If you have an abnormal heart rhythm or if the electrical impulses do not travel through your heart properly, your doctor may decide your heart needs additional support. A number of advanced medical devices can help support your heart by using painless electrical signals to keep it beating regularly and/or improve function. These devices may not only improve symptoms but have been shown to improve long-term survival.
These devices are constantly getting smaller, more efficient, and with longer lasting batteries. Typically these devices are inserted with a local anaesthetic. They are positioned under your collarbone so as not to be visible on the outside of your body. Most devices will require periodic monitoring, usually annually, on an outpatient basis.
In addition to providing electrical impulses, many implantable devices now offer the ability to send clinical data directly to your doctor using telemonitoring. This connection is achieved either by using a normal telephone line or via a wireless connection. Your doctor can then use this data to manage your condition and possibly detect signs of worsening earlier.
Click on any of the links below to learn more about heart devices that are currently available:
|How medical devices work in heart failure|
|Cardiac Resynchronisation Therapy in Heart Failure: The essentials for primary care physicians|