Jefferson University Hospitals

Pacemaker Insertion

If your heart is beating too slowly or if you have been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, you may need to have a pacemaker implanted. Cardiologists in Jefferson's Electrophysiology Laboratory are among the most experienced in the Philadelphia region in treating patients with heart conditions that require pacemakers.

What Does Pacemaker Insertion Involve?

A pacemaker is a small implanted device that regulates your heartbeat electronically. It monitors your heart's rhythm and, when necessary, it generates a painless electric impulse, that triggers a heartbeat.

Pacemakers come in a variety of types, each programmed to respond to a particular problem. The biventricular pacer is one of the latest developments available to treat congestive heart failure. It sends pulses through three electrical leads to keep the heart functioning more efficiently.

Once inserted, the pacemaker will have to be monitored to ensure it is functioning properly. Check-ups with your cardiologist will be scheduled to guarantee your pacemaker is working optimally.

Am I a Candidate for a Biventricular Pacemaker?

To determine if you are a good candidate for a biventricular pacer, our radiologists will perform an electrocardiogram (ECG), which monitors the heart's electrical activity in each chamber and ventricle.

What are the Benefits of a Biventricular Pacemaker?

Implanting the biventricular pacer in patients has been shown to reduce symptoms and hospitalization, compared to other treatments for congestive heart failure. Other benefits include improved exercise tolerability and quality of life in some after receiving the biventricular pacer.

Lead Extraction of Pacemakers

The number of patients who have pacemakers is growing rapidly. There may be occasions when the device malfunctions or there are complications such as device-related blood infections. Jefferson is one of only a handful of centers in the U.S. with experience in the laser extraction procedure, which treats complications of device leads.

Transvenous lead extraction, when done by experienced physicians, can be the best way to manage device infections, veins with blockages or lead malfunctions. Jefferson not only participated in a major clinical on this lead extraction procedure, but Program Director Arnold Greenspon, MD, also published extensively on the subject, including a multicenter study, which demonstrated the high success and low complication rates of the procedure when experienced electrophysiologists are at the helm.