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Pacemaker Insertion
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Pacemaker Insertion?

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.

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...