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What Is a Pacemaker?

PacemakerA pacemaker is a small electronic device that helps regulate a heartbeat to control abnormal rhythms. Through a system of batteries, circuits and specially insulated wires, pacemakers generate electric impulses that stimulate the heart muscle to beat at a predetermined rate. There are three types of pacemakers:

  • A single chamber device has one wire, which is placed in the upper or lower chamber of the heart.
  • A dual pacemaker has two wires, one inside one of the upper chambers of the heart and the other inside the ventricle.
  • A cardiac resynchronization therapy pacemaker has three wires. One wire is in the right atrium, one is in the right ventricle and the third is on the coronary sinus vein.

Pacemakers are prescribed for patients with heart conditions such as bradycardia, syncope, atrial fibrillation or heart failure.