What is a Pacemaker??

A pacemaker is a small device that’s placed (implanted) in the chest to help control the heartbeat. It’s used to prevent the heart from beating too slowly.

What are the signs you might need a Pacemaker needed?

The need for a pacemaker arises when the patient experiences the following symptoms:

You feel extremely fatigued

You seldom faint and don’t really know why

You frequently get lightheaded or dizzy

You have palpitations or an intense pounding in your chest

You are short of breath or have difficulty breathing

The most common reason people may need a pacemaker is when their heart beats too slowly, or it pauses, causing fainting spells or other symptoms. In some cases, the pacemaker may also be used to prevent or treat a heartbeat that is too fast or irregular.

Pacemakers and ICDs generally last 5 to 7 years or longer, depending on usage and the type of device. In most cases, you can lead a normal life with an ICD.

Types of a Pacemaker Installation:

Depending on the type of pacemaker used, you’ll undergo a catheter-based, vein-based, or surgical-based approach. Advances in surgical knowledge mean these procedures have been refined (improved). The goal is to help you feel less pain, recover faster and get back to your life sooner.

  • Catheter-based approach: A specialist inserts a catheter (a tube-like device) into an artery (usually near your groin) and threads it up to your heart. Once inside, it’s attached to the wall of your heart.
  • Transvenous (through a vein) approach: A specialist makes a small incision to access a vein near your heart. This is usually a vein that runs underneath your collarbone, to your arm, or to your neck. Using fluoroscopy (a type of X-ray), the specialist threads the lead(s) (wires) through the vein and attaches them to a point on your heart. The lead(s) will then be attached to the pacemaker device itself, which is placed into a small “pocket” under the skin of your upper chest.
  • Surgical (epicardial) approach: A surgeon creates a small incision in your chest and inserts the lead(s) through that incision, and then attaches the lead(s) to your heart. The surgeon then connects the lead(s) to the pacemaker. The pacemaker is inserted into a “pocket” under the skin of your abdomen.

Catheter-based procedures take about an hour or less. The transvenous and surgical-based approaches take between two and five hours. Your healthcare provider will explain which is best for you.

Benefits of using a Pacemaker

By keeping your heart from beating too slowly, pacemakers can treat symptoms like fatigue, lightheadedness, and fainting. Your pacemaker can allow you to get back to a more active lifestyle by automatically adjusting your heart rate to match your level of activity. It can also help in saving your life by preventing the heart from stopping.

Risks associated with using a Pacemaker

Infection near the site in the heart where the device is implanted. Swelling, bruising, or bleeding at the pacemaker site, especially if you take blood thinners. Blood clots (thromboembolism) near the pacemaker site. Damage to blood vessels or nerves near the pacemaker.

How to manage High Blood Pressure?

The ways to manage high blood pressure include the following. It is imperative for any BP patient to follow these basic lifestyle changes in order to lead a better life.

– Lose the extra weight as it can trigger high BP 

-Exercise regularly

-Eat a healthy diet

-Reduce sodium in your diet

-Limit the amount of alcohol you drink

-Quit smoking

-Cut back on caffeine

-Reduce your stress

-Monitor BP regularly

-Get a doctor’s advice

Diuretics, sometimes called water pills, are medications that help your kidneys eliminate sodium and water from the body. These drugs are often the first medications tried to treat high blood pressure.

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