What Is a Pacemaker?
A pacemaker is designed to treat a slow heartbeat.
When people refer to a pacemaker, they are actually discussing a pacing system: a pacemaker, a pacing lead or leads, and a programmer.
Two parts are placed inside the body: the pacemaker and pacing lead.
- The pacemaker is a small metal case that contains electronic circuitry and a battery. The pacemaker continually monitors the heart and sends an electrical impulse to pace the heart when the heart’s own rhythm is interrupted, irregular, or too slow.
- The pacing lead is an insulated wire that carries the tiny electrical impulse from the pacemaker to the heart to regulate the heart rate.
- The third part, the programmer, is kept in a hospital or clinic. A nurse or doctor uses the specialised computer to see how the pacemaker is working and if necessary, to adjust the settings of a pacemaker.
The three parts of a pacing system work together to treat bradycardia (a heart rate that is too slow).
A pacing system increases the heart rate to meet the oxygen needs of the body.
Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor.
Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
Last updated: 27 Sep 2010