Pacemakers help millions of people live full lives despite heart issues. They're among the treatment options recommended by your cardiologist, Dr. Ronald VanderLaan of Grand Rapids Cardiology. Read on to learn how this device can improve your cardiological health.
What does a pacemaker do?
Pacemakers are implantable devices that control abnormal heart rhythms called arrhythmias. No bigger than a matchbox, the devices send electrical pulses to the heart, which slows or quickens your heart rate to make it more regular. They can also improve the transmission of electrical signals that travel between the upper and lower chambers of your heart.
Pacemakers only send these pulses when they detect abnormalities in your heart rate or rhythm. The device is placed in your chest or abdomen during a surgical procedure.
Today's pacemakers not only control heart rate and rhythm, but they can also send information about your heart rate and your pacemaker to your cardiologist.
What types of symptoms can occur if I need a pacemaker?
If your heart rhythm issue affects your heart's pumping ability, you may notice that you're frequently tired, even though you get plenty of sleep. You may also experience shortness of breath and may even faint. Other symptoms can include dizziness, chest pain, sweating and palpitations. If your problem isn't treated, you may be at increased risk of death.
Heart rhythm issues aren't always serious. In fact, you may experience palpitations if you're stressed or have certain conditions or illnesses, such as high blood pressure or thyroid disease. During a palpitation, you may feel a fluttering sensation in your chest or throat or notice that your heart skipped a beat. Treating contributing factors or underlying diseases may be all you need to do to correct heart rhythm issues in these cases.
In other cases, arrhythmias are caused by more serious problems, such as scar tissue after a heart attack, damage to the heart muscle, coronary artery disease, or valve disorders.
It's important to visit your Grand Rapids cardiologist's office if you experience any of these symptoms, as it's often difficult to tell if you if have a serious heart rhythm problem without an examination.
Give us a call
Are you concerned about a heart issue? Call your cardiologist in Grand Rapids, MI, Dr. VanderLaan of Grand Rapids Cardiology at (616) 717-5141 to schedule an appointment.