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What are some common pacemaker problems?

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Quick Answer

Complications associated with pacemaker implants are not common, reports Mayo Clinic. However, infection, puncture of the heart muscle, collapsed lung and damaged blood vessels may occur. Other uncommon problems, such as allergic reactions to dye or anesthesia and swelling, bleeding or bruising at the site are also possible.

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Full Answer

A pacemaker is a small device implanted near the heart through a small incision in the collarbone. Pacemaker surgery may be necessary for cardiac resynchronization therapy, aligning the pacemaker with the normal heart rhythm. Pacemaker surgery is most often necessary for regulating the heartbeat during arrhythmia, a condition of abnormal heart rhythm. Different types of pacemakers include single chamber, dual chamber and biventricular, according to Mayo Clinic.

Pacemakers consist of a pulse generator and leads, or electrodes implanted into one or more chambers of the heart that pace normal heart rhythm and slow the heart rate. Implanting temporary pacemakers is a viable treatment for abnormal conditions of slow heartbeat resulting from overdose of medication, surgery or heart attack. Implanting permanent pacemakers is a treatment for abnormal heartbeats or heart failure, explains Mayo Clinic.

Following surgery, individuals should avoid heavy lifting or other strenuous activities for about a month. They should adhere to directions on prescribed medications and report any adverse side effect to their physicians. Close contact with cell phones, security systems and other power-generating equipment could interrupt the electrical signal, notes Mayo Clinic.

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