A pacemaker is a battery-operated device
implanted in the chest that generates
pulses to the heart to make it
beat in a
regular rhythm. Most pacemakers
to monitor the heart's natural
to activate only when required.
Although sophisticated electronic equipment,
pacemakers are small and durable (battery
life is generally over five years). They
are programmable to match the needs of the
patient; programming is accomplished through
radio signals rather than wires. Similarly,
this radio connection can be used to monitor
the performance of the pacemaker and determine
when the battery is running low.
Replacing the battery is a relatively
procedure: the entire pacemaker
and replaced. The wires that
pulse to the heart are not removed,
and are simply plugged into the
before the incision is closed.