A pacemaker is a small device that’s placed under the skin of your chest or abdomen to help control abnormal heart rhythms. This device uses electrical pulses to prompt the heart to beat at a normal rate. Pacemakers can relieve some symptoms related to arrhythmias, such as fatigue (tiredness) and fainting. A pacemaker can help a person who has an abnormal heart rhythm resume a more active lifestyle.
A pacemaker consists of a battery, a computerized generator, and wires. The generator sends the electrical pulses that correct or set your heart rhythm, and the wires carry pulses to and from various chambers of your heart and the generator.
Pacemaker surgery is usually done in a hospital. The surgery takes just a few hours, but you will stay in the hospital overnight so your doctor can monitor your heart rhythm and make sure your pacemaker is working properly. Problems from pacemaker surgery are rare. Most people can return to normal activities within a few days.