Pacemakers ensure your heart beats at the right speed, providing a long-term solution to severe arrhythmias. Capital Pediatric Cardiology’s board-certified pediatric electrophysiologist Sunita Ferns, MD, FHRS, performs expert pacemaker implantation procedures in children with serious heart problems. The practice has offices in Sacramento, Roseville, Modesto, Placerville, Cameron Park, Stockton, Chico, Anderson, and Reading, California. Call your nearest location or request a consultation online to ensure your child benefits from world-leading pacemaker implantation surgery.
Pacemaker implantation is a procedure your child might need if they have a severe heart problem.
There’s a natural pacemaker called the sino-atrial (SA) node in the upper right chamber (atrium) of everyone’s heart. The SA node transmits electrical signals across the left and right upper chambers, then down through the atrioventricular (AV) node to the lower heart chambers (ventricles).
These electrical impulses contract the heart’s chambers, generating your heartbeat and pumping blood around your body. The SA node signals set your heart’s pace, making it beat faster when you’re active and your body needs more oxygen.
Some children are born with a heart defect (congenital heart disease) that affects electrical signaling. Others develop problems because of illness, injury, or previous surgeries. The result is arrhythmias, where the heart beats too quickly, too slowly, or becomes irregular. Pacemaker implantation corrects the problem.
Artificial pacemakers are small, battery-powered electronic units with one or more electrodes (electrical leads). The pacemaker goes under your child’s skin, the muscle in their chest, or sometimes the abdomen.
The unit may have one electrode (single chamber pacemaker), two electrodes (dual chamber pacemaker), or three electrodes (biventricular pacemaker). These transmit the electrical impulses from the pacemaker to the child’s heart.
Your provider programs the pacemaker to ensure your child’s heart beats the desired number of times every minute. The pacemaker’s electronics measure the length of time between each beat; if the gap is too long, it sends an electrical impulse to the heart. This makes your child’s heart contract and beat.
Capital Pediatric Cardiology’s Sunita Ferns, MD, FHRS, specializes in pediatric pacemaker implantation using advanced techniques that minimize tissue damage. She carries out the procedure while your child is under a general anesthetic, so they’ll sleep throughout the operation.
When they recover from the anesthetic, they’ll likely feel some soreness around the pacemaker implantation site. You can give them medication to ease the pain if they’re uncomfortable. Your child shouldn’t feel any discomfort after the implantation scar heals.
Pacemaker batteries typically last many years, but your child needs to visit Capital Pediatric Cardiology for regular checks to ensure the unit is working properly and the battery has enough life.
Call Capital Pediatric Cardiology or request an appointment online today to learn about pacemaker implantation and how it could benefit your child.