What types of pacemakers are there?
Today, a pacemaker can be relatively well integrated into the normal cardiovascular function. This was not always the case: in the past, the pacemaker's rigid impulse delivery was a problem for the heart's own impulse delivery. Thus, both the heart and the pacemaker gave impulses without being coordinated.
In addition to dangerous tachycardia, ie sequences to fast heartbeat, the heart was unable to do his pumping effectively. However, modern pacemakers are able to master these dangers. They perceive self-impulses of the heart and react only when the heart really stops. Depending on the arrhythmia, electrodes are used which give impulses in one, two or even three chambers.
New features of modern pacemakers
In addition, modern pacemakers by means of sensors are able to adapt their frequency to the activity of the wearer: climbing stairs, walking, working, and also excitement increase the heartbeat. Each pacemaker can now telemeter its data to an out-of-body data interface, making pacemaker maintenance and control relatively easy.
The so-called "home monitoring" is planned, which also sends data to a terminal outside of the control appointments and notifies the doctor in case of deviations from the normal function. It is in clinical trials.
How is a pacemaker used?
A pacemaker is today usually used in a short operation under local anesthesia. A pocket in the subcutaneous fatty tissue is prepared underneath the left or right collarbone and the pacemaker assembly is placed there. Under the clavicle runs a larger vein, in which the thin electrode can be advanced to the heart.
Depending on the make, the electrode is screwed with a rotary motion at the appropriate place in the heart or anchored by small barbs. Then it is connected to the pacemaker. You can test immediately if the pacemaker works properly and sends pulses to the heart. If the model requires two electrodes, both electrodes are used.
How long does a pacemaker last?
While the first implanted pacemaker resigned in 1958 after just one day, the average lifespan of modern pacemakers today is eight to twelve years. Thanks to advances in technology, it is possible to check how long lithium iodide batteries last for each pacemaker check. Even if the device signals that the performance will soon be exhausted, this does not mean that a new device must be used as an emergency. As a rule, today's devices continue to work trouble-free for months, so that an operation can be well planned.