Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

What is the Life Expectancy of a Person with a Pacemaker?

Pacemaker refers to a small device consisting of two different parts i.e. a generator and a combination of wires referred as electrodes or leads placed beneath the skin of a patient's chest to control the heartbeat. People require pacemaker for many reasons, especially because of any group of conditions called as arrhythmias, in which rhythm of one's heart becomes abnormal.

Aging of individuals' hearts disrupt the exact heart rate creating too slow heartbeat, because of which they require pacemaker devices. In addition, damage of heart muscles because of heart attack is a common cause associated with disruptions in your heartbeat. Cardiologists often implant pacemakers in the chest via a minor surgery. Individuals with pacemakers have to take the necessary precautions in daily life after the installation of a pacemaker.

What is the Life Expectancy of a Person with a Pacemaker?

What Exactly Pacemakers Do?

Pacemakers help in controlling the heartbeat of a patient. Doctors implant them temporarily for treating a slow heartbeat post heart attack, medicine overdose or surgery. Even in some cases, doctors implant pacemakers permanently for correcting slow heartbeat problems and for the treatment of heart failure in some cases.

Pacemakers monitor the heartbeat of patients and in case it is excessively slow, pacemaker increases the heart rate by simply sending the necessary electric signals to the heart. Furthermore, most of the pacemakers come with sensors to detect the breathing rate and body motion of patients. Based on the detected signals, pacemakers increase the heart rate when individuals do any physical exercise to fulfill the increased requirement for oxygen and blood in their bodies.

Components of Implanted Pacemaker

Implanted electronically operated pacemaker mimics the functions performed by a natural pacemaker. This type of pacemaker consists of two different parts-

Leads or Electrodes: Each chamber/chambers of one's heart contains insulated wires i.e. leads or electrodes to deliver electrical pulses for adjusting the heart rate.

Pulse Generator- Pulse generator is a small and a metallic container housing an electrical circuit and a battery to regular the electric pulses rate sending to the heart of patients.

What is the Life Expectancy of a Person with a Pacemaker?

Cardiologists in general confirm that the pacemaker does not affect the life expectancy of a person as the pacemaker fixes the problem of irregular heartbeats. Even new born babies get pacemakers these days and they live more than 35 to 40 years life. Older adults have much more better life expectancy when they get pacemakers. Attitude plays a very big role in the person's life when they have a pacemaker.

Once cardiologists or cardiac surgeons complete with the implantation of pacemaker, the pacemaker's battery lasts for minimum 5 years to 15 years i.e. for its average battery life. In case of wearing out of the pacemaker's battery, doctors replace the pulse generator of the implanted pacemaker.

Leads/electrodes of pacemakers on the other side continue to remain in their places, even though they require replacement in an eventual manner. The procedure to change the battery of a pacemaker requires less time and less recovery period for patients as compared to the procedure involved in the implantation of the pacemaker.

Precautions to Increase/Retain the Pacemaker's Life Expectancy

Despite the ideal expectancy of a pacemaker is about 5 years to 15 years; it is essential for a patient to take the necessary precautions to retain or increase the life expectancy of a pacemaker. These include the following-

Mobiles

You may communicate by using mobile phones, but make sure to avoid placing the device directly on the site of your pacemaker implantation when your phone turns on.

Security Systems

Passing from any airport metallic detector will not interfere with the implanted pacemaker. However, you should avoid lingering it nearby the pacemaker or leaning it against any metal detector device.

In simple words, you should keep your implantation site away from remote controls, microwave ovens, TVs, radios, electric blankets, electric drills, toasters and similar others.

Conclusion

Pacemakers have proved to be standard treatments for a large number of conditions affecting the electrical system of patients' heart. By simply avoiding a slow heartbeat rate, pacemakers are able to treat a large number of symptoms, which include fainting, lightheadedness and fatigue. Since a large number of pacemakers available today are able to adjust with the heart rate of an individual automatically to match his/her physical activity level, these allow resuming of a highly active lifestyle.

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: October 20, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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