What is it?
While the sinoatrial node acts as a natural pacemaker by generating electrical impulses in regular intervals to cause the heart to contract, factors such as age and heart disease can cause a decline in this function. Some patients may experience heart block, which is caused by the inability of the impulses generated by the sinoatrial node to reach the pumping chambers of the heart. These conditions lead to slow heart rhythms (bradycardia) and leave the heart unable to pump blood efficiently to the brain and body.
A pacemaker is a small, lightweight device that may be implanted in a pocket just beneath the collarbone to pace the heart. It connects the upper chambers of the heart (atria) to a computer that monitors the heart's underlying rhythm and delivers an electrical signal to the heart as needed to maintain a normal heart rhythm. The procedure is done in an electrophysiology procedural room under light sedation and the patient may be required to stay overnight in the hospital. The average life of a pacemaker is six to ten years.
After the procedure, the patient will receive instruction from expert nurses in our pacemaker clinic. The pacemaker clinic staff also will work with our cardiologists to monitor the device several times throughout the year. A programmer is used to gather key information from the pacemaker and to adjust its settings as needed.
The Loyola difference
Loyola's team of expert electrophysiologists, advanced practice nurses, pacemaker clinic nursing staff, imaging experts and other professionals works together to manage the diagnosis and treatment of heart arrhythmias. We offer expertise in cardiac device management, including device implantation, lead extractions and medical management. Our state-of-the-art equipment allows physicians to use leading-edge technologies to perform procedures.
Loyola is a nationally recognized leader in cardiac care. U.S. News & World Report ranked us 18th in the nation for cardiology and heart surgery in 2012, making this our 10th year in the top 50.
Learn more about our performance outcomes.