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Pacemakers And ICD

Heart One Associates

Board Certified Cardiologist, Vein Specialist, Peripheral Arterial Disease and Structural Heart Specialists located in Phoenix, AZ & Peoria, AZ & Buckeye, AZ

If you have a life-threatening irregular heart rhythm, you may need a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). The cardiology experts at Heart One Associates in Buckeye, Peoria, and Phoenix, Arizona, offer placement and ongoing management for your pacemaker and ICD. For a consultation, call or schedule an appointment online today.

Pacemakers and ICD Q & A

What is a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter device?

Pacemakers and implantable cardioverter devices (ICD) regulate irregular heart rhythms or arrhythmias using electrodes attached directly to the heart muscle. These devices monitor and use electrical current to override your heartbeat's natural pace and rhythm when it's ineffective or potentially life-threatening. 

A pacemaker helps improve your heart rate and function when your natural pace is too slow, you have missed beats, or your heart muscle doesn't pump effectively, such as with heart failure (HF). An ICD regulates ventricular rhythms by delivering a controlled shock called defibrillation when needed. Some ICDs also function as pacemakers.

Why do I need a pacemaker or ICD?

Your provider may recommend a pacemaker or ICD if you have potentially harmful or life-threatening rhythms, including: 

  • Bradycardia, or slow heartbeat
  • Tachycardia, or fast heartbeat
  • Ventricular fibrillation
  • Ventricular tachycardia 
  • Heart block

You may need a pacemaker or an ICD if you have structural heart disease or damaged heart muscle from endocarditis, cardiomyopathy, heart attack, or heart failure. 

What does pacemaker or ICD placement entail?

If you need a pacemaker or ICD placed, your provider at Heart One Associates explains the procedure and answers any questions you may have. Typically, pacemaker and ICD placement is an outpatient procedure done in the office. 

You have some level of sedation, depending on your health history and a heart condition. You should be comfortable and not experience any pain during the procedure. 

Your provider makes a small incision under your collarbone and inserts the thin wires through a large vein that leads to your heart. They attach the wires to the heart muscle and connect the wires to a small generator that stays implanted beneath your skin. You have a few small stitches that heal within a couple of weeks at the insertion site. 

What happens after pacemaker and ICD placement?

You may need to schedule a follow-up appointment to monitor your heart function and to ensure the insertion site heals properly. Your provider tests your pacemaker or ICD before you leave and occasionally as part of regular device maintenance. 

The Heart One Associates team gives you an information card about your device to share with medical professionals who care for you in the future and instructions about how to keep your pacemaker or ICD working well. 

If you need a pacemaker or ICD, call or schedule an appointment online with Heart One Associates today.