So what is a Pacemaker?

If you have a problem with the way the normal electrical impulses in your heart work, you may need to have a pacemaker fitted. A pacemaker artificially takes over the role of the heart’s natural pacemaker (the sino atrial node), either all of the time, or just when your heart is not beating properly. There are several different types of pacemaker. The best one for you will depend on what type of heart rhythm or beat problem you have.

The pacemaker will be implanted in your chest by a surgeon, normally under local anaesthetic, but you will usually need to stay in hospital overnight to check that it is working properly. Serious complications from pacemakers are unusual.

Pacemakers need to be checked regularly by specialist technicians at a pacemaker clinic. You will also need to be careful about things that can affect how your pacemaker works, such as hospital equipment and security systems in shops or at airports.