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What is a Pacemaker?

A pacemaker is a small battery-operated device that is used to treat patients with a slow or irregular heart rate, patients with symptomatic heart blocks, and patients with heart failure. A pacemaker works by sending electrical pulses to help your heart beat at a normal rate and rhythm, replacing the heart’s natural pacemaker abilities.

A pacemaker is made of two parts: a generator and wires. The generator produces the electrical impulses that stimulate your heart to beat, which is connected to small wires that are implanted in your heart through a vein in the upper chest. There are three kinds of pacemakers: the single chamber, the dual chamber, and the biventricular.

Life with a Pacemaker

Living with a pacemaker improves the day-to-day life for many people who have suffered from heart irregularities. Remember to follow your doctor’s instructions about daily activities and keep in mind these recommendations:

Be physically active in moderation

Be active in ways that you enjoy every day. Whether it’s taking a walk or doing yoga, move around to increase blood circulation. Do not overexert yourself and quit before the activity becomes strenuous.

Carry a pacemaker ID card

Always bring with you a pacemaker ID card that alerts healthcare workers that you have a pacemaker, in case you are unable to tell them in an emergency. Bring this card to airports and any public places with security screenings as the metal in pacemakers will most likely alert metal detectors.

Get your pacemaker checked regularly

To ensure your pacemaker is working correctly, you will need to visit your doctor several times a year. Your doctor can guarantee that its battery and wires are still functioning and can let you know about any device software updates and upgrades.

Avoid any devices that interfere with pacemakers

Avoid close or prolonged contact with electrical devices that have strong magnetic fields, as they can disrupt the electrical signaling of your pacemaker and stop it from working correctly. Keep your pacemaker at least 6 inches away from: cell phones, electronic cigarettes, headphones, household appliances, and electric fences for pets.

Be aware of medical and dental procedures that affect pacemakers

Electrocautery, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), microwave diathermy, radiation therapy, shock-wave lithotripsy, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation are all procedures that can disrupt your pacemaker’s ability to operate properly.

Contact Advanced Vein and Heart Center

The medical team at Advanced Heart and Vein Center is highly skilled at diagnosing, treating, and managing heart rhythm problems. If you or a loved one is suffering from an erratic heartbeat, reach out to the Advanced Heart and Vein Center today to learn if a pacemaker is right for you. To make an appointment, call us today at (720) 772-8040.

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