5 Symptoms that May Mean You Need a Pacemaker

Centuries before the first implantable pacemaker arrived on scene in 1958, medical pioneers such as Hippocrates, and even revered philosophers like Aristotle, were interested in how heart rhythms affected one’s physical health and overall wellbeing.

Great advances in medical technology, combined with a better understanding of how the heart works, give today’s heart specialists numerous treatment options designed to control your heartbeat most effectively.

As a result, modern pacemakers used to correct irregular heart rhythms and treat debilitating conditions like heart failure can safely prolong your life and significantly improve its quality.

The top-rated specialists at Premier Cardiology Consultants, with four locations convenient to residents of New York City and its surrounding communities, have earned a stellar reputation for providing cutting-edge cardiac care in a warm and welcoming, patient-first environment. 

Read what these widely respected experts have to say about pacemakers and the symptoms that indicate you might need one.

What does a pacemaker do?

Your heart relies on electrical signals (neurotransmitters) from your brain as well as structures within the heart itself to maintain the pumping action required to circulate blood throughout your body. Normally, your heart beats about 100,000 times a day at a steady rate and rhythm of 90-110 beats per minute.

Irregular beats (arrhythmias) and conditions like heart failure or heart block can interfere with the heart’s rhythmic beat; this, in turn, results in insufficient blood for your muscles, brain, and other vital organs and bodily structures.

A pacemaker is a small, battery-operated, computer-driven device that’s typically implanted just beneath your skin, usually in the chest area right under the collarbone. Small wires (electrodes) connect the pacemaker to your heart.

When the pacemaker’s computer senses an abnormal rhythm, it sends electrical signals through the attached electrodes to your heart, jump-starting it back into an appropriately timed beat.

A pacemaker can be programmed to act during episodes of bradycardia (an excessively slow beat), atrial fibrillation (a fast, fluttery heart rhythm), or cardiac arrest (cessation of the beat altogether).

In the case of congestive heart failure (CHF), a special pacemaker, known as a “biventricular pacemaker,” can also be used to help increase your heart’s ejection fraction (pumping force), which is often severely compromised by CHF.

What symptoms might indicate I need a pacemaker?

At Premier Cardiology Consultants, our specialists excel at correctly identifying conditions that may benefit from pacemaker placement.

Symptoms that may indicate the need for further cardiac evaluation and possible pacemaker treatment include one or more of the following:

Persistent edema/swelling in the feet/ankles, legs, and/or abdomen, which are symptoms of CHF, can also signal the need for treatment that may include a pacemaker. 

For a comprehensive cardiac evaluation and personalized treatment strategy that may include a pacemaker, schedule a consultation by calling us at any of our locations or scheduling a visit online. We’re here to help.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Is Chest Pain Serious?

Whether it’s a sharp twinge, a dull ache, or something more, chest pain tends to get attention. And it should. Our team talks about various types of chest pain and why you shouldn’t ignore them.

HDL vs. LDL: Understanding Cholesterol and Your Health

Confused about what your “good” and “bad” cholesterol levels mean and why your doctor keeps mentioning your triglycerides? Our team highlights the importance of all three and discusses what you can do to change your numbers.

What Causes Heart Valves to Fail?

Have you been told you might have valvular heart disease? Wondering what that is and how it’s treated? Our experts explain more about this potentially less familiar but relatively common heart condition that may be tied to longevity.

What Can I Expect After I Get Stents?

Wondering what happens once your cardiologist sends you home with stents in place? Here’s what our specialty team wants you to know about living your life after stent placement.

How Sleep Apnea Can Affect Your Blood Pressure

Are you confused about how a condition that keeps you up at night causes problems with your blood pressure? Learn more about the health effects of sleep apnea and why effective treatment is so important.