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The Implant Procedure
A pacemaker can be inserted when:
- The body's natural pacemaker, the sinoatrial (SA) node, is not working properly. When the SA node is not working correctly, the heart can beat too slowly.
- There are malfunctions in the atrioventricular (AV) node, the part of the heart’s electrical system that sends signals from the SA node to the ventricles. This leads to a very slow heartbeat.
- Heart performance in people with severe symptoms of congestive heart failure and a weakened heart muscle ( cardiomyopathy ) needs to be improved. This is called biventricular pacing, or cardiac resynchronization therapy.
- Cardiac surgery is being done.
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.
Call Your Doctor
After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the...