Pacemaker insertion involves the surgical placement of a small, battery-operated device that helps maintain a normal heartbeat by sending electrical impulses to the heart. It consists of two parts; a battery (generator) and one or more wires (electrodes). The pacemaker is usually implanted in the upper chest and the leads are threaded through a vein into the heart. The Cooper Heart Institute has a vast and renowned team of physicians who offer world class cardiac care and have extensive experience performing pacemaker insertion surgery.
Understanding the procedure
A surgeon/interventional cardiologist from the Cooper Heart Institute will make a small incision beneath the collarbone and make a small pocket under the skin to hold the pacemaker. The pacemaker will be inserted through this incision. The wires will be threaded through a vein under the collarbone to the heart. Once the pacemaker is in place, the physician will test it to make sure it works properly.
Local anesthesia will be used, meaning that only the area being operated on is numbed.
Indications for the procedure
A pacemaker may be recommended when there are signs that the heart is not beating fast enough or there is a problem with the normal electrical signal which causes the heart to beat.