What is a Pacemaker?

A pacemaker is a small device inserted under the skin of the chest to help control arrhythmias or abnormal heart rhythms.  The device is composed of three parts: a pulse generator, one or more leads, and an electrode on each lead.  Pacemakers use low-energy electrical pulses to prompt the heart to beat at a normal rate.

A pacemaker may be performed on an outpatient basis or as part of your stay in a hospital. You will receive a sedative medication before the procedure to help you relax.  However, you will likely remain awake during the procedure.

Pacemakers can relieve some arrhythmia symptoms, such as fatigue, dizzy spells, shortness of breath and fainting.  A pacemaker can also help a person who has abnormal heart rhythms resume a more active lifestyle.

After a pacemaker insertion, regularly scheduled appointments will be made to ensure the pacemaker is functioning properly.