Pacemakers at Garnet Health
A pacemaker is a small device that is implanted in a patient’s chest or abdomen to help control their abnormal heart rhythms. This device uses electrical pulses to prompt the heart to beat at a normal rate.
Your cardiologist may recommend the placement of a pacemaker for many reasons. Some of the most common reasons for pacemakers are to treat:
Pacemakers are generally used to treat arrhythmias: a problem with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat. During an arrhythmia, the heart can beat too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm. When an arrhythmia occurs, the heart may not be able to pump enough blood to the rest of the body. This may cause symptoms such as fatigue (tiredness), shortness of breath or fainting. Severe arrhythmias can damage the body’s vital organs and may even cause loss of consciousness or death.
A pacemaker can relieve some arrhythmia symptoms, such as fatigue and fainting. A pacemaker can also help a person who has abnormal heart rhythms resume a more active lifestyle.
Bradycardia & Heart Block
Bradycardia is a heartbeat that is slower than normal and a heart block is a problem that occurs with the heart's electrical system, which controls the rhythm and rate of your heartbeats.
Sick Sinus Syndrome
Aging or heart disease can damage our sinus node's ability to set the correct pace for your heartbeat - causing potentially long pauses between heartbeats, slower than normal heartbeats, or your heart could be switching between slow and fast rhythms.
Doctors also may recommend pacemakers for people who have certain types of congenital heart disease or for people who have had heart transplants. Children, teens, and adults can use pacemakers.
Before recommending a pacemaker, your doctor will take into account any symptoms you have, such as dizziness, unexplained fainting, or shortness of breath. They will also consider your overall health, whether you have a history of heart disease, and the medications you may be taking. Your cardiologist will also likely order one or several cardiac diagnostic tests to better understand how your heart works and determine the causes of your symptoms.