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Pacemaker Surgery-Frequently Asked Questions

Pacemaker implantation is a commonly performed heart procedure and a pacemaker is about 5 by 4cm with a thickness is about 6-7mm and is oval in shape. If the patient heart is ailing because of the irregularities in the beating of the heart, a heart specialist recommends a pacemaker to normalize the heart pumping. This device helps to keep the heart beating regularly. Probably, hearing such a recommendation, the heart patients would have few questions coming to their mind. The medical team of the best cardiac center in Kolkata can help answer their questions by providing customized information according to the specific situation of their patients.

Here are the answers to some basic common questions that would come to mind of most patients seeking pacemaker surgery:

What is a pacemaker?

A pacemaker is a small device operated by batteries that are implanted into the chest (below the collarbone) and connected to the heart by leads. It delivers electrical pulses to the heart to help control the beating of the heart according to the minimum set rate. This is required by patients whose heart beats too slowly (bradycardia), too fast (tachycardia), make some pauses, or are irregular.

How is a pacemaker implanted?

The surgery for a pacemaker implant in Kolkata is carried under local anesthesia. During the procedure, the heart surgeon makes a small incision just under the collar bone to place the pacemaker and the electrodes. The wires are inserted through the blood vessels (intravenous) found close to the collar bone and threaded to the heart under the guidance of fluoroscopy. One end of the wire is connected to the heart muscles and the other to the pulse generator followed by the closing of the incision by sutures and bandages. 

How long will it take to recover from pacemaker surgery?

Pacemaker surgery in Kolkata is a minor invasive procedure that would require few weeks (usually up to 8 weeks) to recover completely. The patient will have to stay in the hospital for the nurse to monitor the vitals and the heart functioning. It is recommended that after the hospital discharge, the patient shall avoid straining or lifting heavy weights, and abstain from any physical activities that involve putting pressure on the chest until the incisions heal.

Will pacemaker interfere with my daily routine activities?

After recovery, most patients can enjoy their usual daily routine same as before the procedure. The doctor will advise the patient when to get back to the same activities. A heart-healthy lifestyle that involves a proper diet and regular exercise is essential but shall be returned to only when the doctor advises. The patient can also drive, swim, and do any other physical activities soon when the doctor determines it being safe.

How would I get to know that my pacemaker is working?

The working of a pacemaker cannot be felt by the patient. The doctor usually tells the patients their minimal set heart rate adjusted for them at the time of discharge. Even then, if the patient feels lightheaded or dizzy and finds their pulses to be lower than the minimum set heartbeat, it could mean the pacemaker is not working right.    

What is the life expectancy of an individual with a pacemaker?

The patient can live longer with a pacemaker until some other health issue becomes serious. The pacemaker device can work indefinitely but would require the discharged battery to be replaced after every 5-15 years. The rate of depletion of the batteries depends upon the heart condition. If the heart is stable enough and requires fewer electrical impulses to work, the batteries will last for longer.

Will others get to know that I have a pacemaker attached to my heart?

No, you would only be aware of a slight bump under the skin, but it remains unnoticed by other people.

What all precautions shall I take with pacemakers?

Any electronic gadgets like mobile phones, laptops, or tablets shall not be held close to the chest where the pacemaker is implanted. The patient shall avoid passing through metal detectors, as it may cause an alarm for the security machine. Any heavy equipment or machinery with a powerful magnetic field shall not be used as it would interfere with the pacemaker. In case of some tests such as MRI scans and X-rays and therapies like extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy and the use of TENS machines, the healthcare provider shall be aware of the pacemaker of the patient.

BM Birla Hospital is the best cardiac hospital in Kolkata, India where the best team of cardiologists and cardiac surgeons are experts in performing various cardiac surgeries and pacemaker implant surgery. To know more about implant surgery cost, benefits and process, book a consultation now!

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