Heart failure is a condition in which the heartbeat cannot meet the normal volume of blood and oxygen to supply all parts of the body.
Syncope, also known as a common faint or passing out, is usually less severe, but can occur frequently in patients.
ANNOUNCER: Surgery is usually the next step to regaining a healthy heartbeat.
DOUGLAS P. ZIPES, MD: A pacemaker is put in under local anesthesia. So we make a tiny incision in the chest, and the actual procedure itself lasts 45 minutes to an hour and a half, depending upon what is done. This is certainly not open-heart surgery. It's very simply done.
MELANIE GURA, MSN, RN: Implanting a pacemaker has very little risks associated. But however, whenever there is a surgical procedure, complications can arise. One of the complications that can happen in the early postoperative phase can be bleeding at the incision and sometimes it will cause a hematoma or a little blood clot over the pulse generator and some bruising.
Rarely, a lead can become dislodged or displaced, and the patient would have to go back to have the lead repositioned by the physician
DOUGLAS P. ZIPES, MD: The complication rate is very, very acceptable, considering the tradeoff of the wonderful things the pacemaker does.