Permanent Pacemaker Implantation In Atlanta
Patients may experience dizziness, shortness of breath, weakness, or syncope (passing out) due to either a very slow heart rate or a heart block ( an inability of the electrical system of the heart to conduct properly). For patients with these symptoms, insertion of a pacemaker is advised. A pacemaker consists of a battery pack and electrode wires. The battery pack is approximately the size of a silver dollar and is placed under the skin on the left upper chest.
Patients are instructed not to eat or drink after midnight on the day of the procedure. During the procedure, patients are given intravenous sedation for comfort. After adequate local anesthesia, a small incision is made in the left upper chest.
Through the incision, the subclavian vein (a large vein that travels to heart) is located. Using X-ray guidance, the tip of a wire is inserted and attached to the heart muscle, while the other end is attached to the battery pack. Once the wires are attached, the incision is closed. The risks of the procedure are generally low under experienced hands. Risks usually include problems with sedation, bleeding, and infection. Very rarely, the lung may be punctured, requiring either close observation or re-expansion with a chest tube. Patients are kept overnight for observation.