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Arrhythmias (Heart Rhythm Disturbances) and Pacemaker Insertion

Read more about Pacemaker Insertion.


Hearts have their own built-in natural pacemakers, the sinoatrial (SA) node. In the case of some arrhythmias, the SA note malfunctions or stops working, and an artificial pacemaker may be used as a substitute. Pacemakers are implanted during a minor surgical procedure.

Effect of Pacemaker Insertion on Arrhythmias (Heart Rhythm Disturbances)

An artificial pacemaker may work as a substitute for the heart's natural pacemaker, the sinoatrial (SA) node. Artificial pacemakers help treat some arrhythmias by generating regular impulses that make the heart beat normally.

Side Effects and Warnings

#Possible Complications

Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have a pacemaker inserted, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Excess bleeding
  • Infection
  • Pacemaker malfunction
  • Rupture in the heart muscle (rare)
  • Inappropriate stimulation of the diaphragm (large muscle between chest and abdominal cavities)

Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Obesity
  • History of smoking
  • History of excess alcohol consumption
  • Bleeding or blood-clotting irregularities
  • Regular use of some medicines

Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the procedure.

#Call Your Doctor

After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site
  • Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given
  • Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
  • Heartbeat irregularities
  • New symptoms

In case of an emergency, CALL 911.