A heartbeat is nothing more than the culmination of several muscular contractions. The electrical impulses start the heartbeat and the blood is then pumped. The atrioventricular node, an electrical bridge connecting the upper and lower chambers of the heart, receives the initial electrical signal from the heart’s natural pacemaker.
An issue with the electrical route at any point will stop the heart from beating normally. As a result, pacemakers that can replace the heart’s natural electrical circuitry must be implanted. Additionally, there are a number of restrictions following pacemaker implantation that are suggested by the doctor for a quicker and more complete recovery.
In simple language, a pacemaker is required when the heart beats too quickly. The pacemaker adjusts the heartbeat to the proper rate. This guarantees that the body’s numerous organs and tissues get enough blood and oxygen.
The procedure involved in pacemaker:
The irregular heartbeat treatment is a simple surgical procedure carried out in a hospital. An electrophysiologist, a cardiologist with additional training in heart rhythm abnormalities, is the physician doing the procedure.
The treatment lasts 2 to 3 hours, and the majority of patients stay overnight. An intravenous (IV) line is started by a nurse or technician prior to the insertion in order to deliver a sedative and maybe additional medications.
The pulse generator and one or more cables make up the majority of pacemakers’ two parts. A local anaesthetic is injected by the pacemaker surgeons into the skin at the location of the pacemaker and the wires, which is often slightly under the collarbone. First, the wires (leads) are positioned.
The doctor inserts the wires into a vein, threading them through until they reach your heart after creating a tiny incision and using an X-ray for guidance. Just below the skin, the pacemaker (the generator) is positioned and wired. Your doctor will close the incision after testing the pacemaker.
The relatively new leadless pacemaker, a single-component device that is substantially smaller than the conventional pacemaker, has a shorter and easier procedure. The leadless pacemaker lies directly in the heart rather than being inserted into the chest and attached to wires there.
Once the femoral vein has been accessed, the device is inserted into the vein, up into the right ventricle of the heart (the lower chamber), and attached to heart muscle via a catheter. The groin must be cut very slightly. A leadless pacemaker may be an option for people with specific heart diseases, such as heart failure that only affects the lower chambers of the heart.
Lifestyle restrictions that needs to be followed after pacemaker surgery:
Although there are no significant restrictions, several safety measures must be taken for the arm where the device is put, including:
- It is not advised to lift anything heavier than 10 pounds, including children’s toys and pets.
- As advised by the doctor, the injured arm shouldn’t be elevated over shoulder height.
- Heavy object pulling and pushing should be avoided.
- Tennis and golf should be avoided for at least six weeks following the slow heart beat treatment if possible due to their physical demands.
- The best kind of exercise is suggested to be walking.
After pacemaker surgery there are certain restrictions that needs to be followed, major of them include:
Precautions to follow:
Modern household appliances, including microwave ovens, do not interfere with pacemakers and should not be a cause for concern, despite what the general public believes. There are only a few extra safety measures you must take with specific other gadgets in order to prevent issues like electromagnetic interference (EMI) after pacemaker surgery.
Cellular phones may interfere with a pacemaker’s operation if they are held close to it (as may happen if they are kept in a breast pocket). However, there shouldn’t be a problem as long as the phone is kept at least 6 inches away from the pacemaker.
Magnets can damage a pacemaker if they are brought within around 6 inches of it, similar to how cell phones can. Keep magnets away from your pacemaker, that’s all.
The electromagnetic waves produced by walk-through anti-theft detectors in stores can briefly interfere with a pacemaker’s operation. However, if you proceed properly past the detector without slowing or stopping, you shouldn’t have any issues. Simply keep going.
Airport Security Metal Detectors:
The usual walk-through metal detector used for airport security may trigger your pacemaker. Your pacemaker won’t be affected by the metal detector.
The hand-held scanner the security guard may employ on you after the metal detector goes off, however, could be a concern. When brought close to your pacemaker, the handheld scanner’s magnet may cause interference.
The pacemaker’s circuits can be harmed by the potent radiation used in radiation therapy for cancer. Your pacemaker will need to be appropriately protected to protect it from the radiation field if you need radiation therapy.
When to resume normal activities?
After your pacemaker is implanted, your cardiologist pacemaker will normally advise against engaging in demanding activity for around 2 weeks. Any exercise that considerably elevates your heart rate and necessitates a lot of physical movement is considered strenuous. Exercise classes, jogging, and running are all forms of vigorous activity.
It’s also critical to be aware that you should abstain from activities like swimming, hot tub use, and anything else that would submerge the apparatus or your incision underwater.
You’ll probably be told not to lift anything heavy for roughly six weeks after the treatment. Items like supermarket bags are included in this. You might require help if you run errands away from home.
Additionally, your physician will advise modest to moderate activity, such as brisk walking. These exercises are good for your heart and general physical health in addition to helping you recover.
Your pacemaker specialist will let you know if you can resume your full prior level of physical activity after the 6-week period, provided there were no issues.
Each year, around 1.25 million pacemakers are placed throughout the world. Limiting your physical activity while recovering from this treatment is common; this is because your body requires time for the pacemaker site to heal correctly, not because your heart can’t handle the procedure.
Contact your local emergency services or your doctor if you ever experience pacemaker insertion difficulties.