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Regulating Your Heart Through a Pacemaker or ICD

Your heartbeat controls aspects of your health from head to toe. When your heart beats irregularly, too quickly, or too slowly, it threatens to damage the flow of nourishing blood throughout your body. Serious arrhythmias can cause sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), with potentially fatal consequences.

To protect your cardiac health, an implantable device like a cardiac pacemaker or an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) may be the answer. Some devices even combine both functions. Once your device is in place, it regulates your heartbeat, keeping you on the right rhythm for your body's best health. 

At Lakewood Cardiovascular Consultants in Bradenton, Florida, cardiologist Erick E. Calderon, MD, diagnoses and treats cardiac arrhythmias. He has expertise with a wide range of heart health strategies, including implantable devices like ICDs and pacemakers.

Different devices for different heart problems

Your heart can fall out of rhythm in a number of ways. Most arrhythmias result from malfunctions in your internal electrical system. Your heart may beat too quickly or too slowly, but either way, an implantable device may be able to help.

A pacemaker uses electrical pulses to keep your heart beating normally. An ICD monitors your heart rhythms and delivers shocks as needed to control dangerous arrhythmias.

Pacemakers offer continuous support, while ICDs respond to early warning signs to bring your heart back on track. Pacemakers tend to be helpful for patients with slow heart beats, and ICDs typically provide good support to patients dealing with a heightened risk of fatal ventricular arrhythmias. 

At Lakewood Cardiovascular Consultants, Dr. Calderon lets you know what type of device is best for your specific health care needs. Many medical devices available today can provide the benefits of a pacemaker and an ICD, giving you comprehensive heart health support and protection. 

Safe and secure support systems

Both a pacemaker and an ICD require minor surgery to implant, followed by a few days in the hospital while you recover under monitoring. Most of our patients return to daily activities within a day or two.

During the implantation procedure, small incisions let Dr. Calderon insert your pacemaker or ICD leads through your blood vessels. Once he places the leads, Dr. Calderon attaches them to the generator/battery, and then inserts it under your skin through the same incision. He finally closes the surgical site and covers it with a sterile dressing. During the procedure, local anesthesia keeps you from feeling pain.

After Dr. Calderon implants your device, you're protected from many of the most dangerous consequences of heart arrhythmia. If you have an ICD, our care team can use the information gathered by your device to better understand your particular heart problems and recommend additional treatments as necessary to keep your heartbeat safely regulated. 

Your device comes with an ID card from the manufacturer with important information about your health care needs that you should always carry with you.

To learn more about implantable devices like an ICD or pacemaker, call us at Lakewood Cardiovascular Consultants today or use our online tool to set up an appointment. Dr. Calderon can help you choose the best options for heart wellness.

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