Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Biventricular Cardiac Pacemaker
People with congestive heart failure who also have arrhythmias (heart beats too slow, too fast, or irregularly) may benefit from pacemakers. Patients with dilated cardiomyopathies, unresponsive to medical therapy, may also benefit from a biventricular cardiac pacemaker. A pacemaker insertion is the surgical implantation of a pacemaker.
Effect of Biventricular Cardiac Pacemaker on Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
The pacemaker is implanted in the chest and connected to the heart. This type of pacemaker sends carefully timed electrical impulses to the heart’s lower chambers. Controlling the rhythm of the heart in a more normal fashion can help the heart pump more efficiently.
Side Effects and Warnings
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
- 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:
- 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.