A pacemaker has leads placed in the heart to help it beat more regularly.
A pacemaker is a small device that is used to help regulate the heart’s rhythm. It is a treatment option for certain types of arrhythmias, such as slow heartbeat or heart block.
- A pacemaker is surgically inserted into the chest (under the skin) with its wires carefully placed inside the right atrium of the heart.
The pacemaker senses the heart rhythm and sends a small electrical impulse to contract the heart when the rhythm becomes too slow.
See how a pacemaker can help your heart beat more regularly (opens in new window) »
Biventricular Pacemaker (Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Device)
A more complex type of pacemaker is called a biventricular pacemaker or cardiac resynchronization therapy device. It functions like a regular pacemaker but it will also coordinate the 2 ventricles to contract at the same time and provide a balanced heartbeat.
A biventricular pacemaker is particularly helpful in patients with heart failure where the 2 ventricles may not contract at the same time, resulting in a less forceful heart beat where less blood moves through the heart out to the lungs and the rest of the body.
- The biventricular pacemaker is surgically inserted into the chest (under the skin) with its wires carefully placed inside the right atrium and both ventricles.
Often, a patient that is a candidate for a biventricular pacemaker may also benefit from an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD). In these cases, both devices are combined into one.
Learn more about implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) »