Pacemaker surgery is generally safe, but possible risks include infection at the implant site or bleeding, swelling and bruising around the generator, Mayo Clinic states. In rare cases, the procedure leads to nerve or blood vessel damage, or a punctured heart muscle triggers internal bleeding.
A collapsed lung is another rare complication of pacemaker surgery, and some patients may suffer allergic reactions to medications or anesthesia administered during the procedure, according to MedicineNet. Using electric or magnetic devices, such as mobile phones and microwaves, close to the pacemaker for extended periods may interrupt its signal, preventing the unit from regulating heartbeats correctly. A permanent implant also requires future maintenance to fix functionality issues, such as dislodged wires or a failing battery. Batteries are replaced every five to 10 years, and individuals may need additional surgery to remove an old pulse generator.
A pacemaker is a coin-sized electronic implant that mimics the heart’s natural electrical system by sending pulses to the heart chambers, Mayo Clinic explains. A healthy heart beats approximately 60 to 90 times per minute. The pacemaker contains a tiny pulse generator that monitors changes in heart rate. To keep the heart chambers pumping blood at a synchronized pace, the pacemaker automatically transmits a signal when the heart rate is too low and adjusts to suit an individual’s degree of physical exertion..