For patients who are diagnosed with an arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat, our cardiologist may decide to implant either a pacemaker or a defibrillator.

Although the devices are similar and the procedure to place one is very similar, the difference is that a pacemaker sends electrical pulses to speed up or slow down your heart’s rhythm while a defibrillator can actually shock your heart in the event of a life-threatening situation.

The choice of a pacemaker or defibrillator is based on the seriousness of your arrhythmia. Implanting is a surgical procedure that generally requires a hospital stay of two or more days.

Your Heart & Vascular Care doctor or nurse-practitioner will provide complete instructions beforehand.

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