If your heartbeat is irregular, too slow or too fast, there is reason for concern. But there’s often a fix for this problem. For many patients, the answer is a pacemaker — an implantable electrical device that can help regulate your heart. And that technology has improved in important ways in recent years.
Traditional pacemakers — ones that require surgery to implant the device and wires to connect it to the heart — can have unwanted complications.
“Having the option of a leadless pacemaker is important because surgical incisions are the most common complications for traditional pacemakers,” … “And, in an analysis of patient data, we’ve found that one in six pacemakers are, in fact, affected by complications.”
Here’s what you need to know about leadless pacemakers and whether one might be right for you.
Leadless pacemakers are self-contained. Doctors implant them into the heart’s right ventricle via a catheter threaded through the leg, which is then removed once the device is deployed internally.
They require no wires and no surgical pocket in the heart. They help keep a patient’s heart from beating too slowly, a condition called bradycardia.
Symptoms of bradycardia may include:
- Difficulty breathing with exertion
Are you a good candidate?
The devices work well for roughly 10 percent of patients with bradycardia who require a pacemaker.
Within this group, those who will most benefit from leadless pacemakers experience three types of problems:
1. Atrial Fibrillation
2. Intermittent heart block
3. Traditional pacemaker problems