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Arrhythmias (Heart Rhythm Disturbances) and Pacemaker Insertion

Written by ColleenO, FoundHealth.

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.

Read more details about Pacemaker Insertion.

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.

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