The Department of Cardiac Sciences at Vimhans Nayati Super Speciality Hospital is one of the best and most trusted heart centres in the country offering round the clock, robust care for patients suffering from various heart diseases and ailments. The department is managed by some of the leading heart specialists in the country offering all types of pacemaker implantations. Peacemaker is a small electrical device that is placed beneath the chest muscle, below the collar bone, in order to regulate abnormal heart rhythms.
Normally, an adult heart beats around 60 to 100 times in a minute and an infant’s heart beats around 70 to 120 times. Arrhythmia is a condition triggered by an abnormality in the electrical signals that are responsible for coordinating the heartbeats. This causes the heart to beat irregularly. The heart of a patient suffering from arrhythmia either beats too slow or too fast. The former is known as bradycardia and the latter is known as tachycardia.
Working of a Pacemaker
A Pacemaker is a very tiny device that consists of two parts i.e. the leads and the pulse generator. The pulse generator works on batteries and consists of electronic circuitry fixed inside a small metal case which is surgically implanted beneath the skin on chest. The leads, on the other hand, consist of insulated wires that serve as a medium for carrying the pulses generated by the pulse generator to the patient's heart.
The device becomes active as soon as it detects any irregularity in the heart rhythm, even the slightest one. The special sensors present on the pacemakers enable them to detect any physical movement or exertion.
Types of pacemaker
Depending upon the area of the heart that is responsible for triggering arrhythmia as well as the adversity of the patient's condition.
Doctors usually recommend any of these 3 types of pacemakers:
- Single chamber pacemaker - For stimulating on a single chamber of the heart
- Dual-chamber pacemaker - For stimulating the right ventricle and right atrium simultaneously so as to coordinate their contraction.
- Biventricular pacemaker (cardiac resynchronization therapy) - To stimulate both the ventricles in patients experiencing heart failure.
What happens before the procedure?
Preparing for the procedure is as important as the procedure itself. Prior to the pacemaker implantation, you will be required to undergo certain screenings and tests to determine whether you are the right candidate as well as to determine the type of implant that will suit you the best.
- Various pre-surgical screenings and test offered at Vimhans Nayati include:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Holter Monitoring
- Refrain from consuming any food, be it solid or liquid, starting at least 6 hours prior to the surgery.
- Stop taking certain medicines or start taking new ones.
What happens during the procedure?
Pacemaker implantation is carried out under local anaesthesia. Once the anaesthesia has started to kick in, the doctors will clean the surgical site and make an incision to insert the leads in the major veins. These leads are directed towards the heart using special imaging guidance. The pulse generator is carefully implanted beneath the skin inside the chest and programmed as per the requirement of the patient.
What to expect after the procedure?
After the surgical implantation, you will be kept under keen observation for a few hours and then shifted to your room. Patients are usually discharged within 3 to 4 days. You will be required to take some prescribed medications for a few weeks following the surgery. Your doctor will also give you a set of guidelines to be followed religiously. This includes:
- Refraining from any kind of vigorous activity for a month or two.
- Avoiding any kind of strain and pressure over the surgical area.
- Keeping a distance of at least 6 inches from your cell phone.
- Staying away from electrical equipment that generates power like transformers and welding machines.
In case you are planning to undergo any medical screening or test, it is extremely important to inform your doctors about the pacemaker.