Permanent Pacemaker Implantation //
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A pacemaker is a small electronic device that is placed beneath the skin on the upper chest with leads (or wires) that attach it to the heart. The pacemaker regulates the heart rate and are usually recommended for people who have symptomatic slow heart rates, although there are many reasons people have them fitted. They are sometimes also recommended for patients with palpitations to help control the heart rhythm.
The operation is minimally invasive as the leads to the heart are passed through the veins. The whole procedure rarely takes more than an hour and is performed under local anaesthetic. Sedation can be used in addition to the local anaesthetic if required.
The pacemaker is a sealed unit with a battery that can last in excess of 10 years. Once a pacemaker is fitted, it will need to be reviewed every 12 months or so. It can be checked with a special computer to ensure it is working correctly and the battery is in good condition. When the battery is showing signs of depletion, a small procedure is required to change it for a new one.
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Click here for the BHF information booklet.