With ever growing rates of obesity and weight-related health problems, heart disease and cardiovascular illnesses are also becoming more and more common. The treatments for heart disease and similar health complications will vary on a case by case basis, however the true potential and extent that heart implants may have is still an area of science that requires expansion and the investment of time and research.
Why are Heart Implants Needed?
In a healthy individual, the heart is an organ that is able to produce and regulate its own beating and electrical impulses, this is due to a small region of the vital organ known as the SA Node (Sinoatrial Node). However, some individuals may develop a condition in which the heart beats irregularly, causing a heart rate that is either too slow or too fast when compared to how it should be functioning. If the heart rate is irregular or not beating correctly, the distribution and pumping of blood oxygen around the body will not be maintained or sustained at a healthy level. This can cause areas of tissue death and cause a heart attack (myocardial infarction).
How Heart Implants Work?
A heart implant works by taking over from the SA Node and acting as an artificial pace maker. They are surgically implanted into the chest and are small electrical devices that recreate a rhythm of a healthy heart by sending out regular electrical impulses. Pacemakers can be adjusted to suit the needs of the individual, making them useful for a wide range of patients with varying levels of heart irregularities and varying rates of blood pressure. Doctors will monitor the effects that the implant has on the body and any further adjustments can then be made to ensure that the device is working correctly and maintaining the correct rhythm of the heart.
Which Groups of People Are At Risk and Need Heart Implants?
People with a naturally irregular heart beat may require a heart implant early on in their lives if the issue is causing breathing and circulatory complications. Other high risk groups include those who have suffered from a heart attack and therefore have problems with their heart rate following the incident. Taking readings and observations from an ECG (electrocardiogram) can reveal the need of heart beat irregularities as these problems can be difficult to spot initially, especially if they are not having any major impacts on the person’s health.