A pacemaker is a small, battery-powered device that sends out small
electrical impulses to make the heart muscle to contract. The pacemaker itself
is a waterproof object about the size of a silver dollar. A pacemaker consists
of a pulse generator and battery that create the electrical impulses, and wires
(leads) that transmit electricity to the heart.
Pacemakers help your heart beat in a regular rhythm and at a normal
speed. They are inserted to treat a heart rate that is too slow, too fast, or
Pacemakers are typically placed under the skin of the chest. These
pacemakers are permanent. But sometimes, pacemakers are needed for only a short
time to help a person in the hospital with heart rhythm problems. A temporary
pacemaker is not surgically inserted but is worn outside the body. Temporary
pacemakers are used only while a person is in the hospital.
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology