Sometimes the heart can beat very slowly or very fast or have an irregular rhythm. The right atrium of the heart has its own pacemaker, the Sino-atrial node. This communicates with another specialized part of the heart called the atrio-ventricular node.
Pacemaker checks are carried out at the time of implantation and at regular intervals thereafter. Depending on the type of pacemaker or defibrillator, these can be between 3 months to 12 months. When a pacemaker is checked by a cardiac technician, information is gathered about the battery and the general performance of the implant.
Most pacemakers also store information about the rhythm of the heart when it is not being paced. The check involves a magnet being placed over the pacemaker which changes the rate at which the pacemaker will work.
Most pacemaker batteries last between 5 and 10 years. At the pacemaker check, the cardiac technician or cardiologist will advise on whether a new battery is required. A battery change involves changing the pacemaker box but leaving the leads in the heart.
To determine if a pacemaker is the appropriate treatment for a patient’s specific heart condition, a cardiologist will order electrophysiology tests to determine the cause and origin of the issue.
The ideal patient to receive a Pacemaker Check would be anybody with a Pacemaker.
What is the Benefit of Pacemaker Checks?
An implantable pacemaker relieves symptoms of a slow, irregular heart rhythm. It does this by restoring normal heart rates. A normal heart rate provides your body with the proper amount of blood circulation.
By regulating the heart’s rhythm, a pacemaker can often eliminate the symptoms of bradycardia. This means individuals often have more energy and less shortness of breath. However, a pacemaker is not a cure. It will not prevent or stop heart disease, nor will it prevent heart attacks.