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What Is A Pacemaker?

A pacemaker is a battery-powered device that is surgically implanted into the chest to regulate heart rhythm. The size of a pacemaker is slightly bigger than the size of a small capsule. A pacemaker sends electrical signals to the heart and synchronizes the rhythm of the atria and ventricles in a pattern that closely resembles the natural heartbeat. This results in a regular heartbeat and increases the quality of life.

A pacemaker has two main components  - A pulse generator and leads (electrodes). The pulse generator contains the battery and electric circuits which control the rate of electrical impulses sent to the heart. Leads are insulated wires that are placed in one or more chambers of the heart to deliver electrical stimulations. However, the latest pacemakers do not require leads and are directly implanted into the heart muscles.

What are the Different Types of Pacemakers?

Doctors classify pacemaker types based on their functionality. Depending on the condition, the doctor may recommend - 

  • Single-chamber pacemaker to stimulate one chamber of the heart (either atrium or ventricle).
  • Dual-chamber pacemaker which sends electrical impulses to both chambers of the heart.
  • Biventricular pacemaker or cardiac resynchronization therapy for patients with heart failure issues. This type of pacemaker stimulated both lower heart chambers (left and right ventricles) for a more efficient heartbeat. 

Additionally, the doctor may suggest a temporary or permanent pacemaker depending on the severity of the condition. Temporary pacemakers are implanted for a short while after the surgical procedure. On the other hand, permanent pacemakers are implanted into the chest via surgery. Permanent pacemakers are battery-operated devices that can last for 5 to 15 years before being replaced.

When to see a Doctor for Pacemaker Surgery?

Seek medical assistance in case you have a deteriorating heart condition or are experiencing symptoms of prolonged heart disease. After a comprehensive diagnosis, the doctor may recommend a pacemaker implant procedure to stimulate a faster heart rate when the heartbeat is slow or vice versa. Problems with heart rhythms can cause difficulties in pumping blood to the rest of the body. Therefore, in case the patient is feeling dizzy, fatigued, or experiencing chest pain, the doctor may suggest a comprehensive diagnosis. After diagnosis, a pacemaker procedure is recommended in case of the following - 

  • Bradycardia - It occurs when the sinus node causes the heart to beat too slowly.
  • Tachy-Brady syndrome - The condition where the heartbeat is either too fast or too slow. 
  • Heart block - It happens due to delayed electrical impulses that are blocked after leaving the SA node. 

Advanced Pacemaker Procedure by BM Birla Kolkata


A pacemaker procedure is likely recommended for patients with heart rhythm problems. The aim is to find the primary cause of irregular heartbeat and provide the most effective solution. The doctor may recommend the following diagnostic tests before the pacemaker surgery to assess the patient’s overall health and the risk associated with the procedure - 

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
  • Echocardiogram
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Holter Monitoring
  • Exercise Stress Test
  • Blood test

Before The Procedure:

The doctor generally provides pre-surgery tips which can help the patient prepare for the procedure. Apart from all the paperwork and formalities, the doctor will ask questions related to your health and inform you of any risks associated with the surgery. Here are some pre-surgery tips that can help you prepare for the pacemaker implantation procedure - 

Do not eat or drink 8 to 9 hours prior to the surgery. Since the procedure is done under anesthesia, eating or drinking after midnight on the day of surgery can increase the risk of complications and delay the effect of anaesthesia. 

  • It is important to inform your doctor of any ongoing medications (prescription and over-the-counter) such as blood thinners, diabetic medicines, etc. before the surgery.
  • Inform the doctor of any existing medical conditions or a history of allergies due to anaesthesia to avoid complications during the surgery. 
  • In case you are pregnant, it is important to inform the doctor. 

During The Procedure:

After the patient is sedated with general or local anesthesia, the surgeon inserts one or more wires into the major vein or near the collarbone. The surgeon leverages x-ray imaging technology to secure each end of the wire in an appropriate position in the heart. The other ends of the wires are attached to the pulse generator, which is implanted under the skin near the collarbone. 

An ECG is conducted to check if the pacemaker is working properly. Subsequently, the incisions are closed with surgical sutures or adhesive strips. In the case of the leadless pacemaker insertion procedure, the surgeon inserts a flexible catheter in a vein which is positioned accurately in the heart using image-guided medical instruments.

After The Procedure:

After the Pacemaker Surgery, the patient is taken to the recovery room for observation where a team of healthcare providers monitor the health and keeps a check on the vitals. The patient may be required to stay in the hospital until there are no signs of complications. The patient may feel sore and there may be mild discomfort around the area of the incision as the effect of anaesthesia wears off. 

The doctor may also prescribe some medications to reduce the pain and discomfort. Along with that, the patient is also given a diet chart and special preventive measures to ensure a speedy recovery. 

Why Choose BMB for Pacemaker Treatment in Kolkata?

BM Birla Heart Research Centre is a super speciality hospital with modern infrastructure and state-of-the-art technology in Kolkata. BM Birla Heart Research Centre is the only hospital offering super speciality cardiac care in entire eastern India. With a 200+ bed capacity, cardiac rehabilitation services, cath labs and modular OTs, BM Birla Heart Research Centre has made a mark with its singular focus on the treatment of a wide variety of cardiac ailments. Here are a few advantages of choosing BM Birla Heart Research Centre for your pacemaker implantation - 

  • Highly qualified and experienced cardiologists
  • Cutting-edge technology and the latest medical equipment
  • Transparent Pricing Structure for cost-effective treatment. 
  • Patient-centric high-quality care for a high success rate

Get in touch with our expert heart doctors at BM Birla Heart Research Centre, Kolkata for complete cardiac care. 


What are the benefits of the pacemaker implantation procedure?

Pacemaker procedure improves the quality of life and prevents heart problems. Here are some possible benefits of the pacemaker insertion procedure - 

  • Alleviating symptoms caused due to heart rhythm problems such as chest pain, nausea, palpitations, etc.
  • Saving a patient in case of sudden cardiac arrest and preventing their heart from stopping

What are the possible risks of the pacemaker implant procedure?

Though rare, pacemaker implant surgery may pose some risks depending on the medical health of the patient, the surgical expertise of the surgeon, and the type of procedure. Here are some possible complications of pacemaker surgery - 

  • Excessive swelling, bruising, or bleeding around the pacemaker site 
  • Collapsed lung 
  • Blood clots (thromboembolism)
  • Infection around the surgical site where the device is implanted
  • Movement of the device or leads, resulting in cardiac perforation
  • Damage to the blood vessels and nerves around the surgical site

How long do pacemaker batteries last?

Pacemaker batteries can last for 5 to 15 years depending on the type of pacemaker used. When the battery stops working, you may require another surgery to replace it. 

Does pacemaker installation help in treating atrial fibrillation?

Yes, a pacemaker sends electrical impulses that mix with the irregular heart rhythm to achieve a stable heart rate. Depending on the degree of atrial fluttering, the doctor may suggest a specific pacemaker procedure for the best results.  


Is it okay if I use electronic appliances after my pacemaker surgery?

No, there is no problem with using common electrical household appliances like microwaves, electric blankets, cell phones, earphones, etc. However, it is not advisable to keep your cell phones or other portable electronics near the heart for long periods of time.

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