When your heart beats too fast, too slow or irregularly, you have an arrhythmia, or abnormal heartbeat. A pacemaker implant can restore a normal heart rate and rhythm.
To help your heart automatically maintain a predictable rhythm, we permanently implant a battery-powered pacemaker, or small electrical device, into your chest. Many pacemakers have one or two wires (called leads) that connect to your heart and help keep your heart rate normal. For some people, we can also use new leadless pacemakers, which means they’re wireless.
For serious arrhythmias that can cause your heart to stop, we can implant a pacemaker that includes an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). An ICD sends a small electrical charge to your heart to restore a normal heart rhythm. Learn more about ICD insertion.
Your doctor will determine which kind of device you need. We implant the following types of pacemakers:
We have 10 full-time, board-certified electrophysiologists throughout our system. These doctors specialize in diagnosing and treating problems with the heart’s electrical system and implanting devices like pacemakers.
When you come to us for a pacemaker implant, you can count on:
Your doctor will give you detailed instructions on how to prepare for the procedure.
We typically will ask you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the night before your implant. Other guidelines include:
We perform your implantation procedure in a lab or a special surgical suite. Usually, we can implant a heart pacemaker in about two hours. During the procedure:
With your pacemaker in place, we’ll custom-program it to help manage your particular heart arrhythmia. We’ll keep you in the hospital for several hours or perhaps overnight to make sure the device is working well.
You’ll need someone to drive you home after the implantation procedure. We also recommend that someone stay with you for a couple of days in case of any problems.
If you work, you may want to take a few days off to give your body time to heal.
Most people feel a little sore after the procedure, but that goes away gradually. We’ll give you some mild pain medication and tell you which other medication(s) to continue or stop taking.
Other things to know: