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How Do I Know if I Need My Pacemaker Changed?

A pacemaker is a small, implantable device that regulates your heart rhythm. Pacemakers are durable and provide years of service, but the time will come to change your device.

At Chinatown Cardiology in New York City, our experienced cardiology team specializes in pacemaker implant procedures to treat a range of heart conditions. We also replace worn or dysfunctional pacemakers when the time is right.

If you notice warning signs that your pacemaker isn’t working correctly, don’t hesitate to contact our office for a pacemaker evaluation.

Why you might need a pacemaker

A pacemaker delivers electric shocks to your heart muscle to regulate your heartbeat. You might need a pacemaker if your heartbeat is irregular, which could cause symptoms like frequent dizziness or fainting.

An irregular heartbeat may be a side effect of sick sinus syndrome (SSS), when your heart’s natural pacemaker (sinus node) doesn’t produce a sufficient heartbeat or rhythm.

We might also consider you for a pacemaker if you have an atrioventricular (AV) heart block, when dysfunction in the conduction pathway causes an electrical blockage in your heart.

Other reasons you might need a pacemaker include:

A pacemaker is an option when lifestyle and diet changes and medications don’t improve your heart function. You should be in otherwise good health to ensure that you can tolerate pacemaker implant surgery and anesthesia.

When to get a pacemaker update

Pacemakers use a battery-powered generator to work properly. Over time, batteries lose their power and can disrupt pacemaker function. Batteries typically last 5-7 years, but some may need replacing earlier.

Advanced technologies allow us to monitor the life of your pacemaker battery to identify when it’s running low.

The wet environment inside your body also takes a toll on pacemaker function. For this reason, our cardiology team replaces the entire pacemaker when you experience signs the pacemaker is failing. These signs can include:

We can replace your pacemaker during an outpatient procedure.

Pacemaker replacement surgery is less complex than your original surgery. However, you may also need your pacemaker leads replaced if they’re damaged. In that case, you may need to spend a night in the hospital under observation.

Once your replacement pacemaker is in place, our team continues to monitor your progress to ensure the device works as it should. You can expect to get back to your routine within a week of your procedure. 

As the pacemaker restores your heart’s rhythm, your symptoms should resolve, and you can resume work and other activities.

Call Chinatown Cardiology today at one of our locations in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn to schedule a pacemaker consultation or request an appointment online.

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