If your heart has an abnormal rhythm, an implantable pacemaker can restore a healthy heartbeat. These devices send an electrical impulse to your heart if it slows dangerously. The procedure is minimally invasive and does not require general anesthesia.
What does the surgery entail?
At San Diego Cardiac Center, we perform minimally invasive pacemaker implant procedures. The process involves the following steps:
- An IV line will be placed in the hand or arm for the administration of medication and IV fluids.
- You will lie on your back on the treatment table.
- Your heart activity will be monitored by an EKG, as well as your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and oxygen levels.
- IV sedation is administered to help you relax and stay comfortable during the procedure. You will be awake but not nervous.
- The site where the pacemaker will be inserted is numbed with a local anesthetic, and a small incision is placed.
- A catheter or sheath is introduced into a blood vessel, and a lead wire is moved into the heart. It is activated externally to ensure it is in the right location. You may have one or up to three lead wires, depending on the pacemaker device. Every action performed by our heart specialist will be guided by X-ray imaging on a monitor.
- The pacemaker itself is inserted through an incision below your collarbone, and the lead wires are attached. The EKG allows our doctor to ensure the device is functioning as it should.
- Your incision may be closed with stitches, adhesive strips, or special medical glue.
- Your pacemaker is in place, and your procedure is complete.
- This procedure may be performed on an outpatient basis, or you may need to spend one night in the hospital.