What Are The Different Kinds Of Pacemakers And Is There A Special Kind For Each Person?

Question: What are the different kinds of pacemakers and is there a special kind for each person?

Answer :A pacemaker is an implanted device that gives small electrical signals to treat slow heartbeats. A pacemaker is different than an implantable defibrillator, in that an implanted defibrillator, in addition to treating slow heartbeats, can give a shock to treat fast heartbeats. All defibrillators are also pacemakers.

Pacemakers and defibrillators may have one, two or three leads, or wires, into the heart. All have at least one wire, in which case that one wire is placed in the right ventricle, or bottom pump, to treat slow heartbeats, if it's a pacemaker, or fast heartbeats and slow heartbeats, if it's a defibrillator. In some people, there are abnormalities of the top and bottom chamber that are well-treated with pacemakers, in which case two wires are used.

If you have congestive heart failure or a weakened heart pump as well as electrical abnormalities of the heart rhythm, then your doctor may recommend a biventricular pacemaker or defibrillator. These are also called cardiac resynchronization devices, or CRT for cardiac resynchronization therapy. These devices have one wire to the top chamber, with an atrial lead, and then two wires to the ventricle. The two wires help coordinate the pumping activity of your heart's main pumps and then may increase the heart's strength and reduce symptoms of shortness of breath and fatigue related to a weakened heart pump.