Pacemaker Implantation Surgery
A pacemaker is a sort of small device that can control the rhythm of the heartbeat when placed under the skin of the chest. It is used in the case of arrhythmia that causes irregular heartbeat. To implant a pacemaker in the chest, a surgical procedure is done which is known as pacemaker implantation surgery.
The most common types of pacemakers are -
Depending on the condition and severity of the case, the patient will get one of the following types of pacemakers –
- Single chamber pacemaker – This type of pacemaker transfers electrical impulses to the hearts right ventricle.
- Dual chamber pacemaker – This type of pacemaker transfers electrical impulses to the right atrium and right ventricle of the heart, controlling the contraction timings between the two chambers.
- Biventricular pacemaker – Also called as cardiac resynchronization therapy, biventricular pacemaker is for the treatment of abnormal electrical systems and heart failure. This pacemaker is used for stimulating the hearts right and left ventricles to make it beat properly.
Symptoms For Requiring A Pacemaker
Some of the symptoms that can make a person require a pacemaker are -
Experiencing dizziness throughout the day.
Severe chest pain
Shortness of breath
How pacemaker helps?
A pacemaker implant mimics the exact action of the electrical system that goes through the heart.
A typical pacemaker consists of mainly two parts -
Pulse generator – It is a small metal container that consists of a battery and electrical circuitry which functions to regulate the rate of electrical impulses that are sent to the heart.
Leads (electrodes) – Around one to three flexible wires that are insulated are placed in the chambers of the heart to regulate the delivery of electrical impulses that adjusts the heartbeat.
Procedure Before Pacemaker Implantation Surgery
Before making a final decision of performing a pacemaker implantation surgery, the doctor will prescribe the patient with certain tests –
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)- It is a noninvasive test in which sensor pads along with the attached wires that are called as electrodes are placed on the patient’s chest to measure the electrical impulses of the heart.
- Holter monitoring – It is useful in detecting the rhythm disturbance that occurs in the heart unexpectedly. It is a sort of portable version of the ECG. The patient has to wear the monitor in which the electrical activities of the heart get recorded for a day or two.
- Echocardiogram – This is a noninvasive test which uses sound waves that are harmless in nature to detect the problem in the activities of the heart.
- Stress test – Some heart problems are limited to strenuous exercises. For a stress test, the patient is asked to walk on the treadmill and an electrocardiogram is taken right before and after the exercise.
Procedure during the surgery -
One or more insulated wires that are highly flexible are inserted into a major vein under or near the patient’s collarbone and guided to the heart using X-ray images. One end of each wire is attached to the appropriate position in the patient’s heart, while the other end is attached with the pulse generator, which is usually implanted under the skin beneath the collarbone.
Cost of Pacemaker Implantation Surgery in India
The pacemaker implantation surgery is most affordable in India when compared to other countries. Normally a pacemaker costs between $1000 USD to $2000 USD in India. However, higher varieties may come between USD 3000 to USD 4500.
Recovery time -
In the starting, the patient is kept under complete observation for more than a day when the pacemaker implantation surgery has been successfully performed. It takes approximate six weeks for the patient to get accustomed of the implanted device. Heavy activities must be avoided initially. The patient should take care that the concerned arm is not left immobile during this time, so as to prevent a frozen shoulder.
A physiotherapist is usually required after the surgery who can exactly teach the patient the movements that need to be performed to keep the arm healthy.