Sometimes, due to age, disease or certain medications, the human heart will miss beats or lose its normal, regular rhythm. Patients experiencing these rhythm abnormalities are usually given a pacemaker. This is a device that is connected by wires, internally, to the heart and is then placed under the skin in the chest wall. It continuously monitors your heart to make sure it is beating evenly and regularly. If the heart is not beating correctly, it will assist the heart by giving it as close to a normal, regular rhythm as possible. Over years of use, though, the batteries in these little devices can begin to wear down and may need to be replaced to continue functioning properly. A pacemaker evaluation, which only takes a few minutes, can check the pacemaker’s battery.
The battery check is performed using EKG technology. By evaluating the EKG the interpreting physician can make an assessment as to whether the patient’s battery is operating at full capacity or has begun to decline in power, requiring a simple surgery to replace the battery. These pacemaker evaluations can, if needed, be done over the phone for homebound patients.