STARS Patient Information
Why do I need a pacemaker?
If your doctor has suggested that you have a pacemaker fitted it is because you have an abnormality in the electrical conduction system of your heart.
Why do I need a pacemaker if I have syncope?
Most cases of syncope are due to the ‘common’ faint. However other important causes include defects of the ‘wiring’ of the heart. Syncope can occur when the heart slows or momentarily stops (asystole). Therefore oxygenated blood is not pumped to the brain, causing light-headedness, dizziness, fading of vision, buzzing in the ears before loss of consciousness.
Pacing can help some people with syncope who experience a sudden fall in their heart rate (bradycardia). A pacemaker monitors the heart and restores the heart to a normal heart rhythm therefore maintaining blood flow to the brain and reducing loss of consciousness.
Pacemakers for patients with neurocardiogenic syncope?
Dr Axel Brandes, consultant cardiologist and electrophysiologist, Odense University, Denmark, discusses the role of pacemakers in patients with neurocardiogenic syncope.
What is a pacemaker?
A pacemaker is a small, sealed metal and plastic device (pacemaker box), which contains a battery and electronic circuits. The device is connected to your heart by one or more wires (called leads). These leads are passed along a blood vessel to your heart and the pacemaker box is usually implanted under the skin in your upper chest, near your collarbone. The pacemaker can monitor your heart and produce electrical impulses to treat abnormal heart rhythms. Pacemakers are largely used to treat slow heart rhythms (bradycardia), but are also used to treat some fast heart rhythms that come from the top chambers of the heart (the atria).
There are approximately 25,000 pacemakers implanted in the UK every year.
If you have a pacemaker or are about to have one fitted, you can download information about Remote Monitoring of your device here.
Pacemaker information for children
To explain what a pacemaker is, what it does, and why you or your child may need to have one implanted, we have a simple illustrated booklet which you can download by clicking here.
Electric Beats – Pacemakers and the Human Heart video
A clear and informative video with graphics teaches more about the Pacemaker and how it paces the heart