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Treatments for a Slow Heart Rhythm

Clip Number: 18 of 41
Presentation: Common Heart Conditions, Tests, and Procedures
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Reviewed By: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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If you have very slow heartbeats, pauses in your heartbeats, or irregular racing and slowing of your heartbeats and have symptoms because of this problem, the most successful treatment available is pacemaker insertion.
A pacemaker is a tiny, lightweight, electrical device that is placed inside the body usually in the chest near the shoulder. It keeps track of heartbeats and when necessary it gives a small low-voltage electrical pulse to the heart, which forces it to beat.
The pacemaker device consists of two parts: First, the battery unit, which is a small metal case that contains the power source, or pulse generator. This regulates how often signals are sent to the heart.
The second part is the lead, which consists of one or two wires that carry electrical messages back and forth between the heart and the device. These wires extend from the pulse generator and connect to the inside of the heart. The device is much smaller than a deck of cards and weighs slightly more than an ounce.

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