Pacemakers and defibrillators are small, battery-powered devices that are used in patients with an abnormal heart rhythm, or arrhythmia. We offer pacemaker and defibrillator insertion, follow-up care and cardiac resynchronization therapy.
A pacemaker helps control abnormal heart rhythms or arrhythmias. It uses electrical pulses to prompt the heart to beat at a normal rate.
A pacemaker includes a small battery in an enclosed case that is implanted underneath the skin in the upper chest. Electrical leads are attached to the generator and deliver the necessary impulses to the heart. Following the implant, the patient will be seen in the office at regular intervals. Nonsurgical adjustments can be made in the office that optimize the performance and preserve the battery life of the pacemaker.
A defibrillator is implanted under the skin in the shoulder area and monitors heart rhythms. It uses electrical pulses to prompt the heart to beat at a normal rate. If it senses dangerous rhythms, it delivers a shock called defibrillation. This can help control life-threatening arrhythmias. Most new defibrillators can also act as a pacemaker.
Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy
Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) is used to help improve the heart's rhythm and the symptoms associated with an irregular heartbeat. CRT is often used in patients with heart failure. In this procedure, a small pacemaker is implanted below the collarbone that can detect heart rate irregularities and emit tiny pulses of electricity to correct them.