What are the types of pacemakers?

Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
There are different types of artificial pacemakers. If your heartbeat is too slow, your doctor may recommend having an artificial pacemaker surgically implanted into your chest near your left collarbone. This pacemaker will then take the place of your heart's normal sinus node or natural pacemaker. Some of these electronic devices override the electrical impulses triggered by your own heart and take control of your heart rate. Other artificial pacemakers let your heart beat naturally until there is a problem or abnormal rhythm. If your heart skips a regular beat, these "demand" pacemakers take over. Programmable pacemakers can override your heartbeat or let your heart beat naturally until there is an abnormal rhythm.
Ravi K. Sureddi, MD
Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology
Wireless pacemakers are an advance in pacemaker technology. In this video, Ravi K. Sureddi, MD, a cardiac electrophysiologist at Riverside Community Hospital, says these devices are still under study.
There are two types of pacemakers:
  • An on-demand pacemaker is set for a certain heart rate, and turns on only when your heartbeat slows below this rate.
  • A rate-responsive pacemaker can monitor breathing, blood temperature, and other factors. It uses these to change the rhythm based on how active you are.

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