Pacemaker Specialist

Downriver Heart and Vascular Specialists

Cardiovascular Specialists & Interventional Cardiologists located in Downriver Area, Southgate, MI

If you’re diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia, you may need a pacemaker or an implantable defibrillator to keep your heartbeat steady. The cardiologists at Downriver Heart and Vascular Specialists have extensive experience determining the best device for your condition and safely implanting the pacemaker. To schedule an appointment, call the Downriver area office in Southgate, Michigan, or use the online booking feature today.

Pacemaker Q & A

What is a pacemaker?

A pacemaker is a medical device that monitors your heart with sensors and then sends electrical pulses to the heart when needed to maintain a normal heart rate and rhythm.

With advances in technology, these tiny electrical devices keep getting smaller, and their batteries last 8-12 years.

When might I need a pacemaker?

Pacemakers stabilize severe arrhythmias. They can also keep the heart’s chambers in sync, which helps pump blood to your body.

Your provider at Downriver Heart and Vascular Specialists may recommend a pacemaker if you have:

  • Bradycardia (a slow heartbeat)
  • Atrial fibrillation (an irregular and rapid heartbeat)
  • Heart failure (when the heart can’t pump enough blood)
  • Cardiomyopathy (enlarged or thickened heart muscle)
  • Conduction disorder (problems with the heart’s electrical signaling)

You may also need a pacemaker after a heart attack or heart transplant.

How does an implantable defibrillator differ from a pacemaker?

An implantable defibrillator can treat all the same heart conditions as a pacemaker, but they have an additional function: They can restart your heart if it stops beating.

You may need an implantable defibrillator if you’re at risk of sudden cardiac death because of an arrhythmia such as ventricular fibrillation. Ventricular fibrillation causes a rapid and erratic electrical impulse. As a result, your heart quivers and stops pumping blood.

What are the different types of pacemakers?

All pacemakers consist of a small pulse generator that your provider implants under the skin near your heart. Then they connect the generator to your heart using wires that they guide through the blood vessels and into your heart.

Currently, there are three types of pacemakers. The best one for you depends on the type of arrhythmia:

Single-chamber pacemaker

This pacemaker has one wire connecting the pulse generator to one chamber in your heart, either the upper or lower chamber on the right side.

Dual-chamber pacemaker

This device uses two wires that connect the pulse generator to the upper and lower chambers on the right side of your heart.

Biventricular pacemaker

A biventricular pacemaker, also called a cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) device has three wires. Your provider connects the wires to the upper right chamber and both lower chambers.

The use of this type of pacemaker is most often for people with heart failure. It synchronizes muscle contractions, which improves blood flow.

If you have questions about pacemakers, call Downriver Heart and Vascular Specialists, or book an appointment online today.