A pacemaker is a small device, about the size of a half dollar piece, that's placed under the skin near your heart to help control your heartbeat. A pacemaker is implanted as part of what's often referred to as "cardiac resynchronization therapy."
People may need a pacemaker for a variety of reasons — mostly due to one of a group of conditions called arrhythmias, in which the heart's rhythm is abnormal.
Normal aging of the heart may disrupt your heart rate, making it beat too slowly. Heart muscle damage resulting from a heart attack is another common cause of disruptions of your heartbeat. Some medications can affect your heart rate as well. For some, genetic conditions cause an abnormal heart rate. Regardless of the underlying cause of an abnormal heart rate, a pacemaker may fix it.
A pacemaker can often be implanted in your chest with a minor surgery. You may need to take some precautions in your daily life after your pacemaker is installed.
Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is ranked among the Best Hospitals for heart and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report.
At Mayo Clinic, we assemble a team of specialists who take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your health issues and concerns. We tailor the care you receive to your personal health care needs. You can trust our specialists to collaborate and offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical institution that reinvests all earnings into improving medical practice, research and education. We're constantly involved in innovation and medical research, finding solutions to improve your care and quality of life. Your doctor or someone on your medical team is likely involved in research related to your condition.
Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care — and trusted answers — like they've never experienced.
Related book: Mayo Clinic Healthy Heart for Life! book provides an easy-to-follow plan to prevent and conquer heart disease.
Shortly after he was born in early 2008, Trevor King was diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome, a condition that could cause sudden cardiac death. He may be the youngest patient ever to get a pacemaker-defibrillator, a device that sends an ...