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Pacemaker

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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 ventricles of your heart.


Your doctor decides what type of pacemaker you need based on your heart condition and 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 heart beat.

Why do I need a pacemaker?

If the electrical pathway described above is interrupted for any reason, changes in the heart rate and rhythm occur that make a pacemaker necessary.

 

Pacemakers are used to treat brady-arrythmias, slow heart rhythms that may occur as a result of disease in your heart’s conduction system (such as the SA node, AV node or His-Purkinje network). Pacemakers are also used to treat syncope (unexplained fainting spells), heart failure and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

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