A pacemaker is a small battery-operated device that senses when
the heart is beating irregularly or too slowly. It sends a signal
to the heart to make it beat at the correct pace.
Learn more about Arrhythmias
Newer pacemakers weigh as little as 1 ounce. A pacemaker usually
has two parts:
- A generator containing the battery and the information to
control the heartbeat
- Leads or wires that connect the heart to the generator and
carry the electrical messages to the heart
A pacemaker must be implanted under the skin. This procedure
usually takes about an hour.
The procedure involves making a small incision, usually on the
left side of the chest below the collarbone. The pacemaker
generator is then placed under the skin at this location.
Using live x-rays to see the area, the physician puts the leads
through the incision, into a vein and then into the heart. The
leads are connected to the generator. The skin is closed with
stitches. Most patients go home within one day after the
procedure and return to normal activity levels quickly.
After the Procedure:
When patients leave the hospital, they will be given a card to
keep in their wallets. This card lists the details of the
pacemaker and has contact information for emergencies. Patients
should always carry this card with them.
Texas Health is committed to providing quality care to heart
and vascular patients throughout North Texas and beyond. While
various technologies and services are discussed here, not all of
our hospitals offer every treatment and diagnostic technology
highlighted. Call 1-877-THR-WELL to learn more about heart and
vascular services at a Texas Health hospital near you.