A pacemaker sends electrical impulses to restore the heart's rhythm. Today's streamlined pacemakers, like the market-leading options from Medtronic, weigh about 1 ounce. But this small device has helped millions of people live more active lives.
Bradycardia is a slow or irregular heart rhythm, usually fewer than 60 beats per minute. At this rate, the heart is not able to pump enough oxygen-rich blood to your body during normal activity or exercise. As a result, you may feel dizzy or have chronic lack of energy, shortness of breath, or even fainting spells.
What Is It?
Pacemaker therapy is the most common way to treat bradycardia. A pacemaker helps restore the heart's rhythm. By sending tiny electrical signals to the heart to increase the heart rate, a pacemaker can relieve the symptoms of bradycardia.
A pacing system is made up of a pacemaker, one or two leads, and a programmer. The pacemaker sends tiny electrical impulses to pace the heart when its own rhythm is too slow or irregular. The pacing lead is an insulated wire that carries the impulse from the pacemaker to the heart to assist its beating.
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Benefits and Risks
As with any medical procedure, there are benefits and risks with implantable pacemaker therapy. Talk to your doctor to determine if implantable pacemaker therapy is right for you.
Questions and Answers
We've provided answers to some commonly asked questions about pacemakers.
Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.