Very basic question

OK so I'm confused.
I'm getting a pacemaker in a few months time for a compete congenital heart block (I'm 34 and asymptomatic so it as a precaution rather than an immediate necessity).
My health insurance is up for renewal and I was asking my insurance company where and what I was covered for...and I couldnt answer any of the questions they asked. Whats the difference bewteen single/dual/bi pacemakers and the number of leads. And do you have any idea which type I'd be getting. (I'm not due to see my cardio till the end of Janurary).
Thanks
Julie


4 Comments

Types of Pacemakers

by SMITTY - 2007-08-22 10:08:40

Below tells you the types of pacemaker available, but I would say a call to your doctor will be necessary to find out which he has in mind for you. I would hope they could answer that over the phone. An answer from here can hardly be more than a guess.

MY GUESS is you will get a dual chamber unit as I understand they are the most common type being implanted for heart block these days.


Types of pacemakers

Three basic types exist to serve different purposes:

Single-Chamber Pacemakers – In a single-chamber pacemaker, only one wire (pacing lead) is placed into a chamber of the heart. Sometimes it is the upper chamber, or atrium. Other times it is the lower chamber, or ventricle.

Dual-Chamber Pacemakers – In dualchamber pacemakers, wires are placed in two chambers of the heart. One lead paces the atrium and one paces the ventricle. This approach more closely matches the natural pacing of the heart. This type of pacemaker can coordinate function between the atria and ventricles.

Bi-Ventricular Pacemakers - These have three leads. One lead goes to the atrium, one goes to one chamber of the ventricle and one goes to the second chamber of the ventricle.

Rate-Responsive Pacemakers – These have sensors that automatically adjust to changes in a person's physical activity.

Other devices – Some devices, such as implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), designed primarily for other purposes, can function as pacemakers in certain situations.

Thanks Smitty

by juliek - 2007-08-22 11:08:06

Cheers Smitty,
As usual a fountain of knowledge.
Thanks
Julie

My continuing education!

by MJH - 2007-08-22 12:08:24

I'm learning something new everyday here. Smitty's very basic information is very good. Does/did anyone have one of the Medtronic Sigma pacemakers that was recalled in Nov. 2005? My 18-yr.-old daughter still has hers....

Smitty, did you come up with any comments for me in response to my 8/18 private message to you? Thanks!

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