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What is a pacemaker?

When the heartbeat is too slow, because either the heart's natural pacemaker or its wiring system has a malfunction, implantation of a permanent pacemaker is necessary. The permanent pacemaker — a small device that is implanted under the skin — is used to ensure that the heart beats at a normal and appropriate rate. At NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, our experts in the treatment of arrhythmias use the latest advancements in pacemaker technology, including single chamber or dual chamber pacemakers, alone or combined with implantable cardioverter defibrillators and biventricular devices, to treat cardiac arrhythmias.
A pacemaker is a small, implantable device that can help people whose hearts are weak, beat too slowly, skip beats or beat in a rhythm that is too fast.
A pacemaker is a small, battery-operated device about the size of a silver dollar that helps maintain a normal heartbeat by sending electrical impulses to the heart. It is inserted into a person’s chest and delivers the impulses to the heart muscle through wires called leads.
A pacemaker is a small device that corrects your heart rhythm. Your heart’s natural pacemaker is called the sinus node -- a cluster of cells that sends electrical impulses to make the heart beat. If the sinus node doesn’t work properly, an artificial pacemaker can keep your heart beating at the right pace.
A pacemaker is a small, battery-operated device that helps the heart beat in a regular rhythm. It is the treatment of choice for patients with bradycardia (slow heartbeat), but is less commonly used for tachycardia (fast heartbeat). Pacemakers can be permanent (internal) or temporary (external). A pacemaker sends electrical impulses to the heart when needed to aid in the proper pumping of blood.

Pacemakers are composed of two parts: the generator and the leads. The generator stores the battery and regulatory information for the heartbeat. In an internal pacemaker, the generator is typically located beneath the collar bone. The leads are wires that extend from the generator through a large vein to the heart, delivering electrical impulses that tell the heart when to beat.
Kushal K. Handa, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
An artificial pacemaker is a small battery-operated device that is surgically inserted and that helps maintain a normal heartbeat by sending electrical impulses to the heart when the body's natural pacemaker becomes defective due to heart disease.
Benjamin T. Cohen, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
A pacemaker is a small unit that maintains a person's minimum heart rate while allowing it to accelerate when necessary. In this video, Ben Cohen, MD, a cardiologist at West Hills Hospital, describes exciting advances in pacemaker technology.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.