A pacemaker uses electrical pulses to keep the heart in rhythm, neither beating too slow nor too fast, and a defibrillator shocks the heart if it detects a dangerous rhythm disturbance, preventing cardiac arrest. A defibrillator also has the capabilities of a pacemaker, regulating heart rhythm if necessary.Know More
Pacemakers and defibrillators are small devices implanted in the chest. The patient is admitted to the hospital for the procedure. During minor surgery, the doctor makes an incision, places the device under the skin, attaches its wires to veins that lead to the right side of the heart, and then closes the incision.
Pacemakers and defibrillators are custom programmed to meet the medical needs of the individual patient. Each is activated only by specific heart rhythm activity, and many defibrillators record the electrical patterns of the heart during an abnormal cardiac event to help the doctor plan appropriate treatment. During follow-up visits, they are read and programmed through the skin, using a computer program, so no further surgery is necessary unless the lithium battery needs replaced.
People with pacemakers or defibrillators must avoid large magnetic fields, such as those found with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), ultrasounds or CT scans. They do not have to worry about using microwaves or other household appliances.Learn more about Cardiac Health
According to WebMD, a leaky heart valve is a valve in the heart that leaks blood during normal contraction or relaxation. There are four valves of the heart that may become leaky.Full Answer >
Heart catheterization is a procedure doctors use to make sure the heart is working well, according to the American Heart Association. A long, thin tube is inserted through a vein and then fed into the heart where a doctor can perform diagnostic tests.Full Answer >
Atrial fibrillation, or AF, results when the heart’s electrical activity is chaotic and when atrial walls quiver rather than contract; heart flutter results in coordinated electrical activity, contracting atrial walls, but at a very rapid rate, according to Merck Manuals. AF is the most common type of arrhythmia.Full Answer >
A heart murmur is an unusual, extra or loud sound heard by a doctor when he listens to the heart with a stethoscope. Heart murmurs are categorized as innocent, such as sounds frequently heard in children, or abnormal, which can indicate an underlying problem, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.Full Answer >