If a patient suffers from a slow or a fast heartbeat, there are implantable devices that will make the heartbeat regular and treat an Arrhythmia. Slow heartbeats are treated with pacemakers while fast heartbeats, which may be more dangerous , are sometimes treated with implantable cardioverter-defibrillators. Whether a patient needs a pacemaker or an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator is a complicated decision dependent on a patient’s history, an electrophysiology study, and other cardiac therapy. Schedule your consultation with Cardiac Specialist today and we can assist in scheduling the procedure to be performed at Bridgeport Hospital electrophysiology laboratory should the need arise.
For patients who experience fatigue, dizziness, or fainting with a slow heartbeat, a mechanical generator is necessary to pace the heart to allow normal blood flow. This generator, or pacemaker, is a very small computer programmed by physicians, about the size of two half-dollars placed on top of one another with batteries that usually last between 5-10 years. Pacemakers are placed under the skin, by the left or right collarbone, and are attached to either one or two small wires that get placed into the vein and into the right side of the heart.
An Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator is a device that resuscitates the heart by attempting to restore a normal heartbeat in a patient whose heart is beating rapidly and in a disorganized way. This is a life-saving therapy and is similar to the machines ambulances bring to patients in the midst of cardiac arrest (no heart blood output). In patients with significant heart disease who are determined to be at risk of sudden cardiac death, implantable cardioverter-defibrillators are placed to shock the heart and resuscitate the patient.
*Drs. Winslow and Chiravuri are board certified in electrophysiology.