Much like the tick of a clock, your heart needs a strong, steady beat. If its beat is irregular, too slow or to fast, your heart can’t do a good job of moving blood through the body.
For some people with heart rhythm problems, particularly when the heart is beating too slowly, a pacemaker can help. A pacemaker is a small battery-powered device that sends weak electrical impulses to help the heart set a regular, effective pace. Permanent pacemakers are implanted into the chest using minor surgery and local anesthesia. Your doctor will make a small incision in your chest wall just below your collarbone and then thread wires (leads) to the upper chest and into the heart.
Most pacemakers have rates that vary in response to different levels of activity. If you are exercising, for example, it may cause your heart to beat faster to meet your body's increased needs.
If a pacemaker is right for you, your Mercy heart specialist will discuss all the options and issues. From diagnosis and treatment through recovery and follow-up care, we’ll be at your side every step of the way.