What is a pacemaker?

A pacemaker is a small electronic device that takes over the job of providing the electrical impulses needed to establish an appropriate heart rhythm.

It keeps track of your normal heartbeat, and can sense when it becomes too slow. When that happens, the pacemaker generates a small electrical impulse, very similar to the heart's natural impulse. This keeps your heart beating at a normal pace.

How is a pacemaker implanted?

The generator may be implanted under your skin through a small incision. The generator is connected to your heart through tiny wires that are implanted at the same time.

Follow-Up Care

Plan to have periodic checkups with your health care provider to evaluate the battery life of your pacemaker. You will need a new pacemaker generator implanted at some point, usually about every 5 to 7 years. On average, this monitoring should happen every 6 months, or as advised by your health care provider.

For some devices, the monitoring of the device function and battery-life can be done with a remote monitor that can be set up in your home. Remote monitoring systems use the internet or telephone to communicate the information from your device to your health care provider.

Heart Services Are Nearby

If you have any symptoms of heart attack or stroke, call 911. Do not drive yourself to the hospital. EMTs can begin life-saving care immediately before you reach the hospital.

For more information, contact your primary care provider or Traverse Heart and Vascular at 800-637-4033.