A pacemaker is a small device that’s placed under the skin in your chest to help control your heartbeat. It’s used to help your heart beat more regularly if you have an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), particularly a slow one. Implanting a pacemaker in your chest requires a surgical procedure.
Types of pacemakers
Depending on your condition, you might have one of the following types of pacemakers.
- Single chamber pacemaker.
- Dual chamber pacemaker.
- Biventricular pacemaker.
What a pacemaker does
Pacemakers work only when needed. If your heartbeat is too slow (bradycardia), the pacemaker sends electrical signals to your heart to correct the beat.
Also, newer pacemakers have sensors that detect body motion or breathing rate, which signal the pacemakers to increase heart rate during exercise, as needed.
Two smaller, leadless pacemakers, which can be implanted directly into the heart, have been approved for use in the United States. Because a lead isn’t required, this device can minimize certain risks and speed recovery. Although this type of pacemaker appears to work well and safely, the longer-term study is needed.