain proper rhythm of your heart.

If you have bradycardia, arrhythmia or heart failure and your condition has not responded to medication, your doctor may discuss the possibility of a pacemaker.

Expertise Using Pacemakers to Treat Heart Conditions

At Houston Methodist, our heart specialists have extensive expertise in the pacemaker procedures needed to effectively manage various heart conditions. In fact, our experts implant hundreds of these devices every year.

There are several different types of pacemakers, and your doctor will discuss with you which type of pacemaker is best for treating your specific heart condition.

How a Pacemaker Is Implanted

An electrophysiologist who specializes in implanting heart devices will implant your pacemaker.

During your pacemaker procedure, your electrophysiologist will make an incision just below your collarbone to create a “pocket” for the pacemaker. Using imaging technology, he or she will then attach the lead(s) — wires threaded through the veins to deliver electrical signals — between your pacemaker and your heart.

Occasionally, “leadless pacemakers” are implanted via the veins in the groin, which do not require an incision below the collarbone.

After your pacemaker procedure, you may need to stay in the hospital overnight. Before you go home, your doctor will give you very specific instructions on what you should and should not do for the following four to six weeks.

Once you recover from your pacemaker procedure, you should be able to resume most of your normal activities, including sports and exercise. Routine visits are required to check your pacemaker for proper operation and to perform any routine maintenance needed.

 

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