There are many ways to measure how well your heart is working, one of which is the ejection fraction. It is a vital tool commonly expressed as a percentage that determines the amount of blood pumped out by the heart’s left ventricle. A normal value between 50-60% signifies a healthy blood supply to the body. However, individuals dealing with heart failure experience a dip, showing symptoms like irregular heartbeats. Enter – a biventricular pacemaker! This gadget serves as a little shocker for your heart to keep it beating in rhythm. Now, since it resides inside your body, you might wonder how long you can live off a pacemaker in one go. Let’s find out.
Biventricular Pacemakers – How Long Can You Live Peacefully With It?
This compact, battery-operated device is designed to combat delays in the heart’s lower chamber contractions. Other than that, it has the additional responsibility of synchronizing the left and right ventricles through electrical impulses. This enhances the ejection fraction in people with severe heart failure symptoms. Studies suggest that people with biventricular pacemakers can expect to live an extended lifespan of 8 to 20 years.
When Do You Need a Pacemaker Implantation?
Your cardiologist can offer a biventricular pacemaker for:
- Severe or moderately severe heart failure symptoms
- Delayed electrical heart activation
- Have a history of cardiac arrest
- People on long-term heart failure medications
Types of Implantation Process:
- Endocardial (Transvenous) Approach
This is a common and straightforward method in which a lead is guided through the vein under one’s collarbone to reach the heart. The tip of the lead securely attaches to the heart muscle, while the other end connects to the pulse generator situated in the upper chest.
- Epicardial Approach
This way involves a more intricate process of opening the chest and then placing the lead’s tip outside the heart. At the same time, the other end is firmly linked to the pulse generator, positioned in the abdomen.
Caring for Your Pacemaker
Once the biventricular pacemaker is set inside the heart, its role becomes pivotal for survival. The device meticulously monitors the heart rate, and if it drops below the normal rate, the pacemaker jumps into action. Its main function is to transmit electrical impulses to both ventricles for coordinated contractions, significantly improving the ejection fraction and overall cardiac function. The lead is placed in the right atrium to add an extra layer of balance to the heart’s functioning.
Life is easy for those equipped with a biventricular implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) in general; however, they need to think about the precautions in order.
- Steer clear of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines
- Security wands
- Radio transmitting towers
- High-powered electrical equipment.
You can carry a handy medical card to facilitate your smooth passage through metal detectors in public spaces. Moreover, do not forget that periodic battery replacements are a must and less complex than the initial implantation procedure.
Biventricular pacemakers are not only life-altering devices; they are life enhancers, too. Do not hesitate to contact Dr. M. Usman Khan, awarded with fellowship status by the American College of Cardiology (ACP) at Epic Heart and Vascular Center at 17070 Red Oak Dr # 405, Houston, TX 77090. Call Houston at (832) 432-1951 or Willowbrook at (832) 952-1951 for your troubles. We are here to help you for a long and healthy life.